Book Beginnings is a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader that asks you to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you're reading.
Skyscraper of a Man is a truly American story. Rooted in the homogenous suburbs of the 1970s, the novel explores the American propensity to pursue great ambitions, regardless of upbringing, that can result in lives that are larger than life. The four main characters meet at college and forge such lives, each achieving remarkable success in their chosen pursuits while condoning the choices that enable their success. The main character, Benjamin Franklin Matthews, the son of a printer and avid Revolutionary War buff, believes deeply in America, its founding principles, and “by the people, for the people” government. Inspired by the grand ideals of the Founding Fathers, Ben starts a newspaper and runs for political office, efforts aimed at righting a nation he perceives as falling short of its potential and promise. His three college friends, a writer who is also his business partner, a television news anchorwoman who was his lover, and a former college football star, play contributing roles in his rise to national prominence. In the end, Ben learns that grand ideals are elusive, difficult to maintain, and better left to the perfect among us.
Book Beginnings: Few can truly relate, but most would judge my circumstances during the fifteen years as quite fortunate. I know I do.
The Friday 56: After a short silence, I observed, "The vote was nine to one. Who do you think voted against us?"
Both sure of the nay vote, Ben and I looked at one another, smiled and simultaneously declared, "Sweeney," before breaking into gut-busting laughter.
What are you reading this week? What do you think of this book?