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1919 Audiobook

1919

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Publisher's Summary

With 1919, the second volume of his U.S.A. trilogy, John Dos Passos continues his "vigorous and sweeping panorama of 20th-century America" (Forum), lauded on publication of the first volume not only for its scope but also for its groundbreaking style. Again employing a host of experimental devices that would inspire a whole new generation of writers to follow, Dos Passos captures the many textures, flavors, and background noises of modern life with a cinematic touch and unparalleled nerve.

The novel opens to find America and the world at war, and Dos Passos's characters, many of whom we met in the first volume, are thrown into the snarl. We follow the daughter of a Chicago minister, a wide-eyed Texas girl, a young poet, and a radical Jew, and we glimpse Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, and the Unknown Soldier.

©1932, 1959 John Dos Passos (P)2010 Tantor

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (79 )
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4.0 (63 )
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Story
4.1 (61 )
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Performance
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  •  
    HIYBRID 02-21-13
    HIYBRID 02-21-13

    Cook, Steelworker, Sailor in Viet Nam. Retired after 4 decades as an RN. Share a birthday with Mark Twain and his love of "spinnin' a yarn"

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue in story form"

    This is the second book in a huge trilogy. I read it withought reading the other book first. If you really want to invest a massive allotment of time I'd read them in order. Wiki the author and you might even start with a smaller monograph prior to this writing.
    I like this style characters sketches and stories of real people living life up hill. He captures, like the faded sepia photos of the dust bowl farmers , the character and times his actors are living in. The action is believable and the emotions true.
    His narrative is punctuated with real news flashes and song and a variety of period headlines which complement the naratives of the protagnists. At a later date I'll explore the other writings of this lesser known contemporary of Hemmingway, and Fitsgerald.
    Seriously entertaining, enchanting.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Henderson, NV, United States 01-06-14
    John Henderson, NV, United States 01-06-14 Member Since 2014
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    "The Best of the U.S.A. Trilogy"
    Would you listen to 1919 again? Why?

    It was too long to listen to again and there was nothing in particular I would want more insight or clarification.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Most every review has already said it. The trilogy really is a great panoramic view of America at the beginning of the 20th century. There are some real historical events in the book, but even the fictional events are just as good as facts because they paint what at least seems to be a very true picture of the way things were.


    Which character – as performed by David Drummond – was your favorite?

    No characters really standout. I think that was intentional. Many are weaved in and out at different points of the book without specific focus on any particular characters. The characters are really archetypes, e.g. the ad man represents all ad men and the secretary represents all secretaries (somehow in a unique and timeless way)


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    The U.S.A. Trilogy really is one long, seamless book, but the way it is written, you can read any one of the books without needing to read the others and feel like you had a full story. In my opinion, 1919 was the best because it was the most eventful. The 42nd Parallel was good too and did a good job of setting up the trilogy, especially 1919. The last book, Big Money, was a little slow and repetitive to me. I would only recommend reading that book if you are really in love with the characters and need to find out what happens with the rest of their story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Spokane, WA, United States 11-19-11
    Daniel Spokane, WA, United States 11-19-11

    Avid Listener

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    "Trapped in the Wheel of Time and Events"

    Second volume of Dos Passos' inventive narrative of the burgeoning America set in and around WWI, with the same 4 disparate modes of narration. We meet new fictional characters introduced with some reminisce of first novel's players such as Moorehouse, Janey, and Stoddard. The theme of individuals trapped and displaced by the tsunami of social events and times continue to pervade.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John L Murphy Los Angeles 04-03-16
    John L Murphy Los Angeles 04-03-16 Member Since 2013

    Fionnchú

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    "After the war, into the 1920s"
    What did you love best about 1919?

    The years are optimistic. Nearly a century ago, the hope expressed by the Americans as they embark in their careers contains some hope, despite Dos Passos' detached and cruel gaze.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Ben Compton's labor activism, as he leaves New York and seeks to organize Wobblies in the West. This is still an overlooked episode in our nation's struggle for equality and dignity for workers, and his story shows the difficulty of making high ideals come true on a local level against Capital.


    What does David Drummond bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The grainy, gritty American voices he dramatizes and the Camera Eye and Newsreels sections, difficult to energize, come alive in his command of American vernaculars and period 1920s slang.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    We're in the money.


    Any additional comments?

    While the fun of the "42nd Parallel" fades as reality spurs some of the figures here to compromise, this is nonetheless somewhat happier than the last segment, "The Big Money" that wears out its welcome as the prosperity some of its characters find fails to bring them or us much satisfaction.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Levine 10-18-12
    M. Levine 10-18-12
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    "Struggled to get through this one"

    I found it difficult to keep going with this one. The interjection of innumerable headlines and bits of newsreel reports became tedious, and I really hated the narrator.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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