Brian Doyle's exuberant novel, Chicago, is both an account of a young man's trepidatious steps into manhood and a heartfelt love letter to the city itself. Based on the author's own year living there, the narrator comes to understand the immense and profound importance of story. Doyle brings his typical rollicking and tumbling but tender prose style to Chicago. He weaves together his stories of friendship, home, and belonging with his wide-eyed love of life, along with a hefty dose of humor. Bottom line: stories make us human. Don't miss it. Recommended By Dianah H., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
On the last day of summer, a young college grad moves to Chicago and rents a small apartment on the north side of the city, by the lake. This is the story of the five seasons he lives there, during which he meets gangsters, gamblers, policemen, a brave and garrulous bus driver, a cricket player, a librettist, his first girlfriend, a shy apartment manager, and many other riveting souls, not to mention a wise and personable dog of indeterminate breed.
A love letter to Chicago, the Great American City, and a wry account of a young man’s coming-of-age during the one summer in White Sox history when they had the best outfield in baseball, Chicago is a novel that will plunge you into a city you will never forget and may well wish to visit for the rest of your days.
"This heartfelt collection of vignettes is woven together by the narrator’s earnest love of life and people and his desire to grow in his surroundings. Through the lens of one man’s first foray into adulthood, Doyle pens a moving ode to the city of Chicago and the singular nature of its people. A warm and entertaining journey of discovery with occasional amazing quirks." Booklist (Starred Review)
"Page follows page of evocative writing as Doyle celebrates "the shopkeepers and cops and nuns and bus drivers and carpenters and teachers who composed the small vibrant villages that collectively were the real Chicago." The quiet introspection and cleareyed focus on a vibrant and powerful American city makes Doyle's paean to Chicago a literary jewel." Kirkus Reviews
"In this gorgeous novel, the protagonist is the setting. Although it’s full of interesting characters and surprising events, and the narrative is spun with great skill, the true spell it casts on the reader is the spell of atmosphere, its portrait of a time and place so complete that this becomes reading experience that feels like a life experience — the details are that vivid, and the immersion that complete. Chicago is memorable, original, and full of passionate exploration." Laura Kasischke, National Book Critics Circle Award winner for Space, In Chains
About the Author
Brian Doyle is the editor of Portland Magazine at the University of Portland, and the author of numerous books of essays, fiction, poems, and nonfiction, among them the novels Mink River, The Plover, and Martin Marten. Honors for his work include the American Academy of Arts & Letters Award in Literature. He lives in Portland, Oregon.