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The Street Sweeper - Elliot Perlman

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Published: 28th September 2011
Format: ePUB
RRP $21.95
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The remarkable new novel from one of Australia’s finest writers.

From the scars of the civil rights struggle in the United States to the crematoria of Auschwitz-Birkenau, there are even more stories than there are people passing each other every day on the crowded streets of any major city. Only some of these stories survive to become history.

Adam Zignelik, an almost 40-year-old untenured academic historian at New York's Columbia University, is the son of a prominent American civil rights lawyer and an Australian mother. One of his late father's closest friends had been the African American civil rights activist, William McCray. Since the death of Adam's parents it is the McCray family - William, his son Charles (Chair of History at Columbia) and Charles' wife - that has become Adam's adopted family.

With Adam's career and his relationship with his long-time girlfriend in crisis, he gets a suggestion for a promising research topic from William McCray, who is a World War II veteran, that just might save him professionally and even personally.

Entirely fortuitously, Charles McCray's wife's cousin, Lamont, recently released from prison and working as a hospital janitor, strikes up an unlikely friendship with a patient, an elderly Jewish Holocaust survivor and former member of the Sonderkommando (those prisoners forced to work in the gas chambers and crematoria of the Nazi extermination camps).

Two very different paths - Adam's and Lamont's - lead to one greater story as The Street Sweeper, in dealing with memory, racism, genocide and the human capacity for guilt, resilience, astonishing heroism and unexpected kindness, spans the 20th Century to the present and the globe from New York to Melbourne, Chicago, Warsaw, Berlin and Auschwitz.

Praise for Elliot Perlman:

‘Perlman has a rare gift for keeping the pages turning while never giving up on his vision of an encompassing and incisive social satire... the Aussie equivalent of the Franzens, Roths, and, yes, Austens of the world’ -- ELLE

‘Perlman’s power is in conveying the strife between personality and character in each of his protagonists. His prose, like his story itself, is vivid, humane, and finally optimistic in a manner that strengthens the reader’s perceptiveness’ -- HAROLD BLOOM

‘Perlman writes with such convincing simplicity - his sentences read like whiskey-fueled confessions - that you can’t help but imagine being locked in a room with his characters, devising a plan to palliate their woes’ -- ESQUIRE

About the Author

Elliot Perlman is the author of the award-winning novel THREE DOLLARS (Victoria’s favourite book, as voted by Victorians, and which was also a feature film starring David Wenham and Sarah Wynter), THE REASONS I WON’T BE COMING (a collection of award-winning stories), and the novel SEVEN TYPES OF AMBIGUITY. He is published in 20 countries, to glowing reviews. All of his books have won awards here and overseas, and all three of his books have been bestsellers in Australia and internationally. He is hailed as the ‘Zola of Australia’ in France. He lives in Melbourne.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
The Street Sweeper
 
4.7

(based on 3 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Engaging characters (3)
  • Well written (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Gift (3)

    Reviewed by 3 customers

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    5.0

    Wonderful book

    By chrisvinmurp

    from brisbane

    About Me Bookworm

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy To Read
    • Engaging characters
    • Well Written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Gift
      • Older Readers

      Comments about The Street Sweeper:

      Fantastic read. A very imprtant author to watch.

      Comment on this review

       
      5.0

      Don't be put off by the title

      By JJ

      from Adelaide

      About Me Bookworm

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Deserves Multiple Readings
      • Engaging characters
      • Gripping
      • Informative
      • Page-Turner
      • Well Written

      Cons

      • Nothing

      Best Uses

      • Everyone Should Read
      • Gift
      • Older Readers

      Comments about The Street Sweeper:

      One of the best books I have ever read. Everyone should read it for its historical information. & the way the different elements of the story are brought together.

      Comment on this review

       
      4.0

      Keep going you will enjoy it I promise

      By ILovetoRead

      from Clackline WA

      About Me Everyday Reader

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Deserves Multiple Readings
      • Engaging characters
      • Informative
      • Page-Turner
      • Well Written

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Gift

        Comments about The Street Sweeper:

        I will admit that it was hard to get into, but I guess there was a lot to set up. But by the middle of the book, I couldn't put it down. I found myself on the most interesting, if not disturbing journey. I wondered on how all the characters would come together and was not disappointed in the end... give it a go, you'll enjoy it.

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        ISBN: 9781742754543
        ISBN-10: 1742754546
        Format: ePUB
        Language: English
        Number Of Pages: 576
        Published: 28th September 2011
        Publisher: Random House Australia

        Elliot Perlman

        Elliot Perlman is the author of the award-winning novel THREE DOLLARS (Victoria’s favourite book, as voted by Victorians, and which was also a feature film starring David Wenham and Sarah Wynter), THE REASONS I WON’T BE COMING (a collection of award-winning stories), and the novel SEVEN TYPES OF AMBIGUITY. He is published in 20 countries, to glowing reviews. All of his books have won awards here and overseas, and all three of his books have been bestsellers in Australia and internationally. He is hailed as the ‘Zola of Australia’ in France. He lives in Melbourne.

        Visit Elliot Perlman's Booktopia Author Page