The Cold Millions
‘A beautiful, lyric hymn to the power of social unrest in American history…funny and harrowing, sweet and violent, innocent and experienced; it walks a dozen tightropes’ Anthony Doerr, author of All the Light We Cannot See
1909. Spokane, Washington.
The Dolan brothers are living by their wits, jumping freight trains and lining up for work at crooked job agencies. While sixteen-year-old Rye yearns for a steady job and a home, his dashing older brother Gig dreams of a better world, fighting alongside other union men for fair pay and decent treatment.
But then Rye finds himself drawn to suffragette Elizabeth Gurley Flynn and her passion sweeps him into the world of protest and dirty business. As a storm starts brewing, questions of love, sacrifice, brotherhood and betrayal emerge, threatening to overwhelm them all. . .
The Cold Millions is at once an intimate story and a stunning, kaleidoscopic portrait of a nation grappling with the chasm between rich and poor, dreams and reality. Set against the panoramic backdrop of an early 20th century America, Jess Walter offers a sensational tale that resonates powerfully with our own time.
‘A brilliantly multifaceted panorama of early 20th-century America…Walter is a writer whose work deserves a wide readership’ Sunday Times
‘A work of irresistible characters, harrowing adventures and rip-roaring fun . . . One of the most captivating novels of the year’ Washington Post
A riotous, propulsive adventure story, packed with captivating characters * Daily Mail * A brilliantly multifaceted panorama of early 20th-century America . . . Walter is a writer whose work deserves a wide readership * Sunday Times * A beautiful, lyric hymn to the power of social unrest in American history. It's funny and harrowing, sweet and violent, innocent and experienced * Anthony Doerr, author of All the Light We Cannot See * A work of irresistible characters, harrowing adventures and rip-roaring fun ... bursting with a dazzling range of outrageous characters. One of the most captivating novels of the year * Washington Post * Reminiscent of the stylistic tricks of F Scott Fitzgerald...With its rebellion against inequality and debates about capitalism, there are clear echoes from 1909 to the US today. Incitement to riot, dreadfully topical since the assault on the Capitol last month, also gets a look in. But The Cold Millions offers more: a study of individuals living, willingly or unwillingly, through tumult. * FT * Colourful and punchy * The Times * Walter is a class act...the fierce struggle for free speech and workers' rights is genuinely stirring. -- Max Davidson * Mail on Sunday * A timely and poetic read that vividly depicts the American melting pot at its most unequal and volatile . . . a compelling portrait of America at the dawn of the 20th Century * Sunday Express * Expansive, beguiling . . . A thrilling yarn that simultaneously underscores the cost of progress and celebrates the American spirit * O Magazine * It's a tremendous work, a vivid, propulsive, historical novel with a politically explosive backdrop that reverberates through our own * USA Today * Jess Walter is a superb storyteller. As polished and hard as a diamond, The Cold Millions reminds us of America's tempestuous past and suggests that all this is anything but past * Boston Globe * Walter marshals a motley, fascinating cast of characters so finely drawn that they lift from the page. I haven't encountered a more satisfying and moving novel about the struggle for workers' rights in America * San Francisco Chronicle * A layered, multi-character panorama * Vogue * It's often said that a novel contains the world; Walter brings new meaning to this phrase, peopling The Cold Millions with vaudeville stars, hobos, suffragists, tycoons, union agitators, policemen, and dozens of other vibrant characters. Warm and deeply humane, this transporting novel is a staggering achievement from a landmark writer * Esquire * The fact that the same author has written books as wildly different and all as transporting as The Zero, The Financial Lives of the Poets, Beautiful Ruins, and now this latest tour de force is testimony to Walter's protean storytelling power and astounding ability to set a scene, any scene . . . We have heard that Jess Walter writes nonstop: Seven days a week, 365 days a year. Please, never stop. * Kirkus Reviews, starred review * Superb.... a splendid postmodern rendition of the social realist novels of the 1930s by Henry Roth, John Steinbeck, and John Dos Passos, updated with strong female characters and executed with pristine prose. This could well be Walter's best work yet. * Publishers Weekly, starred review * A great tapestry of busy-ness . . . Walter's descriptive passage are marvellous -- Francesca Carington * Sunday Telegraph *
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