A Year of Big Books

one man, one year: one-thousand-page novels

Archive for the category “A Moment in the Sun”

Black and White


I’ve finished my third Big Book, A Moment in the Sun, by John Sayles. It was absolutely wonderful. Engrossingly detailed, epically sweeping, thematically honed, richly historical, culturally dynamic, and deeply human.

(Sorry, am I gushing?)

Despite my (possibly over)emphatic report of the novel, I won’t be writing too long of a post on it (partly because I’m already 150 pages through my fourth Big Book: 1Q84, by Haruki Murakami), suffice it to say that it has been my favorite read in the last six months, hands d0wn. Each novel has been (and will likely continue to be) drastically different from the ones previous, so it is a bit of apples & oranges, but A Moment in the Sun has still been the most enjoyable Big Book of my project, not to mention a beautifully conceived and skillfully executed novel. Read more…


A Gritty History

momentinthsunSo I’ve started reading A Moment in the Sun, by John Sayles — the third ‘big book’ on my list, and the first book on the list that’s technically under 1,000 pages (955, to be exact). I know, I know. I can hear your disillusioned and disgusted jeering now, but I will live with your disappointment.

I’m just shy of 200 pages through the novel so far, and I have to say it’s pretty incredible. This post may be a little premature — and may reveal more ignorance than insight — but A Moment in the Sun is developing into quite an incredible, and truly American, novel. It begins in 1897, just before the advent of the Spanish-American War, following a myriad of characters from all across North America (from the gold-crazy Alaskan Yukon to the pro-Confederate politics of Wilmington, North Carolina) to as far across the world as the Philippines (during the tense, transitionary period between Spanish and American occupations). Read more…

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A Year of Big Books

one man, one year: one-thousand-page novels

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