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Good Faith

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Good Faith Cover

 

Review-A-Day

"Admittedly, reading Good Faith requires a bit of the titular quality; you need to be willing to entertain the notion that a book in which the characters argue about interest rates and 'the shakeout of the banking system' can be entertaining. It can....As with most of Smiley's novels, the writing is fresh and breezy if not beautiful. And has she yet received the credit she's due for writing terrific sex scenes — earthy, profane, joyful and detailed, but never self-important? Good Faith is rich in them; sex matters a lot to Joe in an entirely believable way, but he doesn't need to get, well, hysterical about it....Good Faith is an inventive and generous investigation into the joys and perils of building something — a house, a trusted local business, a marriage, a community — and well worth the investment." Laura Miller, Salon.com (read the entire Salon review)

"Ultimately, it's clear that the great tragedy of this period for Joe is the loss of emotional, not financial opportunity. Readers over 30 know his real estate project will fail, along with the nation's banking system, but the value of an average joe's character requires a risk/reward evaluation that only a fine novel can calculate. Smiley has invested her best talent in this work, and you can buy it in good faith." Ron Charles, The Christian Science Monitor (read the entire CSM review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Greed. Envy. Sex. Property. In her subversively funny and genuinely moving new novel, Jane Smiley nails down several American obsessions with the expertise of a master carpenter.

Forthright, likable Joe Stratford is the kind of local businessman everybody trusts, for good reason. But it's 1982, and even in Joe's small town, values are in upheaval: not just property values, either. Enter Marcus Burns, a would-be master of the universe whose years with the IRS have taught him which rules are meant to be broken. Before long he and Joe are new best friends — and partners in an investment venture so complex that no one may ever understand it. Add to this Joe's roller coaster affair with his mentor's married daughter. The result is as suspenseful and entertaining as any of Jane Smiley's fiction.

Review:

"[A] solid, smart, keen-eyed novel that nonetheless lacks some of the strengths readers associate most closely with Jane Smiley....Smiley's gifts have always been as much intellectual as emotional." Christopher Caldwell, Slate

Review:

"Joe's sense of who he has become is oddly muffled, a quality that infects the novel as a whole — as if the author were unable to decide what, finally, her characters are guilty of, or how hard they deserve to fall." The New Yorker

Review:

"Smiley's amusing plot is charged with energy, her sense of time and place is on target, and her research into the ways and means of real estate development is seamlessly integrated....This absorbing book will appeal to a wide variety of readers." Library Journal

Review:

"Scathing, uproarious....With its surprises and reversals, and its robust realism pushed step-by-step toward comic hyperbole, Good Faith affirms one's faith in the venerable virtues of the satirical novel." The Seattle Times

Synopsis:

A masterful novel of American seductions — money, sex and real estate — this story centers on Joe Stratford and the ordinary people in his life who are all caught up in the 1980s version of the American dream.

Synopsis:

Greed. Envy. Sex. Property. In her subversively funny and genuinely moving new novel, Jane Smiley nails down several American obsessions with the expertise of a master carpenter.

Forthright, likable Joe Stratford is the kind of local businessman everybody trusts, for good reason. But its 1982, and even in Joes small town, values are in upheaval: not just property values, either. Enter Marcus Burns, a would-be master of the universe whose years with the IRS have taught him which rules are meant to be broken. Before long he and Joe are new best friends—and partners in an investment venture so complex that no one may ever understand it. Add to this Joes roller coaster affair with his mentors married daughter. The result is as suspenseful and entertaining as any of Jane Smileys fiction.

About the Author

Jane Smiley is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Thousand Acres and more than ten other works of fiction, including Horse Heaven, Moo, and The Greenlanders. In 2001 she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in northern California.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780385721059
Author:
Smiley, Jane
Publisher:
Anchor Books
Subject:
General
Subject:
Businessmen
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Literary
Copyright:
Edition Number:
Reprint ed.
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
May 11, 2004
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
8.02x5.16x.94 in. .69 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture

Good Faith Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$1.95 In Stock
Product details 432 pages Anchor Books/Doubleday - English 9780385721059 Reviews:
"Review A Day" by , "Admittedly, reading Good Faith requires a bit of the titular quality; you need to be willing to entertain the notion that a book in which the characters argue about interest rates and 'the shakeout of the banking system' can be entertaining. It can....As with most of Smiley's novels, the writing is fresh and breezy if not beautiful. And has she yet received the credit she's due for writing terrific sex scenes — earthy, profane, joyful and detailed, but never self-important? Good Faith is rich in them; sex matters a lot to Joe in an entirely believable way, but he doesn't need to get, well, hysterical about it....Good Faith is an inventive and generous investigation into the joys and perils of building something — a house, a trusted local business, a marriage, a community — and well worth the investment." (read the entire Salon review)
"Review A Day" by , "Ultimately, it's clear that the great tragedy of this period for Joe is the loss of emotional, not financial opportunity. Readers over 30 know his real estate project will fail, along with the nation's banking system, but the value of an average joe's character requires a risk/reward evaluation that only a fine novel can calculate. Smiley has invested her best talent in this work, and you can buy it in good faith." (read the entire CSM review)
"Review" by , "[A] solid, smart, keen-eyed novel that nonetheless lacks some of the strengths readers associate most closely with Jane Smiley....Smiley's gifts have always been as much intellectual as emotional."
"Review" by , "Joe's sense of who he has become is oddly muffled, a quality that infects the novel as a whole — as if the author were unable to decide what, finally, her characters are guilty of, or how hard they deserve to fall."
"Review" by , "Smiley's amusing plot is charged with energy, her sense of time and place is on target, and her research into the ways and means of real estate development is seamlessly integrated....This absorbing book will appeal to a wide variety of readers."
"Review" by , "Scathing, uproarious....With its surprises and reversals, and its robust realism pushed step-by-step toward comic hyperbole, Good Faith affirms one's faith in the venerable virtues of the satirical novel."
"Synopsis" by , A masterful novel of American seductions — money, sex and real estate — this story centers on Joe Stratford and the ordinary people in his life who are all caught up in the 1980s version of the American dream.
"Synopsis" by , Greed. Envy. Sex. Property. In her subversively funny and genuinely moving new novel, Jane Smiley nails down several American obsessions with the expertise of a master carpenter.

Forthright, likable Joe Stratford is the kind of local businessman everybody trusts, for good reason. But its 1982, and even in Joes small town, values are in upheaval: not just property values, either. Enter Marcus Burns, a would-be master of the universe whose years with the IRS have taught him which rules are meant to be broken. Before long he and Joe are new best friends—and partners in an investment venture so complex that no one may ever understand it. Add to this Joes roller coaster affair with his mentors married daughter. The result is as suspenseful and entertaining as any of Jane Smileys fiction.

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