• Review: Booklist Namechecks Beckett for Ghosts of Tom Joad

    April 24, 2014

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    Posted in: #99Percent, * Most Popular

    From Booklist, here’s the newest review of Ghosts of Tom Joad, with a generous comparison to Samuel Beckett:

    As Earl takes an endless bus ride around his hometown of Reeve, Ohio, we witness the downwardly spiraling events of his life as he tries to make sense of how a boom town went bust. It’s the twenty-first century, and the factory that founded and funded this Rust Belt town is gone, taking with it the livelihood and lives of hardworking and hard-drinking men like Earl and his father before him. Men who were duped into bartering their dreams of glory for what would turn out to be the empty promise of a steady wage.

    In a device that could well be employed in a Beckett drama, Earl’s mythical bus teems with a constant parade of unearthly visitors from his past—family, friends, and fellow downsized derelicts who, in their unreal way, convey the painful reality that erodes society when the American dream turns into a nightmare. A seasoned State Department diplomat, stalwart Iraq War whistleblower, and author of We Meant Well (2011), Van Buren turns his keen eye to the shameful treatment of the nation’s unemployed and homeless.

    More reviews for Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the #99Percent

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  • Recent Comments

    • Kyzl Orda said...


      “To find a form that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now” Samuel Beckett

      Congratulations, Peter. Are there any ideas for your next project?

      04/25/14 11:43 AM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...


      Yes, congratulations Peter. Notwithstanding that excellent review, I see another writer has also provided, if in a round about way, bedrock support for the premise within your, by finally proving scientifically that which the Ghosts of Tom Joad and the 99% knew. The 1% lie through their teeth. But now they can’t. And they are freaking out. I smell a revolution coming.

      Why This Best-Selling Book Is Freaking Out the Super-Wealthy


      quote:”Indeed, had more top economists followed the lead of other social scientists and ditched their black box models in favor of spending time in the field—meaning on Main Street, where trickle down theory hasn’t ever really worked—they might have come to the same conclusions that Piketty has.”unquote

      Ah yes..that tricky “trickle down theory”..you know..the one that every 1%er on the planet uses to justify their claim that they shouldn’t be taxed to the hilt. Well Piketty’s 685-page tome, “Capital in the 21st Century,”just blew that lie out of the water for good. But what the 1% are REALLY freaking out about is what he said here…

      He doesn’t believe, as Marx did, that capitalism would simply burn itself out over time. In fact, he says that the more perfect and advanced markets become (at least, in economic terms), the better they work and the more fully they serve the rich. But he does believe that rising inequality leads to a less perfect union, and a likelihood of major social unrest that mirrors the sort that his native France went through in the late 1700s.” unquote

      Shades of Dr. Guillotine. An economist in 2014 suggesting social unrest may mirror the French revolution? Really?
      whudda thunk.
      The Ghosts of Tom Joad must be laughing their asses off.

      Only this one will make the French look like a tea party. It’s only a matter of time.

      04/25/14 12:40 PM | Comment Link

    • meloveconsullongtime said...


      Kyzl wrote: “To find a form that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now” – Samuel Beckett

      But now is not the mid 20th century in which Beckett wrote. The mess has deteriorated a lot since then, perhaps in ways unsuitable for accomodation.

      Perhaps the task of the artist NOW, is to bring the mess BACK INTO form? Because at this point, I think to “accomodate the mess” would be to despair of any form.

      04/25/14 2:06 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Unfortunately, the ending is a wet dream for the 1%:


      04/25/14 4:21 PM | Comment Link

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