Leave it to a French poet to demythologize John Sutter, a Swiss thief and swindler who fled his native country one step ahead of the bill collectors Sutter went first to New York, then Missouri, and finally ended up in California, where he set up a trading post and fort and, not coincidentally, something of a protection racket for other settlers When a carpenter building a mill on Sutter s property found gold, he opened up the Swiss entrepreneur s private domain to hundreds and thousands of newcomers, a migration that changed the course of American history Sutter died inin Washington, DC where he had gone to complain to Congress that his empire had been stripped away from him without due process This is an altogether fascinating reconstruction of his strange and star crossed lifeGregory MacNamee


10 thoughts on “Gold: Being the Marvelous History of General John Augustus Sutter

  1. Brian Brian says:

    A ripping yarn that tackles the bio of an interesting 19th century character in a fictional format.I am writing this to remind myself to write a full review when I am back home at a real keyboard and not on this goddamned iPad hunt and peck a thon.


  2. Andrew Andrew says:

    Like Dan Yack, this was a madcap tale, although far less over the top Frenchy like a Decemberists song, andabout the tragically funny fate of noted accidental American legend John Sutter who curses out what gold does to a man, Treasure of the Sierra Madre style Of course, it s a wildly fictionalized picaresque, but you ll likely enjoy it in the same way you enjoyed if you did Mason Dixon, The Public Burning, or any other thoroughly overboard, comic exploitation of historical personage Like Dan Yack, this was a madcap tale, although far less over the top Frenchy like a Decemberists song, andabout the tragically funny fate of noted accidental American legend John Sutter who curses out what gold does to a man, Treasure of the Sierra Madre style Of course, it s a wildly fictionalized picaresque, but you ll likely enjoy it in the same way you enjoyed if you did Mason Dixon, The Public Burning, or any other thoroughly overboard, comic exploitation of historical personages And the fact that I m comparing this to high postmodern novels written several decades later should tell you how far ahead of his time Cendrars was


  3. LaCitty LaCitty says:

    Ho scoperto Cendrars per caso da una citazione in un altro romanzo e questa la sua seconda opera che leggo e mi piaciuta moltissimo Il racconto della avventure di Johann Suter, rampollo di una famiglia di industriali, che fugge dalla Svizzera e dai debiti che vi ha accumulato per cercare fortuna nell America dei pionieri e del selvaggio West affascinante Il lettore rimane inchiodato alla pagina e segue i suoi viaggi, i rivolgimenti della sua fortuna, fino alla beffa la scoperta dell o Ho scoperto Cendrars per caso da una citazione in un altro romanzo e questa la sua seconda opera che leggo e mi piaciuta moltissimo Il racconto della avventure di Johann Suter, rampollo di una famiglia di industriali, che fugge dalla Svizzera e dai debiti che vi ha accumulato per cercare fortuna nell America dei pionieri e del selvaggio West affascinante Il lettore rimane inchiodato alla pagina e segue i suoi viaggi, i rivolgimenti della sua fortuna, fino alla beffa la scoperta dell oro sui suoi terreni invece di consolidarne la ricchezza acquisita lo porta alla rovina.Suter non certo un personaggio tout court positivo Il modo in cui si fa strada nella vita e o si rimette in piedi dopo una crisi non sempre onesto o eticamente ineccepibile leggi alla voce deportazione degli isolani della Hawaii per avere manodopera economica per le sue piantagioni, per esempio pure la sua storia affascinante e il finale view spoiler che ne vede la decadenza economica, fisica e mentale hide spoiler restituisce comunque il quadro di un uomo fuori del comune


  4. Mostafa Mostafa says:

    view spoiler hide spoiler view spoiler hide spoiler


  5. Jeff Bursey Jeff Bursey says:

    Cendrars is evenmarvellous than Sutter, so check out his novels.


  6. Willemclaeys Willemclaeys says:

    3.5 5


  7. Chuck LoPresti Chuck LoPresti says:

    Cendrars demo era If you, like just about every reasonably attentive person in the world, are a bit uneasy about things like Columbus Day and American History this breezy and vigorous read might interest you It is impossible for me to read Cendrars without thinking up an Abel Gance film in my head and that s a great thing because life is better when you have an Abel Gance film in your head Cendrars is a skilled observer of lives led to the fullest and like all his works the possibilit Cendrars demo era If you, like just about every reasonably attentive person in the world, are a bit uneasy about things like Columbus Day and American History this breezy and vigorous read might interest you It is impossible for me to read Cendrars without thinking up an Abel Gance film in my head and that s a great thing because life is better when you have an Abel Gance film in your head Cendrars is a skilled observer of lives led to the fullest and like all his works the possibilities of human achievement are the central concern here Not a wasted word here this is a succinct but not curt biography of John Sutter, a Swiss man like Cendrars, and his lust for riches that brought him to and through the pre Civil War US In about 130 pages, Cendrars writes a fairly direct telling of his fate that should appeal to most people interested in adventure biography I think it s fair to find some fault with Cendrars macho concerns but there s nothing overtly offensive if you re willing to accept some anachronistic attitude that isn t inconsistent with most of his other works, To The End of the World being an obvious and fairly reactionary deviation.I m not sure how I would feel about Cendrars if I didn t consider Gance one of the best film makers to ever stand behind a camera In my mind the two are permanently connected and I ll admit a possible bias Having said that there is something I find brilliantly vivacious about all of Cendrars writing He has an obvious lust for experience that is skillfully displayed in his intelligent and feral writing Don t start here with Cendrars dive into Dan Yack first that s a cannon shot of literary gusto that will please anyone but the very easily offended Anybody interested in silent film genius Abel Gance is advised to see La Roue, J Accuse and Napoleon as soon as possible The debate around Napoleon and its soundtrack based legal issues is a fascinating study in human arrogance you ll only be able to get a horribly crappy print of Napoleon at the time of this writing but it s worth it Andwhen the issues get solved and a proper print gets released you ll be scanning the crowd scenes for Cendrars who is identifiable by his pinned up empty sleeve in much greater detail All three of his best known works rank among the best films ever made as far as I am concerned


  8. Valentin Saint frison Valentin Saint frison says:

    L histoire tragique et magnifique du g n ral suter, b tisseur de la californie ruin par la d couvert d Or sur son territoire Malheureusement le grand cart tent par Cendrars d oit voulant rester factuel, l histoire est cont e la plupart du temps assez s chement, tandis que par moments l auteur se prend d envol es lyriques sur certains points de l histoire d un personnage que l on a finalement l impression de n avoir pu conna tre qu peine.


  9. Evan Cordes Evan Cordes says:

    Just re read this and love the story Means a lotnow that I know the area a lot better.I d love to read an annotated version of this book, detailed withhistory, images, references, etc.


  10. Brian James Brian James says:

    Gold is a deceptively thin first novel by the pioneering, and widely forgotten but influential Swiss French author Though it s not long in length, it surely covers a lot of area in its depth In many ways, it follows the the early 20th century trope of a rags to riches story, but in typical Cendrars fashion, it turns that trope on its head This is one of the earliest attempts at Historical Fiction that I m aware of, as it takes the life of the real John Augustus Sutter, a pioneer in California Gold is a deceptively thin first novel by the pioneering, and widely forgotten but influential Swiss French author Though it s not long in length, it surely covers a lot of area in its depth In many ways, it follows the the early 20th century trope of a rags to riches story, but in typical Cendrars fashion, it turns that trope on its head This is one of the earliest attempts at Historical Fiction that I m aware of, as it takes the life of the real John Augustus Sutter, a pioneer in California and the discoverer of gold that led to the famed Gold Rush of 49 Cendrars portrays Sutter s life astragic than it actually was as a way to strengthen the themes of the novel centered around fate, justice, and the futility of fighting against the first or for the latter Sutter had come to America as a penniless immigrant, and eventually makes his way to the violatile land of California where he establishes several successful enterprises on a huge swath of land granted to him by the Mexican government then controllers of California By the time California is part of the U.S., Sutter is on the verge of becoming the richest man in the worldand then gold is discovered on his vast properties When the discovery leaks to the rest of the world, it spells the ruin for Sutter, who watches all he built quickly taken over by the flood of people coming to search for gold and build towns and cities on land that was rightfully his Fully engrossing and surprisingly moving