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An Unfinished Season

by

An Unfinished Season Cover

 

Review-A-Day

"Ward Just's new novel, An Unfinished Season, is a strange act of historical ventriloquism. A 60-year-old narrator in the early 1990s recalls a summer in the 1950s in a voice that sounds like F. Scott Fitzgerald memorializing the 1920s. It's not so much that you can't put it down, but that you shouldn't put it down because the moment you stop reading, the spell breaks and you're left with the aftertaste of pretentious insight." Ron Charles, The Christian Science Monitor (read the entire Christian Science Monitor review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"The winter of the year my father carried a gun for his own protection was the coldest on record in Chicago." So begins Ward Just's An Unfinished Season, the winter in question a postwar moment of the 1950s when the modern world lay just over the horizon, a time of rabid anticommunism, worker unrest, and government corruption. Even the small-town family could not escape the nationwide suspicion and dread of "the enemy within."

In rural Quarterday, on the margins of Chicago's North Shore, nineteen-year-old Wilson Ravan watches as his father's life unravels. Teddy Ravan — gruff, unapproachable, secure in his knowledge of the world — is confronting a strike and even death threats from union members who work at his printing business. Wilson, in the summer before college, finds himself straddling three worlds when he takes a job at a newspaper: the newsroom where working-class reporters find class struggle at the heart of every issue, the glittering North Shore debutante parties where he spends his nights, and the growing cold war between his parents at home. These worlds collide when he falls in love with the headstrong daughter of a renowned psychiatrist with a frightful past in World War II. Tragedy strikes her family, and the revelation of secrets calls into question everything Wilson once believed.

From a distinguished chronicler of American social history and the political world, An Unfinished Season is a brilliant exploration of culture, politics, and the individual conscience.

Review:

"One of Just's best works: stuffed with surprises, sparkling with insights." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Just is a quintessential American writer whose penetrating yet elegant and atmospheric novels seek to decode watershed historic moments....[W]hile his watchful hero thinks about how too much can be made of something, and too little, Just gets it exactly right." Booklist (Starred Review)

Review:

"Just's most trenchant read to date." The Village Voice

Review:

"This is Ward Just's 14th novel, and it couldn't be more ravishingly atmospheric in its subtle evocation of the contrast between the good life of the wealthy and powerful and the grim realities of the poor and voiceless." Chicago Tribune

Review:

"Whether it is actually his best novel can be debated...but there can be no doubt that it is on all counts a splendid piece of work: leisurely in pace and meditative in tone, as is much of Just's writing, but also emotionally freighted, witty and sophisticated....A beautiful, wise book." Washington Post

Review:

"[Just] ranges from the cool, Fitzgerald-like irony of his portrayal of the debutante scene to the gritty depiction of a weary, cynical old-time newsroom....And in every scene he populates our imaginations with real people who have important things to say about the way we live." San Jose Mercury News

Synopsis:

Set in Eisenhower-era Chicago, An Unfinished Season brilliantly evokes a city, an epoch, and a shift in ideals through the closely observed story of nineteen-year-old Wilson Ravan. In his summer before college, Wils finds himself straddling three worlds: the working-class newsroom where he's landed a coveted job as a rookie reporter, the whirl of glittering North Shore debutante parties where he spends his nights, and the growing cold war between his parents at home. With unparalleled grace, Ward Just brings Wils's circle to radiant life. Through his finely wrought portraits of a father and son, young lovers, and newsroom dramas, Just also stirringly depicts an American poltical era.

Synopsis:

From a distinguished chronicler of American social history and

political culture, An Unfinished Season captures the 1950s hauntingly. In a time of rabid anticommunism, worker unrest, and government corruption, even the small-town family could not escape the nationwide suspicion and dread of "the enemy within."

In rural Quarterday, on Chicago"s North Shore, nineteen-year-old Wilson Ravan watches as his father"s life unravels. Teddy Ravan — gruff, unapproachable, secure in his knowledge of the world — is confronting a strike and even death threats from union members who work at his printing business. Wilson soon finds himself straddling three worlds when he takes a job at a newspaper: the newsroom where working-class reporters find class struggle at the heart of every issue, the glittering North Shore debutante parties where he spends his nights, and the growing cold war between his parents at home. These worlds collide when he falls in love with the willful daughter of a renowned psychiatrist with a frightful past in World War II.

Synopsis:

The distinguished chronicler of American social history and political culture hauntingly captures the 1950s, a time when even the small-town family could not escape the nationwide suspicion and dread of "the enemy within."

About the Author

Ward Just is the author of thirteen acclaimed novels, including the National Book Award finalist Echo House. He recently held a Berlin Prize Fellowship from the American Academy in Berlin. He lives on Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780618036691
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Just, Ward
Author:
Just, Ward S.
Publisher:
Mariner Books
Location:
Boston
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Young men
Subject:
Loss (psychology)
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Illinois
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
July 2004
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 0.81 in 1.06 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

An Unfinished Season Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.50 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Houghton Mifflin Company - English 9780618036691 Reviews:
"Review A Day" by , "Ward Just's new novel, An Unfinished Season, is a strange act of historical ventriloquism. A 60-year-old narrator in the early 1990s recalls a summer in the 1950s in a voice that sounds like F. Scott Fitzgerald memorializing the 1920s. It's not so much that you can't put it down, but that you shouldn't put it down because the moment you stop reading, the spell breaks and you're left with the aftertaste of pretentious insight." (read the entire Christian Science Monitor review)
"Review" by , "One of Just's best works: stuffed with surprises, sparkling with insights."
"Review" by , "Just is a quintessential American writer whose penetrating yet elegant and atmospheric novels seek to decode watershed historic moments....[W]hile his watchful hero thinks about how too much can be made of something, and too little, Just gets it exactly right."
"Review" by , "Just's most trenchant read to date."
"Review" by , "This is Ward Just's 14th novel, and it couldn't be more ravishingly atmospheric in its subtle evocation of the contrast between the good life of the wealthy and powerful and the grim realities of the poor and voiceless."
"Review" by , "Whether it is actually his best novel can be debated...but there can be no doubt that it is on all counts a splendid piece of work: leisurely in pace and meditative in tone, as is much of Just's writing, but also emotionally freighted, witty and sophisticated....A beautiful, wise book."
"Review" by , "[Just] ranges from the cool, Fitzgerald-like irony of his portrayal of the debutante scene to the gritty depiction of a weary, cynical old-time newsroom....And in every scene he populates our imaginations with real people who have important things to say about the way we live."
"Synopsis" by ,
Set in Eisenhower-era Chicago, An Unfinished Season brilliantly evokes a city, an epoch, and a shift in ideals through the closely observed story of nineteen-year-old Wilson Ravan. In his summer before college, Wils finds himself straddling three worlds: the working-class newsroom where he's landed a coveted job as a rookie reporter, the whirl of glittering North Shore debutante parties where he spends his nights, and the growing cold war between his parents at home. With unparalleled grace, Ward Just brings Wils's circle to radiant life. Through his finely wrought portraits of a father and son, young lovers, and newsroom dramas, Just also stirringly depicts an American poltical era.
"Synopsis" by , From a distinguished chronicler of American social history and

political culture, An Unfinished Season captures the 1950s hauntingly. In a time of rabid anticommunism, worker unrest, and government corruption, even the small-town family could not escape the nationwide suspicion and dread of "the enemy within."

In rural Quarterday, on Chicago"s North Shore, nineteen-year-old Wilson Ravan watches as his father"s life unravels. Teddy Ravan — gruff, unapproachable, secure in his knowledge of the world — is confronting a strike and even death threats from union members who work at his printing business. Wilson soon finds himself straddling three worlds when he takes a job at a newspaper: the newsroom where working-class reporters find class struggle at the heart of every issue, the glittering North Shore debutante parties where he spends his nights, and the growing cold war between his parents at home. These worlds collide when he falls in love with the willful daughter of a renowned psychiatrist with a frightful past in World War II.

"Synopsis" by , The distinguished chronicler of American social history and political culture hauntingly captures the 1950s, a time when even the small-town family could not escape the nationwide suspicion and dread of "the enemy within."
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