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Summer of Classics: Studs Lonigan

Reading Nelson Algren's personal remembrances of his South Side Chicago childhood (in Who Lost an American?) this morning has helped me decide on this year's Summer of Classics reading: James T. Farrell's Studs Lonigan trilogy. The books are generally considered to be among the best Chicago fiction ever written, and though I've owned the Library of America three-in-one edition for about ten years (a self-requested Christmas gift), I've only read the first volume, Young Lonigan. I really enjoyed that book, though I remember few of the details now, so I'm going to start over and read the entire trilogy. As a proud Chicagoan and literature fiend, I'm somewhat embarrassed to have not read all of Lonigan yet.

Though you might think that reading just 1000+ pages over an entire summer is a rather unambitious goal for me, pretty soon I'm going to have drive to the suburbs for work every day, and will lose my prime reading time on the train. So a thousand pages might be even more than I'll accomplish. If I manage to finish Lonigan before the end of August, I'll close out the summer with George Ade's Artie, another once-acclaimed but now mostly-forgotten Chicago novel.

May 21, 2014 in Books | Permalink


You hint at a significant change in your life status here. Hmmmm.

Posted by: Paul at May 22, 2014 4:59:38 AM

Nothing terribly mysterious. My bank is merging with another bank (my job is safe), and I'll be working in the suburbs for most of the rest of this year. The job is the same, but now I'll have to drive for a while.

Posted by: Pete at May 23, 2014 6:48:57 PM