Thursday, May 26, 2016

G710 Book Review of 1906 by James Dalessandro

Name of Book: 1906

Author: James Dalessandro

ISBN: 0-965-44233-0

Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC

Type of book: April 1906, earthquake, disaster, San Francisco California, corruption, history, natural disaster, revenge, fire, early detective methods, work, family, friendships, relationships, Enrico Carusso, opera

Year it was published: 2004

Summary:

Now available in paperback, James Dalessandro's "riveting account of corruption, greed, and murder in the City by the Bay" (Dallas Morning News) was a best-seller in hardcoverand production has begun on a major motion picture. Set during the great San Francisco earthquake and fire, this page-turning historical novel reveals recently uncovered facts that forever change our understanding of what really happened. Narrated by a feisty young reporter, Annalisa Passarelli, the novel paints a vivid picture of the Post-Victorian city, from the mansions of Nob Hill to the underbelly of the Barbary Coast to the arrival of tenor Enrico Caruso and the Metropolitan Opera. Central to the story is the ongoing battlefought even as the city burnsthat pits incompetent and unscrupulous politicians against a coalition of honest police officers, newspaper editors, citizens, and a lone federal prosecutor. James Dalessandro weaves unforgettable characters and actual events into a compelling epic.

Characters:

While a lot of characters had roles, the main characters would have been Annalisa Passarelli, Hunter Fallon, Christian Fallon, Kaitlin Staley, Adam Rolf and Mayor Schmitz. Annalisa Passarelli is of Italian ancenstry and a very plucky and resourceful young woman who isn't afraid of doing whatever she can to get the appropriate justice. Hunter Fallon is the younger brother of Christian and is college educated, but despite that, he is determined to follow in the footsteps of his father and older brother by becoming an officer. Christian Fallon is the elder brother of Hunter and he seems to be struggling with his own demons in terms of alcohol and tense relationships. Kaitlin Staley is another plucky young woman who is more than what she seems while Adam Rolf is one of the corrupt men that is involved with a lot of unsavory deeds and businesses. Mayor Schmitz is Adam's lackey and doesn't have a lot of backbone until the end to try to do what is right.

Theme:

Powerful write or rewrite history

Plot:

The story is written a bit awkwardly from both first and third person point of view. Basically its a story within a story. Annalisa Passarelli rejects to write an article that is positively biased towards the mayor and instead tells the story of the previous four days before the earthquake, which goes back to third person narrative. Throughout the story, with little to no warning, first person narrative of Annalisa is interjected and until the very end, for the story's sake, I wanted to know how Annalisa was able to travel through these diverse points of view.

Author Information:
(From HFVBT)

James Dalessandro was born in Cleveland Ohio, and educated at Ohio University and UCLA film school. In 1973 he founded the Santa Cruz Poetry Festival with Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Ken Kesey, the nation’s largest literary event. He has written for Playboy, the Examiner newspapers, San Francisco magazine. He was writer of the House of Blues Radio Hour and created the nationally syndicated program “Rock On” with Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek. He has published four books: Canary in a Coal Mine (poetry); Bohemian Heart (noir detective fiction); Citizen Jane (True Crime); and 1906: A Novel (Historical Fiction). He is award winning writer/director/producer of the documentary film THE DAMNEDEST, FINEST RUINS (PBS/KQED), and writer/producer of the Hallmark Movie “Citizen Jane,” based on his book. He is screenwriter of “1906” the upcoming Pixar/Warner Brothers live action film based on his novel of the same name. He lives in San Francisco with his wife Katie and best pal Giacomo Poochini.

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Opinion:

Its been 110 years since the infamous San Francisco Earthquake and fire. I have to be honest that prior to reading this book, the only things I knew about San Francisco Earthquake is that it happened in 1906, and that a lot of immigrants, Chinese men in particular, benefited from by being able to come to America and circumnavigate the anti-Chinese laws that existed at the time. What I didn't know is the corruption that was going on at the time before the earthquake struck. The story is both part thriller and part history and it does a good job in entertaining and educating the reader about what happened and what was going on during that pivotal era of American history.

This is for HFVBT

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, April 11
Blog Tour Kick Off & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Thursday, April 14
Spotlight at The Reading Queen
Friday, April 15
Excerpt at The Never-Ending Book
Tuesday, April 19
Guest Post at The Writing Desk
Review at Eclectic Ramblings of Author Heather Osborne
Thursday, April 28
Spotlight & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More
Excerpt at Historical Fiction Addicts
Tuesday, May 3
Spotlight at Let Them Read Books
Wednesday, May 4
Spotlight at Broken Teepee
Friday, May 6
Interview & Giveaway at The Maiden’s Court
Monday, May 9
Review at Book Nerd
Thursday, May 12
Excerpt & Giveaway at A Literary Vacation
Friday, May 13
Guest Post at Jorie Loves a Story
Tuesday, May 17
Review at Beth’s Book Nook Blog
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews
Wednesday, May 18
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Monday, May 23
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

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