Van Ripplewink: You Can't Go Home Again - PDF free download eBook

Cover of Van Ripplewink: You Can't Go Home Again
  • Verified: Fri, May 24, 2019
  • Published: 02.01.2019
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Introduction

KIRKUS REVIEWS: Clayton (In the Shape of a Man, 2013, etc.) updates the story of Rip Van Winkle in this social novel. In 2015, a backhoe at a construction site in Philadelphia unearths a coffin...

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Details of Van Ripplewink: You Can't Go Home Again

Original Title
Van Ripplewink: You Can't Go Home Again
Edition Format
Kindle Edition
Number of Pages
330 pages
Book Language
English
Ebook Format
PDF, EPUB

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Some brief overview of this book

KIRKUS REVIEWS: Clayton (In the Shape of a Man, 2013, etc.) updates the story of Rip Van Winkle in this social novel. In 2015, a backhoe at a construction site in Philadelphia unearths a coffin containing the long-slumbering Van Ripplewink, who went into the ground at age 17. He emerges half a century later without seeming to have aged—although he has grown quite a long be KIRKUS REVIEWS: Clayton (In the Shape of a Man, 2013, etc.) updates the story of Rip Van Winkle in this social novel.

In 2015, a backhoe at a construction site in Philadelphia unearths a coffin containing the long-slumbering Van Ripplewink, who went into the ground at age 17. He emerges half a century later without seeming to have aged—although he has grown quite a long beard. As he stumbles through the streets of his old neighborhood, called the Avenues, he's confused as to why the cars look different and so many stores have changed their names: "He passed a little nail salon he had never seen before, an African and Caribbean food store, the Sahara Restaurant where Wong's Chinese restaurant had been".

Perhaps most confusing to him is the fact that all the residents now appear to be African-American or Vietnamese. After he receives a salutatory beating from a group of local youths, he's picked up by Charles Davis, an engineer for the city's gas company, who attempts to help the teenager get oriented. With additional assistance from his own niece, Mignon, and a member of the local homeless community, Honest John, Van attempts to make sense of the new world in which he finds himself.

The only problem is that it doesn't make that much sense to anyone else: in post-Ferguson America, racial tensions are high, and the poverty in inner-city neighborhoods like the Avenues makes it easy for anyone to get caught on the wrong side of the law ... MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW: Van Ripplewink is a normal high school boy from the late 1960 who lives in a middleclass white neighborhood in Philadelphia, that is, until an accident occurs that outs him into a coma for forty-eight years. Awaking, Van is mystified.

He knows that the neighborhood is not the one he left; the area has now become an exclusively black neighborhood and the whole world seems divided along racial lines. There is whole new social dynamic based on youth gangs and crime. His parents, his friends and everyone he knows is gone; his school-closed.

Still, Van makes friends among homeless people he meets, and with educated black residents like Charles and his Niece, Mignon. He also makes friends of a sort with a black wannabe street gang member who is more interested in discrediting Van's attention to Mignon, than being a friend. Van cannot understand the animosity between the black youth of Philadelphia and the police, and the bias, and blatant disregard for right and wrong coupled with the situation ethics displayed by his student newspaper editor ...

Van Ripplewink is a book of complex characters who are struggling to exist in a world gone crazy. Van struggles to make sense of it, Mignon struggles to stay on the legitimate, legally acceptable side of it, Charles is concerned first with keeping Mignon safe and then Van as well. Chris is struggling to exist between his lust for Mignon and her pull to legitimacy, and his affinity for the street life and the anger he has adopted from the other street bullies.

Van Ripplewink is a good read for anyone interested in stories about social dynamics and is a fascinating look into what the world has become in less than fifty years. The story is good; the view of the world from its perspective is stark and disturbing reality. 5-Stars


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