Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Review: "Johnny One-Eye" by Jerome Charyn

From Goodreads:  Johnny One-Eye is bringing about the rediscovery of one of the most "singular and remarkable [careers] in American literature" (Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post Book World). In this picaresque tour de force that reanimates Revolutionary Manhattan through the story of double agent John Stocking, the bastard son of a whorehouse madam and possibly George Washington, Jerome Charyn has given us one of the most memorable historical novels in years. As Johnny seeks to unlock the mystery of his birth and grapples with his allegiances, he falls in love with Clara, a gorgeous, green-eyed octoroon, the most coveted harlot of Gertrude's house. The wild parade of characters he encounters includes Benedict Arnold, the Howe brothers, "Sir Billy" and "Black Dick," and a manipulative Alexander Hamilton.

My Thoughts:  As I have said numerous times, I love historical fiction.  Unfortunately, I hated this book.  The only reason I finished it is because it is the June pick for my book club.  The storyline was difficult to follow and at times, I had no idea what was going on.  The main character was odd and hard to relate to and really I just did not care about him.  The only thing that I liked about this book was the way historical figures were interspersed throughout the story.  George Washington, Benedict Arnold and Alexander Hamilton all made appearances and I actually enjoyed seeing them.  2 stars.

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