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book cover of 

Sweet Land Stories

Sweet Land Stories

(2004)
A collection of stories by

 
From Publishers Weekly
As one might expect of Doctorow, the title is ironic. In settings that range across the U.S., most of the alienated characters in the five stories here find life anything but sweet as they struggle to surmount the stigmas of poverty, lack of education and their instincts to gamble against the odds. Three of the male protagonists are passive and amoral; attempting to defend their irrational behavior, each reminds himself that he is not stupid. All of themâ€"a young grifter who dutifully abets his mother's murderous greed on a farm near Chicago ("A House on the Plains"); a love-besotted accessory to a kidnapping in California (the slyly humorous "Baby Wilson"); and a cuckolded member of a religious cult commune in Kansas ("Walter John Harmon")â€"share a capacity for self-delusion and self-preservation. The two female protagonists attempt to alter fate and find themselves buffeted by the inescapable force of male power. The protagonist of "Jolene: A Life" is forced into a cross-country hegira in pursuit of a sweet land where she won't be an outsider. Scared and desperate despite her cool facade, Jolene becomes a victim in every relationship. If the story's denouement veers too close to soap opera, Doctorow's empathetic character portrayal redeems the plot twists. The most riveting narrative, "Child, Dead, in the Rose Garden," describes a presidential administration that is secretive, arrogant and contemptuous of ordinary citizens. In this knowing treatment of the cynical abuse of power, Doctorow uses the spare, laconic style endemic to thrillers and builds suspense with sure strokes. Boring like a laser into the failures of the American dream, he captures the resilience of those who won't accept defeat.
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Used availability for E L Doctorow's Sweet Land Stories


See all available used copies of this book at Abebooks UK or Abebooks US
 

Hardback Editions

May 2008 : USA Library Binding
Title: Sweet Land Stories
Author(s): E L Doctorow
ISBN: 1-4352-9284-7 / 978-1-4352-9284-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Paw Prints 2008-05-29
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

May 2004 : USA Hardback
Title: Sweet Land Stories
Author(s): E L Doctorow
ISBN: 1-4000-6204-7 / 978-1-4000-6204-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Random House
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

January 2007 : UK Paperback
Title: Sweet Land Stories
Author(s): E L Doctorow
ISBN: 0-349-12019-6 / 978-0-349-12019-5 (UK edition)
Publisher: Abacus
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

May 2005 : USA Paperback
Title: Sweet Land Stories
Author(s): E L Doctorow
ISBN: 0-8129-7177-9 / 978-0-8129-7177-4 (USA edition)
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

2004 : USA Paperback
Title: Sweet Land Stories
Author(s): E L Doctorow
ISBN: 0-9659109-5-4 / 978-0-9659109-5-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Random House
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   

Audio Editions

January 2014 : USA Audio edition
Title: Sweet Land Stories
Author(s): E L Doctorow
Publisher: Random House Audio
Availability: Amazon   

January 2014 : UK Audio edition
Title: Sweet Land Stories
Author(s): E L Doctorow
Publisher: Random House Audio
Availability: Amazon UK   

Kindle Editions

May 2004 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
Title: Sweet Land Stories
Author(s): E L Doctorow
Publisher: Random House
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   



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