#Review: I Am Abraham – Jerome Charyn
Abraham Lincoln’s life has never been an ordinary one. From the moment, he could walk, he’s done his best to assert himself. He’s never been satisfied with lot he’s been dealt, and is always seeking something greater. So much so, that when the moment came for him to leave his life at home behind, he fled and never looked back.
Forced to confront his inner demons, Abraham comes to the realization that no matter he does, the depression he feels will always hound him. He knows he needs to let it go, but it’s so hard to do when the darkness insists on claiming him. Determined to make the most of the situations he finds himself in, he continues on, never imagining the path his life would take.
Climbing through the ranks of the Union army, Abraham’s life takes an unexpected turn when he becomes the President of the United States. This new task at hand is daunting, but he’s determined to fulfill his duties, no matter the cost. The well-being of the country and its people must be sustained, and he’ll do everything to make sure no one comes to harm. Granted, when it comes to war, death and loss is inevitable.
Putting up with harried cabinet members, the hounding press, and others who seek to fill his own shoes, Abraham comes to the realization that no matter what he does, people will never be satisfied. Still, he refuses to bend to anyone’s will but his own. After all, he has his own family to take care of. If he can’t do it, no one else will.
For kin and country, he vows to make the world a better place, never once imagining just how much things will change. If he’s to succeed in righting all wrongs, he’ll need to let go of the ghosts of his past. Though that’s easier said than done, he’ll try his best in doing so. The United States must be protected and given her due. Only then, can she and those under his rule prosper in the long run.
A bittersweet tale, Jerome Charyn gives us a unique look into Abraham Lincoln’s life. We get to see a thought-provoking and melancholic side of a man who did everything possible to bring the United States and its people together in so many ways. Abraham Lincoln fought for so much, and achieved such greatness, that he’s remembered for his goodness. Yes, he had his demons, and there were times when he thought he couldn’t go on, but he persevered. He did his best to fulfill every one of his duties and then some.
I’ve always been fascinated by Abraham’s life and tenure as president. His end was definitely tragic, but his work and efforts are always remembered. Who knows where we’d be now if he hadn’t done when he’d done back in the day. A truly fascinating tale, I Am Abraham is a story anyone will enjoy. I truly recommend reading it.
Available for purchase via the following retailers:
Amazon hardcover: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0871404273
Barnes and Noble hardcover: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/i-am-abraham-jerome-charyn/1115449611
Since publishing his first novel in 1964, Jerome Charyn has established himself as one of the most inventive and prolific literary chroniclers of the American landscape. Here in I Am Abraham, Charyn returns with an unforgettable portrait of Lincoln and the Civil War. Narrated boldly in the first person, I Am Abraham effortlessly mixes humor with Shakespearean-like tragedy, in the process creating an achingly human portrait of our sixteenth President. Tracing the historic arc of Lincoln’s life from his picaresque days as a gangly young lawyer in Sangamon County, Illinois, through his improbable marriage to Kentucky belle Mary Todd, to his 1865 visit to war-shattered Richmond only days before his assassination, I Am Abraham hews closely to the familiar Lincoln saga. Charyn seamlessly braids historical figures such as Mrs. Keckley the former slave, who became the First Lady’s dressmaker and confidante and the swaggering and almost treasonous General McClellan with a parade of fictional extras: wise-cracking knaves, conniving hangers-on, speculators, scheming Senators, and even patriotic whores.
We encounter the renegade Rebel soldiers who flanked the District in tattered uniforms and cardboard shoes, living in a no-man’s-land between North and South; as well as the Northern deserters, young men all, with sunken, hollowed faces, sitting in the punishing sun, waiting for their rendezvous with the firing squad; and the black recruits, whom Lincoln s own generals wanted to discard, but who play a pivotal role in winning the Civil War. At the center of this grand pageant is always Lincoln himself, clad in a green shawl, pacing the White House halls in the darkest hours of America s bloodiest war.
Using biblically cadenced prose, cornpone nineteenth-century humor, and Lincoln s own letters and speeches, Charyn concocts a profoundly moral but troubled commander in chief, whose relationship with his Ophelia-like wife and sons Robert, Willie, and Tad is explored with penetrating psychological insight and the utmost compassion. Seized by melancholy and imbued with an unfaltering sense of human worth, Charyn s President Lincoln comes to vibrant, three-dimensional life in a haunting portrait we have rarely seen in historical fiction.”
About The Author:
Jerome Charyn has been teaching film for the past fourteen years at the American University of Paris. His novel, The Green Lantern, was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and he has also received the Rosenthal Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In Charyn’s forthcoming book, I Am Abraham: A Novel of Lincoln and the Civil War, Lincoln himself narrates the story that deftly blends historical and fictional figures into a fascinating novel.
I was born in the mean streets of the Bronx and have remained a city wolf, dividing my time between New York City and Paris. I grew up reading comic books and watching movies; you can see their influences in my books. I started writing novels at the age of eleven; Amazon carries 50+ titles, fiction and non-fiction.
I love Emily Dickinson’s poems and William Faulkner’s novels. I also love Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction,” which has the feel of a novel. (I wrote a book about Tarantino, “Raised by Wolves,” after the film’s release.)
My novel “The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson,” published in 2010, inspired a community of more than 8,000 Emily Dickinson Facebook fans dedicated to the poet’s place in the 21st century.
“The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson” is nowavailable in paperback in a reading group edition with online reading guide.
My next novel is about Abraham Lincoln, sometimes considered another 19th century recluse.
Dickinson will also be the subject of my next non-fiction book, a study of the private poet for Harvard University Press.
My most recent book, “Joe DiMaggio: The Long Vigil,” was released on March 8, 2011, part of the Yale University Press series on American Icons. More than 3,000 fans are registered on its Facebook page.
I invite you to join me on Facebook for “The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson” or “Joe DiMaggio: The Long Vigil.” Or visit my website: www.jeromecharyn.com
BREAKING NEWS: All ten of my cult crime novels featuring New York detective Isaac Sidel will be re-released as eBooks by Open Road on April 10th. Sidel has been called the “Jewish Philip Marlowe.” And there’s an adult animated series in the works. I invite you to check them out.
I am always happy to hear from my readers. You can write JCPress@writemail.com
Connect With Him Online:
I Am Abraham Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IAmAbrahamNovel
I Am Abraham Twitter: http://twitter.com/NewLincolnNovel
Jerome Charyn's Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/53408.Jerome_Charyn
I Am Abraham Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17987663-i-am-abraham