The Human Comedy

The Human Comedy

Paperback - 1996
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The inspiration for the major motion picture Ithaca, directed by and starring Meg Ryan--with a cast that includes Sam Shepard, Hamish Linklater, Alex Neustaedter, Jack Quaid, and Tom Hanks

The place is Ithaca, in California's San Joaquin Valley. The time is World War II. The family is the Macauley's--a mother, sister, and three brothers whose struggles and dreams reflect those of America's second-generation immigrants. . . . In particular, fourteen-year-old Homer, determined to become one of the fastest telegraph messengers in the West, finds himself caught between reality and illusion as delivering his messages of wartime death, love, and money brings him face-to-face with human emotion at its most naked and raw.

Gentle, poignant and richly autobiographical, this delightful novel shows us the boy becoming the man in a world that even in the midst of war, appears sweeter, safer and more livable than out own.
Publisher: New York : Dell, 1996
ISBN: 9780440339335


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Apr 16, 2019

I liked this book. The story-telling is warm and human. Saroyan shows a tapestry of different ethnic backgrounds all linked by common humanity. He shows the futility of war without having to describe the actions of war, and with no necessity for heroes and villains. I liked that this is an authentic working class voice.
There were points where I was reminded of Steinbeck. There was a simplicity in the writing style. There was a fundamental choice to be made about how to live - not between good and evil this time, rather between despairing loneliness and an enjoyment of life.

Jul 11, 2016

Read after seeing Meg Ryan's directorial debut film "Ithaca," based on this book.

Apr 26, 2015

Better if you read My Name is Aram first.


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