“As I travel the circle of my life near to its completion, I remember a time when I was young and more idealistic than I am today; when my step was lighter and my hair not so gray. For many of my days, I have been the most public of men. Yet I have kept the most important chapter of my life private and hidden from view. I write now of that time with the wisdom of a life fully lived and with the honesty of one who senses that the grave is near. I write so that, when I pass from this world, the events and people that I am about to describe shall be remembered forever.”England, 1870: His health failing, his most important work all but done, Charles Dickens is readying for the final bed. But there is one more story that he must tell. The Final Recollections of Charles Dickens blends a historically-accurate telling of Dickens’s life with a gripping portrait of betrayal, murder, corruption, obsession, and love. It’s the story of Dickens’s coming of age, caught between the worlds of England’s ruling elite and the seamy underside of London society. The novel captures a full range of Dickensian characters: Dickens; the hauntingly beautiful Amanda Wingate; Geoffrey Wingate, Amanda’s scheming financial-swindler husband; and Florence Spriggs, a mutilated prostitute whose once-lovely face has been carved into a mask of horror. Meticulously researched and masterfully told, The Final Recollections of Charles Dickens captures the voice of the beloved author, the divided city of London, and the uncertain tenor of the times.
The Final Recollections of Charles Dickens
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Thomas Hauser is the author of forty-seven books on subjects ranging from professional boxing to Beethoven. His first novel Missing was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, the Bancroft Prize, and the National Book Award, and was the basis for the Academy-Award-winning film starring Jack Lemmon and Sissy Spacek. He wrote Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times - the definitive biography of the most famous man on earth - which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. Hauser has written extensively about the sport and business of professional boxing and has published articles in in The New Yorker, The New York Times, and other publications. He is currently a consultant to HBO and lives in Manhattan.
A Publisher's Weekly Choice for Book of the Week "This beautifully crafted historical novel by the prolific Hauser (Waiting for Carver Boyd) is a fictional autobiography of Dickens...Hauser delivers a crisp, colorful narrative with vivid pictures of London's rich and poor, as well as a suspenseful, perilous drama in the style of Dickens." --Publishers Weekly, Starred Review "...Charles Dickens still has one more story to tell. And what a story it is--fit for the plot of a classic Dickens composition....Hauser's mastery of Dickensian language and dramatic flair creates engaging historical fiction, and his depiction of Dickens's social philosophy of championing the poor will resonate with contemporary readers who are concerned about income inequality. Fans of the 19th-century author or of well-researched historical fiction will savor this work." --Library Journal "...delicately weaves together Dickens's well-known history with an imagined tale of mystery, murder and romance....will delight devoted students of the writer. What is even more delightful is how truly Dickensian Hauser's novel proves to be, exploring not only this imagined incident but also the real man's favorite themes of London life and class inequalities." --Shelf Awareness " In many ways, the story is illuminating (especially about Dickens' early career, before he married Catherine Hogarth, in 1836.).... Hauser is right to speculate about one of the world's greatest novelists and suggest that an early event in his life subsequently shaped the rest of his years as well as his brilliant writing career... Thomas Hauser should be given credit for assimilating and then processing so much of Charles Dickens' life--an enormous task by any standards." --Counterpunch Praise for Thomas Hauser
"For the last few years Booklist has heaped praise on Hauser's annual look back at the previous year in boxing. This year is no different. Why is Hauser one of the best sports journalists working today? He is an unashamed lover of boxing but never hesitates in exposing its flaws... Wonderful writing from a world-class journalist." --Booklist, Starred Review Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times "Hauser compiles opinions from a wide-ranging roster of interviewees to create a portrait of the controversial boxing champ that bristles with insights, jabs and tributes." --Publishers Weekly "A detailed, if hagiographic, account of Ali's public career and private life. Hauser (author of one of the best books ever on the fight game, 1985's Black Lights) is an obvious and uncritical fan of Ali's, whom he apotheosizes early on as the most recognizable person on earth.' ...Hauser does a good job of marshaling a wealth of facts into a cohesive whole and providing behind-the-scenes glimpses of a ring lion in the autumn, if not winter, of his years." --Kirkus "The first definitive biography of...the boxer who transcended sports as no other athlete ever has." --The New York Times Book Review "How many Muhammad Ali's have we seen during his tempestuous ride through 30 years of roller-coaster American history? Ali rode that roller coaster with zest and pride and humor and class." --Chicago Tribune "Compelling...I doubt that we shall ever see a more comprehensive portrait of this extraordinary athlete." --The Sporting News "A new generation is about to rediscover this exemplar of the Zeitgeist of the 1960s....The awesome pressures mortals can't imagine...were somehow converted into motivation by Ali. And this comprehensive, poignant, and knowing book is sure to be a catalyst of his coming renaissance....Ali was bigger than boxing, and so is this book." -- The Nation "A measuring stick for at least three decades of America -- who we were, how we changed and what we became." --New York Post
"Extensive and fascinating detail; first-rate....The triumph of the "witness" technique in biography may be judged complete." --New York Daily News "A magnificent book [about] a life that needs to be understood whether you care a whit about boxing or not." --The Boston Globe "You're liable to find Muhammad Ali in the sports section of your bookstore, and that's certainly one place it belongs. Ali was a massive presence in sports for decades. But this book should be in the biography section as well, because like all good biography, it teaches us something about what it means to try to make a meaningful life in this slippery world. And it should be in the history section, because Ali has been a force in contemporary events second to no American." --National Public Radio Missing "Devastating." --The New York Times Book Review *2013's "Invisible Woman" film about Dickens' relationship with his mistress was well-reviewed