By William Kennedy

Publish yr note: First released in 1978

The moment novel in William Kennedy’s much-loved Albany cycle depicts Billy Phelan, a marginally tarnished poker participant, pool hustler, and small-time bookie.  A imaginative guy choked with Irish pluck, Billy works the fringes of the Albany wearing existence together with his personal specific type and personal code of honor, till he reveals himself within the harmful place of capability go-between within the kidnapping of a political boss’s son.

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Extra info for Billy Phelan's Greatest Game (The Albany Cycle, Book 2)

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34 In a romance, as in Billy Budd, meaning of the everyday, no matter how realistically rendered, must be sought in a transcendent world. Granted, the narrator warns us that Billy Budd is no romance, and Melville's plot suggests that the higher world to which it appeals has itself been emptied of meaning. 35 To be sure, Twain and James each in his own way served as a model for various modernist writers, Twain through his use of the vernacular, James through his mastery of psychological realism.

As a result, I tell a story about the culture and society, of which both legal and literary history are a part, that would not be told otherwise. That story is by no means the only story to be told. Nonetheless, it is, I believe, one that is worth telling. If there is continuity between my earlier book and this one, there are also differences. The relation between law and literature did not remain static. Changes in it necessitate a different organizational principle. The first book juxtaposed important legal figures and their cases with important literary figures and their stories.

Many artists try to present realistic visions of the world. Any judgment of whether or not a work is realistic depends on the sense of reality in which one operates. Since a sense of reality can change from author to author and critic to critic, why give some works the privileged label of realism? Page 8 One way of responding to the insight that realism is a convention as much as any other presentation of reality is to describe the particular sense of reality that self-proclaimed realists perceive.

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