Sunnyside opens on a winter day in 1916, during which Charlie Chaplin is spotted in more than 800 places simultaneously, an extraordinary delusion that forever binds the overlapping fortunes of three men: Leland Wheeler, son of the world's last (and worst) Wild West star, as he finds unexpected love on the battlefields of France; Hugo Black, drafted to fight under the towering General Edmund Ironside in America's doomed expedition against the Bolsheviks; and Chaplin himself, as he faces a tightening vise of complications - studio moguls, questions about his patriotism, his unchecked heart, and, most menacing of all, his mother.The narrative is as rich and expansive as the ground it covers, and it is cast with a dazzling roster of both real and fictional characters: Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Adolph Zukor, Chaplin's (first) child bride, a thieving Girl Scout, the secretary of the treasury, a lovesick film theorist, three Russian princesses (gracious, nervous, and nihilist), a crew of fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants moviemakers, legions of starstruck fans, and Rin Tin Tin.By turns lighthearted and profound, Sunnyside is an altogether spellbinding novel about dreams, ambition, and the dawn of the modern age.More
"A breathless stupendous novel that recreates both a young brash America on the verge of becoming itself, and Chaplin, one of its most bewitching quixotic citizens....Gold proves himself yet again to be the hungriest craftiest funniest and most humane novelist we have." (Junot Díaz)
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almost as much fun as Ragtime
- connie "Narrative makes the world go round."