Thursday, July 17, 2014

Top ten books about Chicago

Andrew Rosenheim's novels include Fear Itself and The Little Tokyo Informant. He grew up in Chicago and in a small town in Michigan, and then went on to Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar in 1977.

One of Rosenheim's top ten books about Chicago, as shared at the Guardian:
Endless Love by Scott Spencer

The movie version of the novel – a combination of Zeffirelli schmaltz, Brooke Shields, and a theme tune that can be heard in elevators across the world – has relegated this remarkable book to undeserved obscurity. For although most "tragic" love stories remind me of Oscar Wilde's dictum about Little Nell, this is the exception. It's the story of Chicago teenager David Axelrod who lives in the city's famously liberal Hyde Park. David falls in love with a local girl, Jade Butterfield – and with her family who, embodying the kind of socially tolerant views the neighbourhood has always been famous for, invite him to live with them. But growing alarmed by David's intensity, Jade's father suddenly puts a halt to the affair. In a madcap scheme, David then accidentally burns down the Butterfield house and is sent to a mental institution. On release, he is reunited with Jade, only for catastrophe to strike a second time. A heartbreaking novel no synopsis can stand in for. Read it.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Also see: Five books that show real life in Chicago.

--Marshal Zeringue