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  • gilwilson 5:42 PM on April 11, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , poor, , world's fair   

    World’s Fair: A Novel By E.L. Doctorow 

    World’s Fair: A Novel51EOJzpHI+L._SL500_
    By: E.L. Doctorow
    Narrated by: John Rubinstein
    Length: 10 hrs and 38 mins
    Release date: 03-04-14
    Publisher: Random House Audio

    I finally got to “World’s Fair” in my run through E.L. Doctorow’s novels, and was not sure what to expect. We had gangsters in “Bill Bathgate,” religious themes in “City of God,” so the themes are wide open. In this book we get a look at a young Jewish boy’s life during the ’30s in New York.

    The book is told through the eyes of the young boy and the sense of wonder and surprise is in full revolution. The boy, Edgar, wants to go to the 1939 World’s Fair but his family is poor and the chance of him going is pretty slim. Eventually things work in Edgar’s favor and he enjoys the different aspects offered by the world’s fair. From the food to the attractions the reader gets to enjoy the experience through Edgar. The writing is such that everything is told and with the narrator, John Rubenstein delivers the story with the same emotions and wonder as told by Doctorow.

    So far this is my favorite of all the Doctorow’s works, falling second to what was in first place, “Billy Bathgate.” This story is just a lot of fun.

    Publisher’s Summary

    The astonishing novel of a young boy’s life in the New York City of the 1930s, a stunning recreation of the sights, sounds, aromas and emotions of a time when the streets were safe, families stuck together through thick and thin, and all the promises of a generation culminate in a single great World’s Fair…

    ©2014 E.L. Doctorow (P)2014 Random House Audio

  • gilwilson 2:34 AM on April 11, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: chili rice, , country music, pretty paper, , texas, willie nelson   

    “Pretty Paper” By Willie Nelson 

    Pretty Paper29496566
    By: Willie Nelson w/ David Ritz
    Narrated by: W. Brown,
    Length: 5 hrs and 39 mins
    Unabridged Audiobook
    Release date: 10-25-16
    Language: English
    Publisher: Penguin Audio

    What seems like may be a Christmas story, is actually a heartwarming story about the man that Willie Nelson wrote the song Pretty Paper about. (Yes, I know Roy Orbison recorded it, but Willie wrote it.)

    The song is written about a man with no legs selling wrapping paper and ribbons outside a department story during the Christmas Season. That’s pretty much where the true story ends. Willie takes this beginning and creates a story about how Vernon Clay was a musician and lost it all and ended up hawking his wares in the snow, on a wheeled cart.
    In 2013, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram identified the real subject of the song as Frankie Brierton, of Santo, Texas. Brierton refused to use a wheelchair, choosing instead to crawl, as he learned to move while growing up after his legs were affected by a spinal disorder. Brierton sold pencils in Fort Worth, Dallas and Houston.  Brierton died in 1973 without ever knowing the song was written about him.  Also Brierton did not have the music career that Vernon Clay has in this book.

    The narrator W. Carl Brown delivers the book as if he lived in Texas at the time, his voice captures all the characters and emotions involved perfectly.

    Great emotional run on this one.   Don’t miss it.


    Publisher’s Summary
    Willie Nelson, country music’s quintessential musician, displays all the wit and warmth of his homespun style of storytelling in an inspiring holiday novel based on his classic Christmas song, “Pretty Paper”.

    More than 50 years ago, Willie Nelson’s beloved Christmas song, “Pretty Paper”, first hit the airwaves. And for all these years, Willie has wondered about the real-life Texas street vendor, selling wrappings and ribbons, who inspired his song. Who was this poor soul? What did his painful trials say about our loves, our hopes, our dreams in this holiday season – and in the rest of our lives?

    It’s the early ’60s, and Willie Nelson is down and out, barely eking out a living as a singer-songwriter. The week before Christmas, he spots a legless man on a cart, selling wares in front of Leonard’s Department Store in Fort Worth, Texas. The humble figure, by the name of Vernon Clay, piques Willie’s curiosity, but Vernon is stubbornly private and – despite Willie’s charming queries – has no interest in telling his story. Willie is tenacious, though, and he eventually learns that Vernon is a fellow musician, a fine guitarist and singer.

    When Vernon disappears, he leaves behind only a diary, which tells an epic tale of life-altering tragedies, broken hearts, and crooked record men, not to mention backroad honky-tonks, down-home cooking, and country songwriting genius. Deeply moved and spurred on by Vernon’s pages, Willie aims to give the man one last shot at redemption and a chance to embody the holiday spirit.

    ©2016 Willie Nelson (P)2016 Penguin Audio

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