Joseph Spuckler is in with a wonderful review of Ghosts of Tom Joad. His piece is full of excerpts from the book to illustrate his points, so best to read the full review.
Every so often I pick up a book to review that not only wakes me up with a slap to the face but also beats me down and makes me realize how one decision put me where I am today and not unemployed, working for minimum wage, and a step away from being homeless. I felt very much like I could have been Earl if I had stayed. The story is very realistic and typical of the environment. I highlighted and noted almost as many passages from this novel as I would from a nonfiction book on an unfamiliar subject… It reads as real life.
Ghosts of Tom Joad is a book about the 99% but told from a very personal level. I needed to remind myself throughout the book that this is fiction, but it is also so many people’s real life story. It could have very well been my story. Van Buren laces factual information throughout the book, but it fits into the story. It does not read like a collection of statistics or a leftist/union propaganda brochure. It reads as real life… This book is very well done on so many levels. The story and the message are both appropriate and accurate in America’s former industrial centers. Even though I left long ago, it is not something I, or anyone else, can run from forever. It is spreading across the country with every business that closes, every job that goes away and is replaced with a part time dead end job…”and you can’t build a nation on the working poor.”
See the full review for more…
Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity. Follow me on Twitter!