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Albany Cycle Book 1: Billy Phelan's Greatest Game; Ironweed; Very Old…
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William Kennedy's ALBANY CYCLE is one of the greatest and most enjoyable achievements of post-war American literature. In Albany, New York, William Kennedy has made a crucible to test the American dream. His novels, which range from the middle of the nineteenth century to the middle of the twentieth, bubble and crack with the energy of Irish immigrants trying to take the main chance in the land of opportunity. Francis Phelan is, alongside 'Legs' Diamond, William Kennedy's greatest character. Ex-ball player, latterly a bum, lush and hardcase, he is central to these three Albany novels: father to the pool shark Billy who struggles with his legacy of violence and self-glorification (BILLY PHELAN'S GREATEST GAME); brother to artist Peter whose paintings explore the dark corners of his family history, including Francis's life (VERY OLD BONES); and antihero of Pulitzer Prize winning IRONWEED, in which Phelan returns to Albany at the end of the Depression, roaming the familiar streets with his hobo pal Helen, trying to make peace with the ghosts of the past and present.
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