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Man Gone Down

by Michael Thomas
£8.99   paperback  Atlantic Books (2009)

Man Gone Down by Michael Thomas This book is an extraordinary debut that tackles race, wealth and family head on as a young black man finds the American Dream dissolving around him.
 
On the eve of this thirty-fifth birthday, the unnamed black narrator of Man Gone Down finds himself broke, estranged from his white wife and three children, and living in the bedroom of a friend's six-year-old child. He has four days to come up with the money to keep his kids in school and make a down payment on an apartment for them to live in.
 
As we slip between his childhood in inner city Boston and present-day New York City, we discover a life marked by abuse, abandonment, raging alcoholism, and the best and worst intentions of a supposedly integrated America.
 
This is a story of the American Dream gone awry, about what it's like to feel preprogrammed to fail in life and the urge to escape that sentence.

"Battered by bitter memories, and paralyzed by the poison of prejudice, which is tainting his relationships with his loving wife and sons, he works carpentry jobs, goes for long late-night runs, and seeks to exorcise his demons. By evoking the tension, longing, and beauty of the great and grinding city, summoning the mysterious power of the sea, and drawing on Melville and Ellison, Thomas has written a rhapsodic and piercing post-9/11 lament over aggression, greed, and racism, and a ravishing blues for the soul's unending loneliness."
(Donna Seaman, Booklist (starred review))

ISBN 13: 9781848872431 | ISBN 10: 1848872437