Bloodbrothers (Contemporary American Fiction)

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9780140083453: Bloodbrothers (Contemporary American Fiction)

Stony De Coco is 18 and the son of a pugnacious construction worker who expects his son to follow in his footsteps. But Stony is determined to break loose from this belligerent life despite opposition from everyone else in his family.

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Review:

The 20th Century has seen the American Dream go from a national institution to a tarnished falsehood, exposed for what it is--a dream. In the trail of every success lay a thousand failures, providing a fertile breeding ground for powerful stories--psychologically raw and merciless in their depiction. Richard Price has been forceful presence within this "urban genre", having written six novels, including Clockers and venturing in to Hollywood, putting his distinct style in to such films as Sea of Love and Ransom. This 1976 work is a brutal evocation of working class family life in Seventies New York, seen through the eyes of Stony de Coco. Aged 18 and stifled by the rigid expectations of his construction worker father, Stony is caught between his violent, belligerent family and his vaunted dream of working with children. Price's talent lies in his depiction of dichotomised characters: Stony, both the innovative storyteller and thug; his father, devoted family man but fascistic matriarch; his Uncle Chubby, decency obscured by weakness. Every character garners sympathy, yet their hateful actions cast dark shadows, never failing to shock. A dark, unforgiving atmosphere, relentless pace and sharp dialogue bring superb cohesion to a classic piece of urban realism. -- Danny Graydon

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