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Just Released Rocket Man Mirrors Gatsby's Dark American Dream

William Hazelgrove's Rocket Man  novel mirrors the dark consequences of the American Dream for the twenty first century the way Gatsby did in it's treatment of American excess in the twentieth century.William Hazelgrove's Rocket Man  novel mirrors the dark consequences of the American Dream for the twenty first century the way Gatsby did in it's treatment of American excess in the twentieth century.

Chicago 5/09/2013 09:15 AM GMT (LinkMyStock)

The Great Gatsby is the novel of the dark consequences of the American Dream. A tale of avarice set against the roaring twenties, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel set the bar for the Great American novel and spawned many knockoffs and not a few movies. One of those novels attempting to interpret the excess of the last boom is William Hazelgrove's Rocket Man released May 1, 2013 by Koehler Books. Taking a page from Gatsby the novel centers on one Dale Hammer, a man who seemingly has it all in the classic sense of a big car, a big house, a happy family. But he stands to lose it all to "the foul darkness that floated in the wake of Gatsby’s dream." Or the American Dream.

Rocket Man is being pegged as a the novel of the “upside down American Dream” and has “the epic levity of John Irving and salted with the perversion of Updike" according to the Chicago Sun Times. Taking on the American Dream is the sport of novelists, each taking a shot at the prize of Fitzgerald’s classic story of a rags to riches tale of bootlegger, Jay Gatz, who in the end loses it all.

William Hazelgroves novel takes place in the years after the boom of 2008 and we find a different darkness pulling down the main character who has mortgaged his soul to get The American Dream. His life is fast unraveling in the pressure of debt, family obligations, and foreclosure. Both books take on the price of the American Dream that threatens the very life of the Jay Gatz and Dale Hammer.  Painting a backdrop where one in four mortgages are upside down and ten million people are looking to walk out of their homes, Hazelgrove's Rocket Man shows the price of wanting too much in a society that promises it all if we can just try hard enough.


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