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Paradise Alley download epub

by Kevin Baker


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Baker achieves a hallucinatory realism packed with sensory detail.

Paradise Alley concerns a tumultuous moment in the record of the Civil War: the 1863 New York riots that followed President Lincoln's decision to create a draft

Paradise Alley concerns a tumultuous moment in the record of the Civil War: the 1863 New York riots that followed President Lincoln's decision to create a draft. Baker refers to the street violence as one of the worst instances of civic unrest in American history. Yet one can't tell a compelling story with simple pronouncements.

Kevin Baker is the bestselling author of the novels Dreamland, Paradise Alley, and Sometimes You See It Coming. He is a columnist for American Heritage magazine and a regular contributor to the New York Times, Harper's, and other periodicals. He lives in New York City with his wife, the writer Ellen Abrams, and their cat, Stella. Библиографические данные.

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They came by boat from a starving land-and by the Underground Railroad from Southern chains-seeking refuge in a crowded, filthy corner of hell at the bottom of a great metropolis. But in the terrible July of 1863, the poor and desperate of Paradise Alley would face a new catastrophe-as flames from the war that was tearing America in two reached out to set their city on fire. To read this book, upload an EPUB or FB2 file to Bookmate.

When she got there they were already asleep again, but Milton was up. Sitting at their bedside, where he had gone to comfort them himself en she came in. It’s all right,. It’s all right, she told him. Things’ll be all right, now the rain’s here. She sat down on the bed next to him. Running a hand over the brows of her younger children, glad to feel they were cooler. Milton asked her, in a whisper. Me an’ Deirdre figured it’d be easier, if anything happened. You never know, with the disturbances.

Hot with fervor over Kevin Baker’s Dreamland I moved on to Paradise Alley. Even though much of Dreamland revolves around Coney Island, Baker’s attention is never far from the Lower East Side. And it is on the lower east side that Paradise Alley is located, though we’re moved back in time thirty or forty years for this one-the 1863 New York riots in response to the Civil War draft. Paradise Alley is a small street populated by a mix of economic and racial folks.

Paradise Alley - Kevin Baker. Only their Bible, and a few books that belonged to Milton, their oldest boy. The framed daguerreotype she had finally persuaded Billy to have made of the whole family. All of them in their best clothes, standing solemnly around Billy where he sat in a broad, cushioned chair.


Comments: (7)

Burilar
It's difficult to imagine a New York City where large herds of pigs roam freely through the streets and kids play with toy boats in streams of blood and offal from the butcher. Kevin Baker has a gift for thrusting the reader directly into the center of a forgotten world and a largely lesser-known chapter in Civil War history in this grisly, gristly, atmospheric body blow of a novel.

I sometimes feel that the category "historical fiction" is too broad. This is most assuredly historical fiction, but then again, many other very different types of books are also classed as "historical fiction" -- and don't get me wrong; I'm not knocking those, and many people like them -- but if your idea of historical fiction is a nice, sudsy, mostly tasteful bodice ripper with a dash of basic Wikipedian history thrown in for a sense of time and place, this is *not* the book for you.

Aside from having seen and liked the movie "Gangs of New York," I had basic to little knowledge of the New York Draft Riots. Nor does the reader need any, because this book is one of the most experiential ones I have ever read: You are there. I've read many good books where the writer clearly knew the importance of a sense of place, but as far as atmosphere goes, aside from using a time machine, I have never seen atmosphere better done than it is in "Paradise Alley." And that's more than just a compliment to a good storyteller; it's a nod to a historical fiction writer who has clearly put in the elbow grease it really takes to effectively recreate another era -- from the scenes of the streets, to the products (and people) that are available for sale, to the food, to the dialogue. (There is a glossary at the end of the book, but I didn't see or read it until I found it at the end. I enjoyed trying to puzzle out the meanings of many words and phrases I didn't know as they continued to reappear throughout the book.) There are, of course, a number of real-life historical figures present in the book, as well as fleeting cameos by real-life gnarly dames like Gallus Mag and Sadie the Goat.

Some readers have criticized the book's grossout factor, saying that the brutality, harshness and naked realism was simply "too much" in places, especially in the chapters dealing with the famine in Ireland. I can certainly see why people would say this; if you're not ready for it, it can be off-putting (and I wouldn't read this book while snacking or eating dinner). But I disagree that these elements are thrown in for shock value or are out of place. They are not without purpose, in my opinion, and some of the images won't leave my mind anytime soon. (There is a description of a barrow full of abandoned orphans likened to a nest of bewildered baby birds -- an unforgettable image.) While upsetting, and at times downright gross (images of cannibalism; gruesome illness; a knock-down-drag-out between a man and a dog, one of whom is going to be eaten), I feel it was necessary to recreate this particular experience, which is one that most of the modern Western world finds inconceivable, even with a good imagination, to set the stage for the fact that so many Irish immigrants had already been through this living nightmare before even setting foot on U.S. soil, where many would continue to struggle in poverty, hunger and squalor long after arriving -- setting the stage for societal and racial tensions that, while not justifiable, become at least believable in the context of the main plot of the novel, the movements and activities of the mob as seen by many different characters.

I hesitated to give five stars for two main reasons. One, I did think the book became bogged down and bloated in a couple of places, particularly in the latter half. I believed the book tried to do too much in all that it tried to capture, and that in the interest of keeping a brisk pace in the plot, there was some fat that could have been trimmed and wouldn't have been missed. Two, the characters are very hit-and-miss. The most dynamic character may possibly be Deirdre, who visibly evolves throughout the course of the book and is in an entirely different mental space by the end. While not the most likable, the most sympathetic character may be Maddy, the hot-corn girl turned kept woman turned defiant slattern. I found the character of Ruth to be a bit under-drawn, especially considering she is one of the novel's leading voices. And the character of Johnny Dolan was in my opinion simply too evil, too vile, too physically disgusting, and too bloodthirsty to be very believable -- even with the author's attempts to show us why this foul boogeyman has become what he has become.

Four-and-a-half-stars I would have gladly given, had that been an option. I had the stomach for it, and so I tremendously enjoyed the book. If you don't have the stomach for it, you might want to give it a pass.
BroWelm
A well researched novel set during the New York draft riots of 1863. There are flashbacks to the Irish famine of the 1840s which prompted a large influx of Irish into New York, including many of the novel's main characters. If you like the "historical" in historical fiction to be well done and accurate, put this book on your reading list. Its depictions of both the Irish potato famine and the 1863 riots are quite accurate. I was quite impressed by the depth of the author's research. The "fiction" part of historical fiction is likewise well done. The story drew me in quickly and kept my interest. It is a long novel, so I read it with frequent interruptions. But I always looked forwards to getting back to it. You may not like the attitudes expressed by some of the book's characters, but those attitudes are in tune with the times. Strongly recommended.
Mora
A little know aspect of the tensions around the draft for the Civil War. Immigrants in NYC resented the ease with which wealthy business families could purchase exemptions and pay for someone else to serve. The trials of the Irish immigrants and their hope for new opportunities meets the longing for freedom within the slave community. It insightfully balances the tensions between races and classes. They author is to be commended for his presentation of this deplorable chapter of American history. The characters are dynamic and complex with many twists in the plot and expected outcome. There really is no happy ending. I would enjoy seeing this made into a movie.
Kelenn
Wonderful book. It really shows the reader what NYC was like in the second half of the 19th century; the poverty, the living conditions, the hate of different races and cultures, the depravity to which ordinary people sank (or should I say "can sink"). And, even though it is a book about NYC, it sheds light on why the City was like this in 1863. It tells about the Irish Potatoe Famine in a heart wrenching way, it tells about the draft during the war of North and South, the way immigrants were exploited, and the political turmoil of that time. I highly recommend it. By the way, there is a Glossary at the end which would have been more helpful in the beginning of the book.
Aver
Such a book! My current reading phase is the US Civil War. (Fur trading, Hudson Bay company, new Amsterdam, sci if, all kinds of stuff). This novel touched an area with which I wasn't familiar. It just sucked me in! It was a bit of a downer, but I learned so much I didn't care. It's been two weeks and two novels later and it's still on my mind. One of those stories that stays with me. A friend suggested the film Gangs of New York.

Loved this book.
Paradise Alley download epub
Author: Kevin Baker
ISBN: 0060560169
Category: Literature & Fiction
Language: English
Publisher: Harpercollins; First Edition edition (2002)