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An Unfinished Season

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An Unfinished Season Cover

ISBN13: 9780618568284
ISBN10: 061856828x
Condition: Standard
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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.

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:

Set in Eisenhower-era Chicago, this brilliant work evokes a city, an epoch, and a shift in ideals through the closely observed story of 19-year-old Wilson Ravan.

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.

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OneMansView, March 21, 2011 (view all comments by OneMansView)
The difficulties of understanding someone (4.25*s)

Set in the early 1950s, this rather subdued, contemplative, and observant book is told from the perspective of nineteen-year-old Wils Ravan over the summer just before his entering the University of Chicago, as he attempts to grasp any number of eye-opening situations and individuals. The atmospherics of Chicago infuse the entire book. The author’s Chicago is a busy and tough town, respectful of those who can wield power, and as such demands resilience - a stiff upper lip - from those who want to be key players in the community. In Wils’ world, as defined by his father Teddy Ravan, the owner of a successful printing company north of Chicago, it is simply assumed that communists, unions, Adlai Stevenson, etc are malevolent forces. There is no place for Northeastern liberalism and extraneous sophistication among Chicago’s elites.

While Wils is not a rebellious teen, his more thoughtful approach is at odds with his father’s. In addition to being accepted to the liberal U of Chicago, he questions his father’s intransigent handling of a union strike at his printing plant. His summer job as a copy boy at a downtown newspaper, gotten through his father’s friendship with the publisher, is a world apart from his father’s, who would have been repulsed by the raucous, messy newsroom full of no nonsense, irreverent, and crusty reporters. Wils’ summer of working at the newspaper, attending debutante parties, and being a steady at a jazz club takes a decided turn when he meets Aurora Brule, a daunting, aloof beauty, at one of the parties, who he learns is the daughter of the even more forbidding Jack Brule, a noted psychiatrist and quiet observer at the parties. The remainder of the summer is spent slowly unraveling the mystery surrounding Aurora and her father, which actually culminates in a couple of very intense, disturbing scenarios.

The book is an unhurried, insightful examination of the difficulties of understanding people in the context of culture, class, and their psychological proclivities. The author so captures the careful and cautious language and interactions that slowly reveal personalities, though not totally. “Secrets” are a part of everyone’s makeup ��" at times, “demons.” Perhaps a better resolution could be hoped for among these characters, but in the author’s telling there is an elusiveness about people that makes “finishing” a relationship a most unlikely, difficult undertaking.

In addition, the barriers in crossing class lines is an underlying theme. The reporters can scarcely conceal their disdain for a rich kid on a wanderlust of discovery. Wils manages to escape a threatening situation when he gets lost in a working class Polish neighborhood, his difference being quite evident. It is truly a summer of learning for Wils ��" one that will never be forgotten.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780618568284
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Just, Ward
Publisher:
Mariner Books
Location:
Boston
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Young men
Subject:
Loss (psychology)
Subject:
Illinois
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
May 2005
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8.22x5.50x.63 in. .57 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

An Unfinished Season Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.50 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Mariner Books - English 9780618568284 Reviews:
"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 , Set in Eisenhower-era Chicago, this brilliant work evokes a city, an epoch, and a shift in ideals through the closely observed story of 19-year-old Wilson Ravan.
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