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The Best Times John Dos Passos

The Best Times By John Dos Passos

The Best Times by John Dos Passos

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The Best Times Summary

The Best Times: An Informal Memoir by John Dos Passos

A record of his childhood, young adulthood, and twenties, The Best Times is a collage of cherished memories. He reflects on the joys of an itinerant life enriched by new and diverse friendships, customs, cultures, and cuisines.

Luminary personalities and landscapes abound in the 1920s literary world Dos Passos loved. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, E.E. Cummings, Gerald and Sara Murphy, Horsley Gantt-they are his beloved friends. Spain, the French Riviera, Paris, Persia, the Caucasus-they are his beloved footpaths.

The Best Times Reviews

"In portraying his old friends with both their flaws and their virtues, regarding them not as heroes or villains or competitors but talented colleagues, he gives us the best 'album' I know of the literary figures of the twenties. He does not attempt to do full-scale portraits of them, any more than he does of himself but sharp, deft sketches that convey a real sense of the person." -The Atlantic

About John Dos Passos

John Roderigo Dos Passos (1896-1970) was a writer, painter, and political activist. He wrote over forty books, including plays, poetry, novels, biographies, histories, and memoirs. He crafted over four hundred drawings, watercolors, and other artworks.

Dos Passos considered himself foremost a writer of contemporary chronicles. He preferred the moniker of "chronicler" because he was happiest working at the edge of fiction and nonfiction.

Both genres benefited from his mastery of observation-his "camera eye"-and his sense of historical context. Dos Passos sought to ground fiction in historic detail and working-class, realistic dialogue. He invented a multimedia format of songs, newsreels, biographies, third-person fictional narrative, and first-person semi-autobiographical narrative snapshots to convey the frenzy of America's industrialism and urbanism in the twentieth century. His most memorable fiction-Three Soldiers (1921), Manhattan Transfer (1925), and the U.S.A. trilogy (1938)-possesses the authority of history and the allure of myth. Likewise, he sought to vitalize nonfiction history and reportage with the colors, sounds, and smells documented on his journeys across the globe.

Additional information

The Best Times: An Informal Memoir by John Dos Passos
Open Road Media
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
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