Monday 5 September 2011


Finished September 2
Sunnyside by Glen David Gold
This has been my bedside book for quite a few months now, and I'm glad to say I've finished it. I enjoyed most of it, but it is a very complex novel with several storylines.
It begins on November 12, 1916 with a day where there were sightings of Charlie Chaplin in many places (a real historical happening). The book follows not only Chaplin himself, but also Leland Wheeler (aka Lee Duncan) a young man who witnesses one of the sightings and risks his life in trying to reach Chaplin. Leland has a dream of being on the big screen, and despite several setbacks, never lets that dream go. We also follow another young man, Hugo Black, who goes on to be an American soldier fighting in Russia, an extension of the first World War that is little acknowledged. There are several other figures we move on at different times: generals, actors, young women with their own agenda, but the three young men, Chaplin, Leland, and Hugo are the primary focus.
With scenes from Hollywood to Germany, France to Russia, the environment varies widely. We see the rise of actors' rights in Hollywood, the terror and tragedy of World War One, the bleakness of the Russian campaign. We see the loss of dreams and the achievement of dreams. We see families and the dynamics that take place within them. There is sadness and joy here, and much to take in.
The author has included historical figures and events along with fictional ones, and it is interesting to see the linkages. We see the beginning of the career of Rin Tin Tin here as well.
I enjoyed this book, as it got me thinking differently about many things and awakened me to events I didn't know of.


  1. At 555 pages, this completes my second book in the over 550 page category for the Chunkster Challenge. I have the two over 750 pages ones still to go.

  2. sounds a little out there, but so glad you enjoyed it.