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A Change of Gravity | [George V. Higgins]

A Change of Gravity

Two friends, Ambrose Merrion, a clerk of the court of Massachusetts, and Danny Hilliard, a rising politician, agree that politics is the way to help society take care of its own. With Merrion shrewdly managing his friend's campaigns, they make an excellent team, managing to revitalize the local economy and to protect the unfortunate snared in the criminal justice system. But trouble starts brewing when Merrion unexpectedly inherits ill-gotten gains from a corrupt predecessor.
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Publisher's Summary

Two friends, Ambrose Merrion, a clerk of the court of Massachusetts, and Danny Hilliard, a rising politician, agree that politics is the way to help society take care of its own. With Merrion shrewdly managing his friend's campaigns, they make an excellent team, managing to revitalize the local economy and to protect the unfortunate snared in the criminal justice system. But trouble starts brewing when Merrion unexpectedly inherits ill-gotten gains from a corrupt predecessor, enabling him to indulge with Danny in the finer luxuries. To Merrion's dismay, Hilliard begins a streak of mischief that quickly flares into an adultery scandal. What was good clean wickedness in 1960 had become a crime in 1996. Now, a righteous, vengeful prosecutor believes he has found an exquisitely ingenious way to put Hilliard in jail, by forcing Merrion to incriminate him.

©1997 George V. Higgins; (P)1997 Blackstone Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

"Higgins' large and devoted following will find no unpleasant surprises here. The story unfolds in a nonlinear way; it does so almost entirely through superb dialogue that reveals character in a far more complex and interesting way than does an omniscient narrator....As always, his characters are so real they spare us the task of willingly suspending disbelief." (The New York Times Book Review) "Higgins...has produced his most ambitious, and infuriating, book in years." (Kirkus)

What Members Say

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  •  
    Alexander Springfield, VA, USA 09-10-06
    Alexander Springfield, VA, USA 09-10-06 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    1
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    Overall
    "Higgins is Great!"

    Another wonderful, discursive tale by perhaps the most underrated American novelist of the 20th century. Yes, there really is a plot. It just takes a little concentration to follow it through the thickets of dialogue that were Higgins's specialty.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Not Getting Any Younger 08-06-06 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    7
    2
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    1
    Overall
    "Too many words, too little story"

    Author seems to think that endlessly tedious descriptive passages can substitute for a plot. There is no discernible storyline, just a rambling and pointless narrative. If you are interested in this book, do yourself a favor and at least get the abridged version.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • Joyce
    preston, hitchin, herts, United Kingdom
    10/2/06
    Overall
    "The listener as eavesdropper"

    This book is very easy on the ear - I enjoyed it even more than I did on the page. The dialogue is so natural and captivating, and is so well read, that I was sorry when the almost 20 hours in the company of the characters came to an end. I recommend it highly.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Chris
    4/17/08
    Overall
    "Hard work"

    Sorry!
    But i go to 'work' to work hard, so this was not the pleasure i had hoped for. I can only describe this as an long rambling monologue that at no point grabed me or even interested me. After two years as a member this is the first time i have posted a negative review and as i said 'sorry!' but it's because it was so BAD.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Kenneth
    Marciac, France
    7/16/11
    Overall
    "Will it ever get there?"

    I am not halfway through this reading and despite returning to earlier chapters I am still finding it difficult to hear it as a coherent piece of story telling. I think the New York Times Critic's review was pretentious to say the least although I would agree with the 'linear' description! What an elegant way of saying that it hops about all over the place! I shall persevere and hope to be satisfied with the end result. I will report back!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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