Set against the rise and fall of the radical antiwar group the Weather Underground, The Company You Keep is a sweeping American saga about sacrifice, the ecstatic righteousness of youth, and the tension between political ideals and family loyalties.
When Jason Sinai, one of the last Vietnam-era fugitives still wanted on murder charges for a robbery gone wrong in 1974, encounters a young newspaper reporter in search of a story, he must abandon years of safe underground life for the dangerous life of the road - traveling across America and deep into his past. It is a vivid recreation of lives lived underground - of battle-scarred veterans, ideologues, profiteers, criminals, and bystanders.
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"Rousing, cerebral.... Gordon's plot is a doozy - a trio of doozies, in fact - yet utterly credible. He projects wrenching political and personal drama onto a slightly futuristic version of where we stand now as a people. In so doing he shows how we got here.... What makes this novel compelling is not only the ideological spectrum it covers but its emotional chiaroscuro.... It bids well to enter the company of our best fiction about the Vietnam era." (The New York Times Book Review)
"Gordon skillfully interweaves the voices of his fictional narrators with many of the most important totems of the era: Vietnam, the shooting of Kent State students by Ohio National Guard members, and the bombing of a townhouse in Greenwich Village.... His characters are so skilfully drwan that they remain likable and interesting, and their missives to Isabel are sincerely felt and compelling reads until the very last page." (The Boston Globe)
"[A] hybrid of political novel, love story, cat-and-mouse thriller, and French bedroom farce...entertaining.... The Company You Keep becomes an addictive page-turner of a book." (Seattle Times)
Narrative makes the world go round.
Thanks, Audible for resurrecting this 2003 novel before the film version next autumn. Two story devices work well in this listen that usually fail: multiple narrators and modified epistolary novel format; the narrative is built by a very long email chain (in detail that could not possible exist in that format, but it???s so engagingly written that you can suspend your disbelief).
It???s a message to the millennial generation and a reminder to all of American 20th century social and political history; It also wants to echo current events. It???s a mystery, love stories, and both a novel of ideas and of individuals and a nation coming of age. It begins very left leaning but becomes more balanced. Mostly it???s about how we construct history, both personal and political. Failed idealism drives the story, but light and hope are never totally absent figuratively or literally.
Although the third quarter of the book becomes a bit wordy and repetitive (we get it by then!), it still seems to me the best audiobook of the year to date. I hope that Redford accomplishes with this material what he almost accomplished with Lions for Lambs. The personal is political, and vice versa.
This audio version was wonderfully done. Using the multiple narrators echoed the book's written structure. I listened to it even after seeing the movie and reading the book, and it warrants multiple listens to completely follow all that is occurring in the various threads of the story.
I wish Neil Gordon's other 2 books which I have also already read could be recorded. They are all excellent
I grew up during the "radical" anti war movement. I found it interesting how the author portrays the later years of activists lives.
I've been a member since 2003. Can't live without it! I actually have 2 accounts! Awesome that they will return books you don't like!
I gave up half way through. I wouldn't waste a credit on this one. Maybe the movie will be better.
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