eBook (PDF), 410 Pages
Imagine waking up on an ordinary morning, the front end of a day of dead-end office work. At first, everything's routine--you shower, shave, pour a bowl of Cap'n Crunch, and turn on the radio. But today, the local shock jock has ditched his normal parade of WWF wrestlers and porn stars for one distraught caller. "Caller, tell us again. Why do you want to kill yourself today?" the host asks, prompting a litany of reasons: broken relationships, lost jobs, alcoholism. It sounds like a bad country song or an idiotic radio stunt until something freezes you in place, spoon halfway to your mouth, milk dripping into the cereal bowl and splattering the coffee table. You recognize the voice: the caller is your best friend. He's been lying to you for months about everything substantial in his life, and he's going to kill himself, and you don't know if you can stop it.
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Oct 15, 2009"Broad shoulders and broad themes" Alfonso Mangione's "Pottersville" is an intriguing look at the Chicago of a few years ago, after the dot-com crash and 9/11. Through the eyes of narrator Marcus Compton, a twentysomething ex-Marine, we learn about religion, relationships, and romance at the commencement-de-siecle. Each of Marcus' friends, lovers and acquaintances adds a different layer to his life: drunken, debauched Neil embodies the spirit of "hooking-up" previously chronicled by Tom Wolfe; sober, sincere Mike manifests the Midwest and its red-state resistance to Neil's excesses; Captain Ron, head of the startup for which Marcus works, represents American business through his deadly combination of authoritarianism and ineptitude; and endearing, offbeat Allison shows us a hope for salvation, however imperfect. The impact of 9/11 and the subsequent economic recession, affecting companies from Enron, WorldCom, Tyco, and HealthSouth, created a sense of... More > helplessness in the United States. Marcus' attempts to patch up deteriorating conditions in his work and social lives reflects this helplessness. His journey toward resolving these issues makes the book a worthwhile read and an impressive debut.< Less
Nov 23, 2005"I COULD NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN!" Reviewed by: Jimmy A. Lerner, Author of "You Got Nothing Coming: Notes From A Prison Fish." Alphonso Mangione has written an extraordinary book, a true page-turner. A previous reviewer has provided a good plot outline so let me focus and what I loved about this book. First of all, as the author of the memoir, “You Got Nothing Coming: Notes From A Prison Fish,” I am always drawn to the “literature of self-destruction.” And Pottersville has enough of it to make for fascinating reading.: Painfully dysfunctional friendships, screwed-up attempts at romance, adultery, drunkenness, attempts to survive in Cubicle World during the post Dot.com boom when no one in your office—particularly the CEO—can be trusted. Mr. Mangione’s considerable achievement is to create a micro-universe of troubled—and captivating--young men and women who struggle to survive their own drives. Who drink, smoke, crash cars and fornicate not so much to enjoy live... More > but to dull their senses to the sharp edges of living in a economy and culture that seems to have lost all sense of humanism, lost the concept of what it means to value the individual. I followed the protagonist’s—Marcus Compton’s--journey (and yes, it is a spiritual journey) with intense interest as he finally reaches a point where he questions what the hell he is doing drinking himself to death almost every night of the week with his “friend,” Neil, who must be one of the most self-centered characters I have every encountered—and yet very realistic. Marcus is a totally different—and complex young man. When he decides to opt for a program of Self-Improvement, I could only chuckle (in identification) at his attempts to quit smoking, go to the gym, find true love, lose 15 pounds, cut down on drinking, all the usual suspects. Without giving away the ending, let me say that Alphonso Mangione makes taking the journey with Marcus Compton completely worthwhile. This is one of the books that portray characters so poignantly, that memories of Pottersville will stay with me for a long, long time.< Less
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- by Alfonso Mangione (Standard Copyright License)
- October 1, 2011
- File Format
- File Size
- 1.43 MB
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|# of Devices||Unlimited|
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