Legs Legs the inaugural book in William Kennedy s acclaimed Albany cycle of novels brilliantly evokes the flamboyant career of gangster Jack Legs Diamond Through the equivocal eyes of Diamond s attorney

  • Title: Legs
  • Author: WilliamKennedy
  • ISBN: 9780140064841
  • Page: 234
  • Format: Paperback
  • Legs, the inaugural book in William Kennedy s acclaimed Albany cycle of novels, brilliantly evokes the flamboyant career of gangster Jack Legs Diamond Through the equivocal eyes of Diamond s attorney, Marcus Gorman who scraps a promising political career for the elemental excitement of the criminal underworld , we watch as Legs and his showgirl mistress, Kiki RobLegs, the inaugural book in William Kennedy s acclaimed Albany cycle of novels, brilliantly evokes the flamboyant career of gangster Jack Legs Diamond Through the equivocal eyes of Diamond s attorney, Marcus Gorman who scraps a promising political career for the elemental excitement of the criminal underworld , we watch as Legs and his showgirl mistress, Kiki Roberts, blaze their gaudy trail across the tabloid pages of the 1920s and 1930s.

    • Legs ¦ WilliamKennedy
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      Published :2019-06-21T15:52:50+00:00

    About "WilliamKennedy"

    1. WilliamKennedy

      William Joseph Kennedy is an American writer and journalist born and raised in Albany, New York Many of his novels feature the interaction of members of the fictional Irish American Phelan family, and make use of incidents of Albany s history and the supernatural Kennedy s works include The Ink Truck 1969 , Legs 1975 , Billy Phelan s Greatest Game 1978 , Ironweed 1983, winner of 1984 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction film, 1987 , and Roscoe 2002.See also enpedia wiki William_

    205 thoughts on “Legs”

    1. This is a great quote from the book, "I am bored by people who keep returning life to a moral plane, as if we were reducible, now, to some Biblical concept or it’s opposite, as if all our history and prehistory had not conditioned us for what we’ve become. When we get off the moral gold standard, when the man of enormous wealth is of no more importance to anybody than the man in rags, then maybe we’ll look at our own day as a day justifiable social wrath."

    2. I am on a streak of five-star books. Of course, when one reads William Kennedy, one knows they are reading one of the all-time great writers. As the back cover tells us, "Legs inaugurated William Kennedy's brilliant cycle of novels. "Legs" is Jack Diamond, gangster, tough guy, bootlegger, lady charmer and brutal murderer. The story is told from the point of view of Diamond's attorney, Marcus Gorman, who exchanges a potential political career to view the mayhem around Diamond's life. It was a tri [...]

    3. I had been interested in reading William Kennedy's trilogy about upstate New York for a long time, but this is one of those novels that has less of a plot than a biography that is written like a novel. I think when novelists rise to a certain stature, no one asks them to cut the fat anymore. This is a three-million-times told story of the fancy gangster with the hot mistress and the loving wife and people who love him even tho he's really bad. Nothing remarkable here, to me. The narrator is the [...]

    4. Feels like a classic gangster movie with flashes of Scorsese and Tarantino spliced in. The book is self-aware of its tawdry subject matter, yet it still can't resist the pull to glamorize the lives of a psychopathic hood and his female companions. Occasionally slips into poetic ruminations, which are generally corny in the extreme.The moral ambivalence of the narrator (a lawyer who goes on Legs Diamond's payroll), and his worshipful admiration of his client, combined with some untrustworthy narr [...]

    5. An intimate yet soaring novel about the last years of notorious booze-runner, Legs Diamond. William Kennedy's first entry into the Albany Cycle, this novel is narrated by the playful and sharp-tongued attorney, Marcus Gorman, and the in typical Kennedy fashion, the story bounces around from past to present, sometimes within the same sentence. What may infuriate some traditional readers made me re-read passages with awe and wonder. There is such a beauty to Kennedy's rhythm to this tale of a like [...]

    6. This intelligently written portrait submerges its reader into the world of the prohibition gangster Jack Diamond through the lens of his lawyer, Marcus. It follows Jack's complex love for both his wife and his mistress, his grand plans and the seemingly small things that would eventually derail him. The book establishes its title character as a man married to his myth; he doesn't believe, entirely, that he is this high velocity murderer, ruthless bootlegger the media portrays him, but he certain [...]

    7. Kennedy creates the world of Legs so vividly, I feel like I'm there. Not that I'm an expert on the world of bootleggers during prohibition, but it seems perfect to me. Even beyond that, though, Kennedy gets to the heart of the yearning of his characters. What they hope for. What they dream. How their lives change and acquire meaning as life denies those hopes and dreams. This is a great book for the world is recreates, but an even better one for the human core of the characters in that world tha [...]

    8. This fictional story of real-life gangster Jack "Legs" Diamond was gorgeously written. Kennedy's prose is incredible, although at times the action was gritty enough that I felt like I wanted to cover my eyes, as if I were watching a movie, so as to only halfway see the gory stuff. The chronology bounces around a little and it's so hard to keep track of all the gangsters--who is on who's side and who owes money to whom and the like. But the story is fast-paced and gave a real insight to the less- [...]

    9. Probably at least a 3.5, this is an entertaining portrayal of an iconic gangster that explores the iconography of gangsters which I would have perhaps rated higher if I hadn't read Doctorow's similarly-themed Billy Bathgate at the start of the year; the stylistic voice and analyses of crime and human violence captured in that novel, reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy at his best, overshadowed Kennedy's book for me.

    10. Not as good as Ironweed, but still interesting. I was interrupted by life a couple of times while reading it, which may have had an unfair effect on my opinion of it. But if you like well-written gangster stories, this is for you.

    11. “ People like killers. And if one feels sympathy for the victims it’s by way of thanking them for letting themselves be killed. ” –Eugene Ionesco. (The epigraph of “Legs.”)This is a fictionalized portrayal of the real gangster Jack “Legs” Diamond. The book is ironically entitled “Legs” even though everybody who knew the guy called him “Jack.” The press invented the the sobriquet “Legs” because Jack outran death. Surviving gunshot wounds or altogether avoiding them ove [...]

    12. with charming one-liner's like, "And Eddie had died of TB[,]" set pace for this Roaring Twenties nonfiction read like fiction. in youth with Eddie when tramping witness a hobo blackjacked by a bull from boxcar, 'The bull left him where he fell. "The bastard," Jack said. "He'd do the same to us." But the Diamond brothers always outran the bulls, outscrambled them beneath the cars.'encounter with Hessian playwright is a classic on the Continent. standard hoodlum compound elaborated, 'The fortress [...]

    13. Ironweed was so much better! This one just kind of drifted around aimlessly, in my opinion. It took me way too long to finish it! Not a very coherent review. But it was just OK. I never really felt like I got into any of the characters. The narrator is probably the most interesting character, but he's also the least self-aware and least introspective person I think I've ever encountered, so there wasn't much to chew on with him.

    14. Kicking off Kennedy's Albany trilogy, this is a semi-factual romanticisation of legendary gangster Legs Diamond's life. It has some good moments, but owing to the narrative style of telling it from multiple points-of-view I found it almost a chore to get through.

    15. 1st book is Kennedy's Albany series. Since we live near there, thought I should read it. While I enjoy his writing, the subject matter of this gangster tale didn't hold my interest - broads, bootlegging, violence. Local legend Jack "Legs" Diamond surely had nine lives.

    16. As other reviewers have mentioned, LEGS is the first of William Kennedy's 'Albany cycle', a series of eight books set in and around the city of Albany, N.Y. LEGS is the story of Jack 'Legs' Diamond, notorious gangster and bootlegger of the 1920's who was murdered in an Albany apartment in 1931 by two unidentified men who were finally able to put down 'the most shot at man in America'. Kennedy's portrayal of Diamond is nuanced, complex--beginning at the height of Diamond's popularity and power, t [...]

    17. The first of the Albany trilogy will be the last read for me but I will read it sometime soon.And now I'm doing it. This book was actually on my to-read shelf and I picked it up somewhere maybe the local transfer station - a gold mine of free books! I've read "Ironweed" and "Billy Phelan's Greatest Game" so I'm going to go ahead and give a 4* rating(for starters) to the last of the Albany trilogy. Already the tone of the book's been set. Jack Diamond is a violent, charismatic SOB. Warren Beatty [...]

    18. Legs Tries: Jack "Legs" Diamond spends 300+ pages trying to make the world work in his favor. He tries to set up a bootlegging monopoly in upstate New York. He tries to keep his freedom. He tries to get his wife and his mistress to get along. He tries to stay alive so he can keep trying. Yet, even when Jack got his way, he still managed to fail. The same can be said of William Kennedy's LEGS, a fictionalization of the life leading up to the court trails and eventual murder of the non fictional J [...]

    19. I came to read William Kennedy's Legs after a browse. Having read a recommendation of E.L. Doctorow's 'Ragtime', that book's article led me to the Modern Library 100 Best Novels (Ragtime is No.86 on that list) and 'Ironweed' by William Kennedy, published in 1983 is the the "most recent novel in the list".I discovered that Ironweed was the third book (of seven) in the 'Albany cycle', and, nothing if not a completist, decided to make all 7 books in the cycle my summer reading.That meant that I s [...]

    20. Wonderful fictional memoir of bootlegger Jack "Legs" Diamond, as told by his lawyer (!) Marcus Gorman. Obviously this means you are saddled with an unreliable narrator -- not to mention one who tries to go all naturalistic and tropey like Saul Bellow -- but I dig Marcus's (and Kennedy's) admiration for Diamond's fearless womanizing, statute-shredding, and bullet-swallowing. A very likeable guy, he turns out: Jack lived a long time, for Jack, and I credit it to his sense of balance, even in viole [...]

    21. I thought this book was closer to a 3.5 star worthy read, but I gave it four. Seems like a combination of the Great Gatsby meets the Godfather. This is the first of the Albany novels by William Kennedy, who also did a good job with Billy Phelan's Greatest Game and Ironweed. Unfortantely, I didn't know these were a trilogy until about seven months ago when reading Billy Phelan's Greatest Game, so I read these three books backwards. Someday I'll reread them again in order. Still I have to thank my [...]

    22. Marked by Kennedy's wit, charm, and smooth prose, but not as engaging as "Billy Phelan's Greatest Game." I felt the book was a little too long and had to drag myself through the end as the author gets verbose about what it all means. Marcus Gorman, the narrator, begins the story as the reader's surrogate, but by the end has been (in my opinion) corrupted and twisted by what he's seen and done, so that by the end he's constantly apologizing for Jack Diamond and condescending to the "self-righteou [...]

    23. Tough to summarize my feelings on this book. I think Kennedy's style doesn't fit with me. I enjoyed the book, but never got fully invested due to the way the story is told. The story is told from the perspective of the lawyer, but you never really get to know him. He spends too much time explicitly describing philosophical character traits that I enjoy best left understated. The best metaphor for me is a band like Led Zeplin. I don't dislike their music. I understand why people love them. I can [...]

    24. Many have said this is a typical gangster book. The Great Gatsby is a book about a gangster. So, while it is book about gangsters it has lots of art to it and it is not all about the action, shock value and violence. But there certainly is shock value and violence. Brilliant book. William Kennedy portrays the colloquialisms (and classic phrases) of his characters -a strongpoint and very, very entertaining -as if he actually lived with them. Very poetic. Ez read, very humorous. I will reread this [...]

    25. Aside from knowing the author as a pompous twit, I find the book to be typical gangster fare with the note that animal lovers of any kind should avoid reading thisas every beast mentioned in the thing dies by violence (birds, cats, dogs, every hapless little thing suffers). It contains enough literary allusions to do credit to the pompous author's tastes and enough about the areas of Albany, the Catskills and other stretches nearthe Hudson to be interesting for those who like to see familiar pla [...]

    26. Following “Legs” Diamond through the last year or so of his life up to his gangland-style murder in a version that falls somewhere on the spectrum between somewhat and highly fictionalized, Kennedy’s book makes for great reading and an interesting view of the early depression years, Irish gangsters, and the fascination of both the public and his immediate circle with a charismatic, somewhat thoughtful but totally amoral thief, extortionist, bootlegger and killer.

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