- Title: After This
- Author: Alice McDermott
- ISBN: 9780374168094
- Page: 367
- Format: Hardcover
A vivid portrait of an American family in the middle decades of the twentieth century.Alice McDermott s powerful novel is a vivid portrait of an American family in the middle decades of the twentieth century Witty, compassionate, and wry, it captures the social, political, and spiritual upheavals of those decades through the experiences of a middle class couple, their fouA vivid portrait of an American family in the middle decades of the twentieth century.Alice McDermott s powerful novel is a vivid portrait of an American family in the middle decades of the twentieth century Witty, compassionate, and wry, it captures the social, political, and spiritual upheavals of those decades through the experiences of a middle class couple, their four children, and the changing worlds in which they live While Michael and Annie Keane taste the alternately intoxicating and bitter first fruits of the sexual revolution, their older, tentative brother, Jacob, lags behind, until he finds himself on the way to Vietnam Meanwhile, Clare, the youngest child of their aging parents, seeks to maintain an almost saintly innocence After This, alive with the passions and tragedies of a determining era in our history, portrays the clash of traditional, faith bound life and modern freedom, while also capturing, with McDermott s inimitable understanding and grace, the joy, sorrow, anger, and love that underpin, and undermine, what it is to be a family.
Recent Comments "After This"
Times change. People change.And no matter how we rearrange the furniture around that notion, we can never step aside of the truth. That curl of our hair, the snorting laugh, the gait of our walk, the tall and the small, and the testy temperment. Shaken and stirred, we are who we are.Alice McDermott sets her story down among the familiar bungalows of twentieth century Long Island. John and Mary Keane met and married before the leaves even had time to turn color. And four children seemed to follow [...]
Onvan : After This - Nevisande : Alice McDermott - ISBN : 374168091 - ISBN13 : 9780374168094 - Dar 288 Safhe - Saal e Chap : 2006
I have enjoyed books by McDermott before, thus my interest in this one. This is a portrait of an Irish American family in the post war period up to today. There is much that feels familiar to me about the characters, the worldview, the Catholicism, the resignation. But I found that I did not feel any real attachment to any of the characters, male or female. They all felt to me like literary mechanisms, useful as a means of getting points across about the changing culture of the 20th century, but [...]
I had a hard time connecting to this book, and it took me quite a while to finish it; I never really wanted to pick it back up and resume. It was well-written and I appreciated the quiet subtlety of McDermott's writing, butI don't know. I just never felt that engaged with it.
This is one of those novels that I thought to be a so-so and yet it turned out to be exceptionally good. For me, its strongest suit is the opening scenes. There is no earth-shattering event like atomic bomb or an unforgettable quote but just a description of a woman coming out from a late morning visit to a church to pray. That scene is so vividly described complete with the wind blowing and the and a very detailed account of the church’s steps, the feet of that woman, the sea breeze and the o [...]
This book was pretty boring and definitely lacked character developement. Very hard to get into.
Absolutely enthralled me! Wonderful window into the period and the people in a certain place. It doesn't hurt that it was so very similar to my own, and in the same time period as Annie's.Ordinary people. Normal. Family structure that holds. Faith in an immortality. And also some fun and insights along the way. Brothers that don't "fit" but they deal with it. And each other.Alice McDermott is priceless. And she does the men as well as she does the women. Girls, boys of her time and of her belief [...]
I felt this was an absolute waste of time. I abandoned it a little more than halfway through, completely fed up of McDermott's random comments about individual characters and attempts at creating mystery by only vaguely alluding to certain things (the early birth of Clare, how Mr Keane will eventually die and many more). Having just read "All The King's Men" which was so beautifully written and all the character development felt relevant and important "After This" just felt like the uncoordinate [...]
Alice McDermott has a gentle yet incisive voice and really excels at evoking the feel of a time and place with her narration. One fascinating point of this book is that the most important event is never shown, thus contradicting the "show don't tell" maxim of creative writing. But by the event's very absence, the novel achieves an appropriate mood of absence and recovery.
Girellando qua e là, ho trovato giudizi “tiepidi” su questo romanzo di Alice McDermott, finalista per il Pulitzer 2007, vinto poi da “La strada”, di Cormac McCarthy. Qualcuno lo ha addirittura definito noioso. A me, invece, è piaciuto molto, sia per la sua scrittura nitida, sia per l’essenzialità espressiva. L’autrice ci accompagna alla scoperta di una famiglia americana, di origine irlandese, a partire dai primi anni del dopoguerra sino quasi ai giorni nostri, passando attraverso [...]
This book is unlike any other I have ever read. Her writing style astounded me throughout the book I had a hard time defining the plot in my mind, yet I knew the book was incredibly well written and the message clear. Moving through the lives of several character, McDermott smoothly uses foreshadowing, repetition, idioms, and symbolism to emphasize various significant points. This was my first experience reading McDermott, and I must admit I was a little caught off guard. While she moved quickly [...]
After searching for "Charming Billy" I settled on this slim little book. I had heard next to nothing about it but now that I've completed it, for me this was the kind of writing and story where afterwards you want to read reviews, book club discussion questions and more to retain the mood, the atmosphere, the raw memories it's stirred. One review from USA Today (consider the source)in particular distressed me. The reviewer remarked that "After This" "failed as a cohesive novel." Clearly, the coh [...]
I loved it. Love LOVE In fact I will probably read it again soon, immediately after finishing it. This book was just beautiful. Spare but fully observed and it's clear McDermott's heart swells along with her characters-- I felt like I had several genuine moments of revelation throughout this little ordinary novel about a NY Catholic family over several decades. I've read (and enjoyed) most of McDermotts books and this newest is the best. Maybe my favorite contemporary novel. ?
This is the story of Mary and John Keane and their four children. They are an Irish-Catholic family living in Long Island, NY. We meet Mary Rose a thirty-ish single woman who lives with her father and brother, her mother is dead. She wonders if she will ever get married. John Keane is home from the war with a bum leg as a result. They meet one day at a diner over lunch and our story of their life together begins.I am not a Catholic, but I love reading novels with characters, like Mary and John, [...]
rockymountainnews/newsAfter This, by Alice McDermottAuthor conjures up another tour de force with post-WWII taleJenny Shank, Special to the NewsPublished September 7, 2006 at midnightWhen Alice McDermott's novel Charming Billy beat out two sprawling tomes by literary heavyweights for the National Book Award in 1998 (Tom Wolfe's A Man in Full and Robert Stone's Damascus Gate), The New York Times described the victory as a "surprise." But those who had been following McDermott's career closely mig [...]
A sad yet hopeful, subtle yet powerful look at a changing time. Alice McDermott's exquisite words take us to a time, those few significant years when children soak it all in– observing and being formed. The novel begins when the roles of men and women are defined, WWII-era parents of big, Catholic families do the best they can, the Church can do no wrong (or at least few admit it with any fervor), and what is considered "PC" then is not the same as today.Then the 60s happen.…their father agr [...]
This is my second McDermott read and I liked this one even less than Charming Billy. Her writing is good, but this novel seemed so disjointed - haphazard even - that I couldn't relax into the story for even a moment. I developed no attachment to a single character because there were too many and not much time devoted to any of them. After This? After WHAT?????
Haiku Review #2:Not much of a plot.But Alice really can write.The wind blew a lot.
Although I was mostly taken with this novel, the impact didn’t compare to that of the author’s latest work, The Ninth Hour. There were a couple of parts in After This I actually skimmed, but overall the book was enjoyable. Again, the author portrayed an Irish American community with a tender accuracy. Her descriptions are understated, yet powerful. She can bring the most ordinary moments to life! For instance, here’s the opening paragraph:‘Leaving the church, she felt the wind rise, felt [...]
There were moments of beauty, of scene, place, character development, interiority, and the forward movement of time, but this book never caught fire for me, I was never eager to get back to it. I'm glad to have read it, to have met these characters, but it was a halting experience for me.
Alice McDermott specializes in Irish-American-Catholic suburban life and is a National Book Award winner for her novel Charming Billy.By the age of thirty Mary was not expected to marry, having settled into life taking care of her father and brother. But contrary to all expectations, the spinster meets and charms John, a war veteran. This novel follows John and Mary Keane and their children through courtship, raising children and enduring loss. When their eldest child goes to Vietnam and never r [...]
Life proves to be too short once again, and I'm not going to bother finishing this. I remember picking up Charming Billy multiple times in the States and thinking, it must be me, because this book got rave reviews. I finally managed to force myself to finish it when I had moved to Israel and was in the throes of a book shortage and I still didn't get what all the hype was about. I remember feeling like, I should like Alice McDermott. She writes poetically, and she seems like a deep author -- why [...]
Beautiful words, sentences, and detail. Lovely vignettes from moments in individual lives. But why? Why this family at that time? I struggled to find a narrative thread through the book and I couldn't understand why McDermott had decided that this family were worthy of her words, rather than the neighbour's next door, or the ones down the street. My other issue with it, is that as the children grow up and some leave home three of them are allowed their own little scenes, in bars, in cars, having [...]
I didn't think much of this book after reading it.
I spent a year with Charming Billy, by McDermott. It was one of our books for Richmond Reads, a community reading program for the greater Richmond area. It was a good book and it stood up to discussion and re-reading.To be honest, though, I had not given McDermott much thought since that year. I liked Charming Billy and I had enjoyed That Night which is now a bit dated. A description of After This had crossed my desk and I wondered what her latest book was like. (This is McDermott's latest even [...]
This has to be the most compelling novel I've ever read in which almost nothing happens. "After This" feels more like a series of vignettes, or linked short stories. It describes several decades in the lives of the Keane family - from the parents' meeting through when their children reach adulthood. Each chapter is told from a different family member's perspective. The book progresses from the late 40s through the 1960s and McDermott does a wonderful job evoking the feelings and realities of tho [...]
This book was recommended to me as one that gracefully handles long sweeps of time. The book follows a couple as they meet, marry, have children, and watch those children grow. However, the point of view is omniscient, allowing us to travel from one character's head to another, often over the course of just a page. While it's interesting to get so many perspectives, this also had the effect of making it difficult to get into the story, as I didn't feel as attached to any of the characters as I m [...]
John and Mary Keane are two loving parents who are devoted to their four children. Like all parents who are raising their children in the mid-century, they want nothing but the best for them so they try to provide a nice, stable home life so that their children can grow up to thrive and be successful. They send their children to private, Catholic schools, attend mass on Sundays, involve themselves in the community by raising money for the church, and are on good terms with their neighbors. But t [...]
After This is a story about the Keane family and the years that this family struggles and grows through. It starts with the day Mary meets John, then moves to their lives with small children. As the book progresses, the reader "watches" the 4 children: Jacob, Michael, Annie and Claire, grow into the adults they are destined to become. It's an interesting look at the lives of people who live through wars and protests.That being said, I just didn't like the way the story was written. I felt like t [...]
I'm not sure I've ever said this about a book before, and I say this is my most hetero voice, but it's a really beautiful story. There's not much of a plot, which I normally can't stand, but you really get to know these characters. It's the story of an Irish Catholic family growing up in New York in the 50s and 60s and deals with a lot of serious subjects, like abortion, the Vietnam war, depression, without the real story getting sad or depressing. You see the kids grow up in detail, but it's no [...]
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