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Johnny One-Eye: Book summary and reviews of Johnny One-Eye by Jerome Charyn

Johnny One-Eye

A Tale of the American Revolution

by Jerome Charyn

Johnny One-Eye by Jerome Charyn X
Johnny One-Eye by Jerome Charyn
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  • Published Feb 2008
    448 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

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Book Summary

A comic reimagining of the American Revolution with a one-eyed spy, a heroic whorehouse madam, and a cunning George Washington.

Praised for one of the most "singular and remarkable [careers] in American literature" (Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post Book World), Jerome Charyn now delights with this picaresque tour de force. He reanimates a war-torn Manhattan overrun by Redcoats and deserted by all but the Loyalists—and Mrs. Gertrude Jennings, the tempestuous, redheaded queen of Manhattan's most spectacular bordello. When the novel opens, young double agent John Stocking is being interrogated by Washington, a rebel commander far removed from the dour, silent man of most history books. As Johnny seeks to unlock the mystery of his birth and grapples with his allegiances, he falls in love with Clara, a gorgeous, green-eyed octoroon, the most coveted harlot of Gertrude's house. The wild parade of characters he encounters includes Benedict Arnold, the Howe brothers, "Sir Billy" and "Black Dick," and a manipulative Alexander Hamilton.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"A crackling good epic, both comic and bawdy." - Kirkus Reviews.

"As a kaleidoscopic view of a tumultuous era, the book deserves to be spoken about in the same breath as E.L. Doctorow's Ragtime - Publishers Weekly.

"Starred Review. Through the eyes of his young hero, Charyn gives us a glimpse of the Revolutionary War as lived not by the soldiers and the politicians but by those whose homes, jobs, and lives were completely turned upside down by the war. Highly recommended." - Library Journal.

"One of the most important writers in American literature…[his] work makes me truly happy to be a reader." - Michael Chabon.

"The first great Revolutionary War novel to appear in many decades." - Tom Bissell, author of The Father of All Things.

This information about Johnny One-Eye was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Jerome Charyn Author Biography

Jerome Charyn was born May 13, 1937 and is the author of more than fifty works of fiction and nonfiction, including Cesare: A Novel of War-Torn Berlin; The Perilous Adventures of the Cowboy King: A Novel of Teddy Roosevelt and His Times; In the Shadow of King Saul: Essays on Silence and Song; Jerzy: A Novel; and A Loaded Gun: Emily Dickinson for the 21st Century. Among other honors, his novels have been selected as finalists for the Firecracker Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. Charyn has also been named a Commander of Arts and Letters by the French Minister of Culture and received a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award for Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in New York.

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