Heyday

Heyday

A Novel

Book - 2007
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Random House, Inc.
Heyday is a brilliantly imagined, wildly entertaining tale of America’s boisterous coming of age–a sweeping panorama of madcap rebellion and overnight fortunes, palaces and brothels, murder and revenge–as well as the story of a handful of unforgettable characters discovering the nature of freedom, loyalty, friendship, and true love.

In the middle of the nineteenth century, modern life is being born: the mind-boggling marvels of photography, the telegraph, and railroads; a flood of show business spectacles and newspapers; rampant sex and drugs and drink (and moral crusades against all three); Wall Street awash with money; and giddy utopian visions everywhere. Then, during a single amazing month at the beginning of 1848, history lurches: America wins its war of manifest destiny against Mexico, gold is discovered in northern California, and revolutions sweep across Europe–sending one eager English gentleman off on an epic transatlantic adventure. . . .

Amid the tumult, aristocratic Benjamin Knowles impulsively abandons the Old World to reinvent himself in New York, where he finds himself embraced by three restless young Americans: Timothy Skaggs, muckraking journalist, daguerreotypist, pleasure-seeker, stargazer; the fireman Duff Lucking, a sweet but dangerously damaged veteran of the Mexican War; and Duff’s dazzling sister Polly Lucking, a strong-minded, free thinking actress (and discreet part-time prostitute) with whom Ben falls hopelessly in love.

Beckoned by the frontier, new beginnings, and the prospects of the California Gold Rush, all four set out on a transcontinental race west–relentlessly tracked, unbeknownst to them, by a cold-blooded killer bent on revenge.

A fresh, impeccable portrait of an era startlingly reminiscent of our own times, Heyday is by turns tragic and funny and sublime, filled with bona fide heroes and lost souls, visionaries (Walt Whitman, Charles Darwin, Alexis de Tocqueville) and monsters, expanding horizons and narrow escapes. It is also an affecting story of four people passionately chasing their American dreams at a time when America herself was still being dreamed up–an enthralling, old-fashioned yarn interwoven with a bracingly modern novel of ideas.
"In this utterly engaging novel, the author of Turn of the Century brings 19th-century America vividly to life . . . While this is a long book, it moves quickly, with historical detail that's involving but never a drag on the action; the characters are beautifully drawn. A terrific book; highly recommended." Library Journal
"Heyday is fuled by manic energy, fanatical research, and a wicked sense of humor.... It's a joyful, wild gallop through a joyful, wild time to be an American." -Vanity Fair

Baker & Taylor
Benjamin Knowles, a young English gentleman, heads for America to build a new life for himself, falling in love with New York actress and sometime prostitute Polly Lucking, meeting her troubled war-veteran brother Duff, and befriending journalist Timothy Skaggs, before heading west to seek their fortunes in the gold fields of California. 75,000 first printing.

Blackwell North Amer
Heyday is a tale of America's boisterous coming of age - a sweeping panorama of madcap rebellion and overnight fortunes, palaces and brothels, murder and revenge - as well as the story of a handful of unforgettable characters discovering the nature of freedom, loyalty, friendship, and true love.
In the middle of the nineteenth century, modern life is being born: the mind-boggling marvels of photography, the telegraph, and railroads; a flood of show-business spectacles and newspapers; rampant sex and drugs and drink (and moral crusades against all three); Wall Street awash with money; and giddy Utopian visions everywhere. Then, during a single amazing month at the beginning of 1848, history lurches: America wins its war of manifest destiny against Mexico, gold is discovered in northern California, and revolutions sweep across Europe - sending one eager English gentleman off on an epic transatlantic adventure.
Amid the tumult, aristocratic Benjamin Knowles impulsively abandons the Old World to reinvent himself in New York, where he finds himself embraced by three restless young Americans: Timothy Skaggs, muckraking journalist, daguerreotypist, pleasure-seeker, stargazer; the fireman Duff Lucking, a sweet but dangerously damaged veteran of the Mexican War; and Duff's dazzling sister Polly Lucking, a strong-minded, freethinking actress (and discreet part-time prostitute) with whom Ben falls hopelessly in love.
Beckoned by the frontier, new beginnings, and the prospects of the California Gold Rush, all four set out on a transcontinental race west - relentlessly tracked, unbeknownst to them, by a cold-blooded killer bent on revenge.

Baker
& Taylor

Englishman Benjamin Knowles heads for America to build a new life and joins up with three young Americans--journalist Timothy Skaggs, war veteran Duff Lucking, and Duff's actress sister, Polly--to seek their fortunes in the gold fields of California.

Publisher: New York : Random House, c2007
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780375504730
0375504737
Branch Call Number: FICTION ANDERSEN
Characteristics: 622 p. ; 25 cm

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c
colechan
Dec 26, 2011

Elegantly written. Intricately woven plot. Andersen has a hell of an imagination.

f
fmaack
Sep 22, 2010

I thought this was long-winded and dreadful even though I really enjoyed Andersen's other book "Turn of the Century". This book is completely dull.

m
maven
Dec 11, 2009

A long one, but really enjoyable. So many intertwined plots and characters, but it kept my interest throughout, especially with the tie-ins to actual historical events.

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