Yup, we’ve got that one

And more than one million more. Become a member today and read free for two weeks.

Read free for two weeks
E. Annie Proulx's Accordion Crimes is a masterpiece of storytelling that spans a century and a continent. Proulx brings the immigrant experience in America to life through the eyes of the descendants of Mexicans, Poles, Africans, Irish-Scots, Franco-Canadians and many others, all linked by their successive ownership of a simple green accordion. The music they make is their last link with the past -- voice for their fantasies, sorrows and exuberance. Proulx's prodigious knowledge, unforgettable characters and radiant language make Accordion Crimes a stunning novel, exhilarating in its scope and originality.
Published: Scribner on Dec 1, 2007
ISBN: 9781416588887
List price: $11.99
Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
Availability for Accordion Crimes
With a 30 day free trial you can read online for free
  1. This book can be read on up to 6 mobile devices.
Clear rating

The basics: Accordion Crimes traces the lives of immigrants from a variety of countries throughout the 1900's as a single green accordion ties the stories loosely together.My thoughts: From the very first pages, I was enchanted with the writing of E. Annie Proulx. I vaguely recall reading Close Range in college, but I can't remember if I even liked her writing or stories. I'll remember her now. The downside to my love of her writing was her brilliant characterization, as I didn't realize when I started this book that it was a series of (long) short stories. When the first story came to an end, I was devastated. In some ways, the book never quite recovered for me. Despite the significance of the accordion to both the characters and stories, the accordion was perhaps my least favorite aspect of this novel. As a narrative device, it worked beautifully. I loved the idea of an object passing through the lives and hands of different people, and most of the transitions were intriguing. To fault Proulx for being disappointed with this book because I was expecting a novel is unfair. I like to know as little as possible before reading books that come highly recommended (or appear on prize lists). While Accordion Crimes is beautifully written and features several engaging stories, I failed to emotionally connect with some of them. As is so often the case for me as a reader, I enjoyed the first story best. When it ended, I was sad and struggled most with the second story. Once I got a sense of her overarching goals and structure, I was drawn into most of the other stories, but none captured the same spark as the first one.Favorite passage: "...for he conducted his life as everyone does--by guessing at the future."The verdict: While the writing was gorgeous, the stories didn’t come together enough for me. Ultimately, it didn’t feel like a novel, despite the strong thematic elements. While I’ll eagerly read Proulx again, next time I’ll try a novel.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Yes, it took me over two months to read this book. Longer than most books I’ve read of late. There were several times while reading it, that I looked ahead to see how many pages/chapters I had left to get to the end. But at no time did I wonder if I would be able to finish. At no time did I think, “This is boring, difficult, bad, I will quit before the end.” It isn’t a race through to the end. It isn’t a point A to point B story with characters that were all connected by story or blood.This novel is a collection of stories that covered a lot of time in America and a lot of the American immigrant experience connected by the life span of a green accordion. From it’s trip here to this country until its demise many years later throughout all of its many owners, showing their vast and frequently tragic experiences while they were in possession of the accordion, even if they did nothing with it.If you don’t enjoy a collection of stories that are only very loosely connected and find it a confusing thing to keep track of with so very many characters coming in and out of the book, you may not like this story. That is probably the number one complaint that I read in other reviews. That, and Ms. Proulx’s love of long sentences full of lists. Personally, I read every single word. I savored every sentence. I am a fan. And I found the end? Fitting and satisfying.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
The idea of following the life of an accordion is interesting. However there were so many individual stories and family connections and histories that I tended to lose track. Needs concentration to follow. Covered a big chunk of American hiistory which was interesting.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Read all reviews

Reviews

The basics: Accordion Crimes traces the lives of immigrants from a variety of countries throughout the 1900's as a single green accordion ties the stories loosely together.My thoughts: From the very first pages, I was enchanted with the writing of E. Annie Proulx. I vaguely recall reading Close Range in college, but I can't remember if I even liked her writing or stories. I'll remember her now. The downside to my love of her writing was her brilliant characterization, as I didn't realize when I started this book that it was a series of (long) short stories. When the first story came to an end, I was devastated. In some ways, the book never quite recovered for me. Despite the significance of the accordion to both the characters and stories, the accordion was perhaps my least favorite aspect of this novel. As a narrative device, it worked beautifully. I loved the idea of an object passing through the lives and hands of different people, and most of the transitions were intriguing. To fault Proulx for being disappointed with this book because I was expecting a novel is unfair. I like to know as little as possible before reading books that come highly recommended (or appear on prize lists). While Accordion Crimes is beautifully written and features several engaging stories, I failed to emotionally connect with some of them. As is so often the case for me as a reader, I enjoyed the first story best. When it ended, I was sad and struggled most with the second story. Once I got a sense of her overarching goals and structure, I was drawn into most of the other stories, but none captured the same spark as the first one.Favorite passage: "...for he conducted his life as everyone does--by guessing at the future."The verdict: While the writing was gorgeous, the stories didn’t come together enough for me. Ultimately, it didn’t feel like a novel, despite the strong thematic elements. While I’ll eagerly read Proulx again, next time I’ll try a novel.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Yes, it took me over two months to read this book. Longer than most books I’ve read of late. There were several times while reading it, that I looked ahead to see how many pages/chapters I had left to get to the end. But at no time did I wonder if I would be able to finish. At no time did I think, “This is boring, difficult, bad, I will quit before the end.” It isn’t a race through to the end. It isn’t a point A to point B story with characters that were all connected by story or blood.This novel is a collection of stories that covered a lot of time in America and a lot of the American immigrant experience connected by the life span of a green accordion. From it’s trip here to this country until its demise many years later throughout all of its many owners, showing their vast and frequently tragic experiences while they were in possession of the accordion, even if they did nothing with it.If you don’t enjoy a collection of stories that are only very loosely connected and find it a confusing thing to keep track of with so very many characters coming in and out of the book, you may not like this story. That is probably the number one complaint that I read in other reviews. That, and Ms. Proulx’s love of long sentences full of lists. Personally, I read every single word. I savored every sentence. I am a fan. And I found the end? Fitting and satisfying.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
The idea of following the life of an accordion is interesting. However there were so many individual stories and family connections and histories that I tended to lose track. Needs concentration to follow. Covered a big chunk of American hiistory which was interesting.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is a wonderul story about the travels of an accordian through the hands and lives of America's immigrants. I have always admired Proulx's writing and this book really showcases her ear for dialogue and talent for weaving emotion into a running narrative with diverse characters.I actually listened to this book on a cassette tape when I was on a cross country road trip. I highly recommend the experience, since the actors are able to truly capture the different accents and capture an authentic sense of place.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is a great book, though I consider "Postcards" to be Proulx' best. Accordion Crimes is about a little green accordion, made by a peasant in Italy who immigrates in America and brings his green accordion. After he dies, it goes to another immigrant, and another. The title of the book refers to the violent deaths of some of the green accordion's owners. The novel really is a collection of short stories, the only thing that the stories have in common is the green accordion and the fact that most of the stories are about accordion players or would-be players. Although this novel is not about Wyoming, it's still the same type of stories. The Shipping News really is the only novel/stories that Proulx wrote that are really different there. The end of the novel is funny. It's a really sad ending, but at the same time it's a very happy ending.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I've so far only read two of Proulx's books, this and the Shipping News. I really enjoyed the Shipping News, but I found this one to be depressing and eventually tedious (though the Shipping News was rather depressing as well if I recall correctly).I really enjoyed the first few stories here, but I just eventually got tired of it and was ready for the book to be over. I can't say exactly what it was that put me off - maybe it was the general bleakness of everything. She would here and there insert snippets - just a sentence or two - about what would later happen to a character, and it always ended badly for everyone.While it's true that it pretty much always does end badly for everyone in reality, that doesn't mean that everything before the end is bleak and sad or that the sum of it all is despair. We'll all eventually die and death is usually horrible (the only way that it isn't is if it is quick, and then it is usually pretty horrible for that person's loved ones), and we'll all also be bad people at some point ; we'll do bad things and we'll say bad things, we'll hurt the people that we love, etc. But, the whole life of a person isn't sad (at least not all people), but in Accordion Crimes it always seemed like the message - over and over - was it all turns to shit, so don't bother.That turned me off. The books was fairly good - writing was excellent and the characters were well drawn, it was just too bleak for me in this part of my life.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Load more
scribd