A Moment in the Sun by John Sayles

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 12 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

It’s 1897. Gold has been discovered in the Yukon. New York is under the sway of Hearst and Pulitzer. And in a few months, an American battleship will explode in a Cuban harbor, plunging the U.S. into war. Spanning five years and half a dozen countries, this is the unforgettable story of that extraordinary moment: the turn of the twentieth century, as seen by one of the greatest storytellers of our time.

Shot through with a lyrical intensity and stunning detail that recall Doctorow and Deadwood both, A Moment in the Sun takes the whole era in its sights—from the white-racist coup in Wilmington, North Carolina to the bloody dawn of U.S. interventionism in the Philippines. Beginning with Hod Brackenridge searching for his fortune in the North, and hurtling forward on the voices of a breathtaking range of men and women—Royal Scott, an African American infantryman whose life outside the military has been destroyed; Diosdado Concepcíon, a Filipino insurgent fighting against his country’s new colonizers; and more than a dozen others, Mark Twain and President McKinley’s assassin among them—this is a story as big as its subject: history rediscovered through the lives of the people who made it happen.
 

About John Sayles

See more books from this Author
John Sayles's previous novels include Pride of the Bimbos, Los Gusanos, and the National Book Award?nominated Union Dues. He has directed seventeen feature films, including Matewan, Lone Star, and Eight Men Out, and received two Academy Award nominations. His latest film, Amigo, was completed in 2010.
 
Published October 18, 2011 by McSweeney's. 968 pages
Genres: History, Action & Adventure, War, Literature & Fiction, Arts & Photography. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for A Moment in the Sun

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Noted novelist/director Sayles (Union Dues, 2005, etc.) turns in an epic of Manifest Destiny—and crossed destinies—so sweeping and vast that even he would have trouble filming it.

Apr 18 2011 | Read Full Review of A Moment in the Sun

The New York Times

See more reviews from this publication

Near the end of his vast new historical novel, “A Moment in the Sun,” John Sayles describes a street performer who “built an elaborate house of tiles on his little table, balancing one upon the other till the structure was almost up to his chin.” Spectators bet against “the master architect” and ...

Jun 10 2011 | Read Full Review of A Moment in the Sun

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

The most emotionally connected story line involves the black American soldiers who breeze through fighting in Cuba but get stuck in a quagmire in the Philippines while their families back home in Wilmington, N.C., endure a campaign of murder and intimidation that forces an affluent and educated b...

Mar 21 2011 | Read Full Review of A Moment in the Sun

Christian Science Monitor

Though the argot ranges – with the characters – from the back alleys of Manila and the brothels of the Yukon gold rush to an African-American army regiment and one of the South's last post-Reconstruction black middle classes (which will meet the same fate as the Filipinos), the prose maintains th...

May 13 2011 | Read Full Review of A Moment in the Sun

Christian Science Monitor

4 books I shouldn’t have liked – but did The intervening years – and pages – witness an American battleship mysteriously blown up in Havana harbor;

May 13 2011 | Read Full Review of A Moment in the Sun

Oregon Live

For the last three decades, John Sayles has built an impressive résumé as one of this country's leading independent filmmakers, having directed 17 features since 1979.

May 21 2011 | Read Full Review of A Moment in the Sun

Review (Barnes & Noble)

If A Moment in the Sun had in fact been made as cinema, it would be many times longer and an order of magnitude more expensive than anything Sayles has ever filmed.

May 10 2011 | Read Full Review of A Moment in the Sun

Tampa Bay Times

Two years ago, when John Sayles was having trouble finding a major publisher for his new novel, a hue and cry was heard in some literary and publishing circles.

May 28 2011 | Read Full Review of A Moment in the Sun

Historical Novel Society

They meet on the battlefields of the Spanish-American War as our nation took its first steps towards becoming a world power, while others back in the States endure the backlash against the freed slaves, ending their “moment in the sun.” Immense in scope, the novel is steeped in detail, such as t...

| Read Full Review of A Moment in the Sun

The National

we learn about race relations and the foment of white supremacism in North Carolina from the trash talked by politicians in a barbershop - "We've got them on the police force now" - tolerated, with superhuman forbearance, by its African-American owner;

Jul 22 2011 | Read Full Review of A Moment in the Sun

Bookmarks Magazine

Spanning six years and juggling dozens of characters both fictional and historical (Mark Twain and Leon Czolgosz--President McKinley's assassin--appear, as do many others), A Moment in the Sun encompasses the whole of American history during that critical time, examining issues of race, imperiali...

May 16 2011 | Read Full Review of A Moment in the Sun

Pank Magazine

A Moment in the Sun is a tricky book for me to review.

Nov 04 2011 | Read Full Review of A Moment in the Sun

Reader Rating for A Moment in the Sun
76%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 55 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×