"Dreamland" by Kevin Baker is the 6th book on my empty shelf!The back of the book describes it as, "A dazzling masterpiece of literary historical fiction, 'Dreamland' delivers a sweeping yet intimate portrait of immigrant New York in the early part of the twentieth century."
What that description left out is how gritty & depressing this intimate portrait was. This book focuses on Coney Island, and the characters both performing &/or visiting. These people's lives are neither good nor easy. This book was not easy to read! There was more than once that I had to put it down because it was more than I could handle that day. However, in saying that, I will also say it was very well written! It wouldn't have bothered me so much had it not been so real.
Have you ever read a book that while it was well written, you can neither claim to have liked it, nor necessarily recommend it? That's how I feel, that & very ready for an upbeat book!