Continental Drift

Continental Drift

Book - 2007
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After his ill-fated pursuit of the American dream, Bob Dubois finds employment on a fishing boat off the Florida Keys where he becomes involved in a plot to smuggle two Haitians into Florida.
Publisher: New York : HarperPerennial, 2007.
Edition: 1st HarperPerennial Modern Classics ed.
ISBN: 9781442077584
Branch Call Number: FIC BANKS, RUSSELL
Characteristics: 366, 24 p. : ill. ; 21 cm


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Feb 01, 2019

A grim but powerful antidote to the shallow optimism that all too often encrusts discussions about America, the alleged bastion of freedom and opportunity. The society depicted here is not Emma Lazarus' beacon of hope for "the homeless, tempest-most" but a wasteland of unrelieved greed, cruelty, self-deception, false promise, violence, racism, and despair, among its victims a number of illegal immigrants and the central character, an oil burner repairman anxious to escape rural poverty. It is not a pleasant read, but it is a riveting account nevertheless of the moral "drift" that characterizes contemporary American life. Banks has clearly no illusions about life today in the United States, but offers a pious hope (or a utopian fantasy) in the book's last line that, in a society devoid of the Christian values possessed by its founders, his novel may "Go, my book, and destroy the world as it is," a self-conscious allusion to Chaucer's famous instruction to his own work, "Go, litel myn booke..." Readers struck by the terrible scene off the Miami coast should read what John Ruskin had to say about JMW Turner's "noblest" painting, The Slave Ship.


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