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Author: Tom Fitzgerald
ISBN13: 978-0984592135
Title: Poor Richard's Lament: A Most Timely Tale
Format: txt lrf lit docx
ePUB size: 1697 kb
FB2 size: 1593 kb
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Language: English
Category: Genre Fiction
Publisher: Hobblebush Books; First edition (January 17, 2012)
Pages: 640

Poor Richard's Lament: A Most Timely Tale by Tom Fitzgerald

Poor Richard’s Lament is not a book for wimps - let me be perfectly honest from the outset. Michael W. Zuckerman’s comprehensive Foreword makes this declaration all too clear. But good Ben Franklin was no wimp himself-as Tom Fitzgerald’s exhaustive Milestones in the Life of Benjamin Franklin makes equally clear. And so, let the clang of Caveat Lector! ring loud and clear - as you, dear reader, are about to embark upon a monumental challenge: to follow the genius of Tom Fitzgerald as he steers you and Ben Franklin’s time capsule through the Scylla of the two centuries-past: . through his first examination and the Charybdis of the present one in.

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Ben's odyssey begins at his birth site in Boston, passes through New York, and ends, with wrenching poignancy, at his grave site in Philadelphia.

With a bow toward Benjamin Franklin, founder of the Library Company of Philadelphia, the American Philosophical Society, and the University of Pennsylvania, this site aspires to stimulate open discussion on all worthy subjects, those relating to Poor Richard's Lament: A Most Timely Tale, as well as those relating to the world at large. Join the fun! Sunday, October 23, 2011. The first series of posts to this site will concern the topic of Leadership

Tom Fitzgerald on tour for Poor Richard's Lament: A Most Timely Tale. The stakes are high for our culture. Interwoven into the main story is a second, beginning in the red-carpeted parlors of the West Wing and ending in the blood-stained streets of West Philadelphia. Eventually, the parallel stories collide, like massive tectonic plates, in a stunning series of shocks and aftershocks.

Users say. Time Out says. The author reads from his new work of fiction, 'Poor Richard's Lament: A Timely Tale', about Ben Franklin returning to present-day America. Posted: Thursday August 30 2012.

Tom is the author most recently of Poor Richards Lament: A Most Timely Tale. According to Michael Zuckerman, Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania, Poor Richard’s Lament joins John Barth’s Sot-Weed Factor as the best historical fiction of early America ever written. Walter Isaacson, author of Benjamin Franklin: An American Life; Steve Jobs; Leonardo da Vinci; and others calls Poor Richard’s Lament, A re-imagining of Ben Franklin you will not soon forget. In spearheading the marketing campaign for Poor Richard’s Lament, Tom has given talks and readings in such venues as Penn’s Kelly Writers House, the Boston Latin School, the Franklin House Museum in London, the Chilton Club of Boston, and the University of Pennsylvania Bookstore.

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The resulting warship was christened Bonhomme Richard in appreciation of the influence of Poor Richard’s Almanack on the indomitable Jones. The final issues of the almanac reflect this new seriousness most dramatically. The 1756 issue includes short essays covering topics such as curing heartburn and burns on the skin as well as good conversation, expenses, good health, honest labor, temperance, simple living, adjusting to hardship, honor, and industry.

Fiction. From the West Wing of the White House to the "Celestial Trial" of Ben Franklin, to the slums of Philadelphia, POOR RICHARD'S LAMENT takes us on a whirlwind tour of time and space. Ben's odyssey begins at his birth site in Boston, passes through New York, and ends, with wrenching poignancy, at his grave site in Philadelphia. Following in the traditions of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, Capra's It's a Wonderful Life, with intimations of Dante's Divine Comedy, "POOR RICHARD'S LAMENT, nine years in the making, is an intricately woven, ultimately uplifting tale of revelations and redemption.
Reviews: 7
fire dancer
Poor Richard's Lament could not be a more timely, eloquent, and capable invitation for humanity in general and Americans in particular to re-discover what brings real peace and happiness into our lives: making it our top priority to be good to one another, regardless of the cost to the ambitions and appetites of the ego. America in particular has made the latter its chief priority, which is in no small measure why we find our nation so lost and troubled in present times, and we took this path in large part due to the seminal influence of founding fathers such as Benjamin Franklin.

In this novel, Franklin's life is examined in extraordinary detail to reveal the ways in which a man viewed as a high achiever and example of the American Spirit nevertheless made many painful mistakes when in came to the service of his fellow human beings. He is given the chance at redemption, to which he applies all of the wit, drive, and creativity he so often misapplied in his former life, and thus provides a new example for America to follow. He dispenses with the mindset of Industry, Frugality, and Expediency, and ushers in the hope of a new age of Compassion, Generosity, and Understanding.

PRL is written with uncommon love for and attention to language, story, and character, and nearly every page sparkles with insight and wisdom. Rarely will you witness a character so exquisitely rendered as Benjamin Franklin is in these pages, and his palpable, charismatic presence lends the book an authority which will penetrate the heart and challenge the reader to re-examine their own life--and they will be the better for it.
I have read many books on a wide range of topics and have been invited to review several. But not until I read Poor Richard's Lament did I feel compelled to actually write one. This is a most unusual tale, written in an 18th century high-minded and forceful style which compares sharply with the now prevalent street vernacular, and is replete with historical facts about Benjamin Franklin - the person - which are virtually unknown and unappreciated in today's sound-bite culture. It's this other side of Mr. Franklin that we may recognize within ourselves, like it or not - the one that contrasts the saying and the doing, the one that forces us to recognize and regret the not doing.

But wait. This tale is not of the currently popular "hero expose" genre toppling growing numbers of America's Formative Leaders from the Mount. In this tale, Mr Franklin actually returns from the "cask" to turn his wisdom and wit to social issues unsurprisingly similar to those of 200 years ago..........thereby forcing us to see clearly, like it or not.

Poor Richard's Lament is a wonderfully crafted and challenging read, from Ben-on-stage to Ben-on-"Sloan". I for one came away from this "timely tale" impressed with Tom Fitzgerald's labors, with undiminished high regard for Mr. Franklin, with heightened sensitivity towards regret, and with a path to redemption.
The meticulous use of those wonderful speech patterns transported me back in time to pre-revolutionary America more effectively than a verbal description ever could. I felt that I was there! Poor Richard's Lament: A Most Timely Tale was great to read. Oh, I also learned a lot about Mr. Franklin.
It is a very thought provoking book. Well written. A must read for Ben Franklin followers.
Expediency is the heart of Tom Fitzgerald's foray into the imaginary life of Benjamin Franklin. For two hundred years have passed since the death of this notable American hero, years that Ben has had to pen the story of his life and include all of his wrongdoings. But Ben has left out quite a bit, and now he stands before his colleagues, now Judges, Alexander Wedderburn, John Adams and the Reverend William Smith. In multiple scenes that almost seem like Scrooge being judged in the well-known A Christmas Carol, heavenly swirls of colors, smoke, and lightning flashes accompany each new revelation that surprisingly damns this historical giant!

For as we proceed, we come to learn that while Ben lived by the virtues of Industry, Frugality, Resolution, Order, Cleanliness, Silence, Chastity, Sincerity, Temperance, Justice, Moderation, and Humility, Expediency was forefront in the way he treated his family. A fine balance of humor and tragedy fill each story as we learn of Ben's abandonment of his wife for years at a time, a sickly woman whose greatest yearning was for the return of her beloved husband. When Ben turned from loyalty to King George III of England, he unfortunately demanded his son William do the same and disowned him as a son after he refused to do so. He who taught his son to always be loyal betrayed both King and progeny forever!

Fitzgerald is ruthless the way he has the Judges present scenes of Ben and other citizen's slaves being ordered around, beaten, and even tortured to death for amusement. He who spoke about the equality of all denies both the equality of women and slaves. While this sounds severe, Fitzgerald does manage to combine irony, some funny scenes, and a buffoon-like characterization of the Judges that keeps the reader intrigued and flipping the pages.

Finally, Ben is allowed to visit contemporary Philadelphia and other American cities he formerly knew and make a difference. But history repeats itself not for Ben but for others who supposedly admire him but certainly live lives that are bound by the same sense of expediency and hypocrisy, some almost ridiculous and some with horrific results. They include a President and his aide who will do anything to guarantee winning the next election, a drug-free man trying to forge a new life clean of the killer crack and helping others to live instead from a life of dignity and self-respect.

Poor Richard's Lament is certainly not light reading, however this description hardly covers the amazing breadth of Ben's life and influence that is covered herein. Ben is a sympathetic Petitioner and it is the potent scenes that speak most loudly, much more than anyone else's pompous words. This novel is so cleverly constructed and so informative of what the reader probably doesn't know about Ben Franklin's life that the reader is riveted to every page and more so as one progresses. Yes, Ben, "make one's self acceptable in one's own eyes firstly...in the eyes of others foremostly." Great literate historical fiction - one of the most cleverly crafted novels this reviewer has read in years!!!