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  • Title: Christ in Concrete (Centennial Edition)
  • Author: Pietro Di Donato Studs Terkel Fred L. Gardaphé
  • ISBN: 9780451525758
  • Page: 420
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • An uncompromising yet beautiful portrait of the life of Italian immigrants on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in the 1920s, Christ in Concrete is the story of a twelve year old boy who must support his family after his father s untimely death.
    Christ in Concrete Centennial Edition An uncompromising yet beautiful portrait of the life of Italian immigrants on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in the s Christ in Concrete is the story of a twelve year old boy who must support h

    One thought on “Christ in Concrete (Centennial Edition)”

    1. Wow I mean, wow First, di Donato s powers as a writer humble me This book is touted as a social justice novel, but it s not quite the screed that Upton Sinclair s The Jungle was at times di Donato s book is a cry to the heavens, it plumbs the mysteries and pleads with heart and soul the essential question Why There are passages in this book that I ve never seen equaled in terms of poignancy about the human condition, about loss and grief, and the belief and hope that our lost ones accompany us a [...]

    2. This is a story of a 12 y o Italian immigrant boy, Paul whose father, Geremio was buried alive one Good Friday when the building he was constructing collapsed and the fresh cement thus the title fell on him The father has just signed a contract to pay, on installment basis, a house for his family and was excitedly telling everyone about it.This seems to be based on Pietro Di Donato 1911 1992 actual experience as a boy whose family migrated from Italy to the US and whose father died in 1923 Donat [...]

    3. Why don t people know about this book An immigrant and second generation Italian American tale written in 1939, also very much about class and exploitation so much so that the movie version of it was banned in the US.

    4. I know I m getting redundant, but this is another favorite urban narrative with a focus on the struggles of the italian immigrant community in New York in the early 20th century.

    5. Christ in Concrete is both paean and prayer to the old immigrant Italian industrial worker Like the laborers it depicts, Concrete lurches towards moments of joy without ever breaking through the unrelenting misery that is very much author Pietro di Donato s message This is working class literature of the 1930s where the great unwashed are brought into finer relief, their desperate situations the fodder for heart wrenching plot In vogue during its Depression heyday, this kind of literature, even [...]

    6. Christ in Concrete presents the often harrowing story of an Italian immigrant family in New York City in the 1920s 12 year old Paul is forced into construction work to support his mother and 7 younger siblings after the death of his father Geremio in the collapse of a shoddily constructed building The book alternates passages of Faulknerian stream of consciousness the narrative often becomes expressionistically inarticulate in scenes where the characters experience extreme stress with semi objec [...]

    7. The following review also appears on my blog trumpfiction.wordpress 20 1939 saw the release of two celebrated works about the experiences of downtrodden American migrants to California during the Depression John Steinbeck s novel The Grapes of Wrath and William Saroyan s drama The Time of Your Life Both would go on to win Pulitzer Prizes in their respective genres and enter the canon as classic American works of the proletariat in the Depression era Both would be mythologized in Hollywood films [...]

    8. An amazing book In short, it is about early Italian immigrants, literally being worked to death, trying to make a living in New York It is just before the depression, and we follow the lives of bricklayers the men who raise the enormous buildings in which other men succeed The work is referred to as Job with a capital J most of the time What do you make of that Hmm Job is never spoken of as a good and friendly presence Instead it is a pulsing, deadly, threatening thing that rules the lives of me [...]

    9. The positive Affecting characterizations, occasional lovely bits of prose.The negative Here s the thing I have no problem with dialect, or with stream of consciousness I have a problem with transliterating Italian into word for word English instead of interpreting it For example, per favore may literally mean for favor, but it means please Transliterating it the first way adds no beauty to the words, but instead muddles the meanings of the characters speech I didn t mind the way the author wrote [...]

    10. It s astounding how under the radar this book is considering how mind blowingly good it is The first chapter includes the best description of a building under construction collapsing and crushing people that I ve ever read And it s really beautifully written.

    11. I have not read a devastating first chapter I ll never look at an old building again without thinking of what the true human cost was of building America s great cities.

    12. Christ in Concrete is a remarkable little find Written nearly eighty years ago, but with nary an out of date reference or any contrivance or corniness, it reads with dynamism and literate flight that would not seem out of place in the present day All rings with authenticity of direct cultural and lifeblood experience The story is of socio economic, class and cultural struggle It doesn t take much to guess that this account originates from Donato s own experiences as worker and family member The [...]

    13. He ll put his tools here no put them there workers up and down the stairs then the battery of riveting guns let loose and reverberating the live metal air of Job whang whang resound the ironworkers sledges hey buddy dump some mortar here I can t stretch to the other tub and get me an armful of damn brick in this corner put it up what s the bond in this angle uorrrrhhhhhh sing the hoists goddamn damn sonofabastarddd I said brick on the hoist not tile Brick you dago screwball brick Hey Murrphpheee [...]

    14. This novel is the puffed up version of a story, first published in Esquire magazine, which went on to be named Best short story of 1938 I have no doubt that the original story was first rate because the beginning of this novel packs a powerful punch As long as the author deals with his father s lethal accident on a construction job and his own decision to step in as the bread winner for his mother and 7 siblings, the writing is strong and vibrant Afterwards, we get all the predictable scenes of [...]

    15. Here is a book about what it was like to be an immigrant, in this case Italian, in the early 20th century No whiners here I found myself asking, Is it really worth leaving your home to endure such hardship and longing for a better life when what you had may have actually been the better thing The writing is exceptional, experimental, and di Donato manages to capture the pathos, the culture, and the heartache of the immigrant experience where family and community were all you had and it was almos [...]

    16. Brutal, visceral, sensual This book is thick with atmosphere and heavy with the pressure of Italian american life just before the depression Love the linguistic attentions and gritty realness It is so lush with detail yet careful not to be so hyperbolic that it is not believable.

    17. A powerful work, portraying in agonizingly reality the experience of recent immigrants, in this case Italians in America as they struggle to find their way, scratch out a living, sweat, suffer and die in the merciless construction industry of the 1920s In his introduction, Studs Terkel compares it with Steinbeck s Grapes of Wrath , and aptly so A boy of twelve, after the death of his father in a construction accident, sees no alternative but to quit school and seek employment as a bricklayer to [...]

    18. As a 3rd generation Italian American I can appreciate this book very much It is wonderful to see in written form the life they led, what they went through, assimilation, toil, racism, passion It is very heavy on the Catholicism And very dramatic Italians are very into Catholicism, such as myself To understand us, you have to understand our religion An Italian without Catholicism is almost unheard of So of course the book is centered on that Also, we tend to be dramatic and a bit melancholy Our t [...]

    19. Christ in Concrete is the poignant tale of a labor class youth s attempt to sustain himself and his family in the early mid nineteenth century streets of Downtown Manhattan, New York City In exchange for life, Paul, the protagonist, sacrificed his ticket out of the cycle of poverty as did his late father education As Paul endures the toiling labor in bricklaying and weeps at the hands that denied him the most basic of needs in the most perilous hours, it seems clear that he represents the tragic [...]

    20. This is a very sobering account of Italian immigrant construction workers in the the Lower East Side of New York City, taking place just before the Depression At the time of its publication in 1939, it received accolades along with another contemporary novel,The Grapes of Wrath Di Donato s novel is largely autobiographical, based on his own experiences growing up as the oldest son of an immigrant family, who, at age 12, must make ends meet after the untimely death of his father The writing is co [...]

    21. I finished this book too early in the morning to think about a review, which I am lousy at anyways So, agreeing with just about everyone else that gave it 4 or 5 stars, the only other thing I can add is the word choice and word order that di Donato uses I have never read a book written this way and at first found it a little disconcerting but not for long It became quite natural perhaps because of my own Italian heritage My paternal Grandfather born in Italy was a stone mason and I only wish he [...]

    22. A novel about the difficulty of Italian immigrants getting by during the Depression Studs Terkel likens it to Grapes of Wrath.The style created a barrier for me I imagine the intent was to remind us that the characters were speaking Italian and also to convey the confusions of the workplace and family gatherings It was sort of stream of consciousness, but hard to tell in whose consciousness I could not get used to the personification of Job.Bad things, unfair things, happened to the family They [...]

    23. Who knew 1930s literature about developing NYC could be so gory The scene with the building collapse and the jaw stripping down to bone and other grisly details, will stay with me for a long time It s a great book to read while living in New York, where you can easily look around and imagine the buildings that Pietro Di Donato and the other bricklayers may have built The book jumps around a lot and seems to leave some loose ends, but I definitely recommend it for people looking for a unique pers [...]

    24. It s a good classic story with some very powerful and beautifully written lines There are also many parts where it gets confusing It was once said the best way to do flashbacks isn t I feel the same rule applies to mental breakdowns and dream sequences Both of these occurred in the book and became so convoluted, I just started skimming until they were over Though I won t tell you the ending, I can say it didn t bring about any resolution All in all, parts of the story were very powerful, but it [...]

    25. affecting and depressing, this novel derived from the author s autobiographical short story, offers a deeper look into the lives of Itallian immigrants and the hardships they faced Framed by death and trajedy, the novel does offer glimpses of hope Make no mistake though, this novel isn t trying to play nice and it goes in for the kill several times with unexpected imagery and frightening details.

    26. Great book about human tragedy The language varies a lot to be realistic about actual dialogues, and it adds colors and nuances You really feel part of it The subject is actual than ever, about immigration, immigrants conditions, dreams, hopes and desperation Different country, different immigrants but same sorrow.

    27. When I read that this book bested Grapes of Wrath in both reviews and sales they came out the same year , I thought I needed to see what it was all about So I tracked down an old copy at a used bookstore and dug in Having now read it, I don t see what all the fuss was about I ll take Tom Joad and his ill fated journey.

    28. The day that followed was lived And blood and stone would go on creating the world Go to America Go to America cried every open mouth I went Here I am And so what t even Death can free us, for we are Christ In Concrete.

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