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by Jon Hassler

  • ISBN: 0345410173
  • Author: Jon Hassler
  • ePub ver: 1229 kb
  • Fb2 ver: 1229 kb
  • Rating: 4.7 of 5
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 336
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (August 27, 1996)
  • Formats: rtf docx lrf lrf
  • Category: Fiction
  • Subcategory: Genre Fiction
epub Grand Opening download

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FREE shipping on qualifying offers. What they discover about small town idealism.

Author Jon Hassler was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on March 30, 1933. He received his bachelor's degree from St. John's University in 1955 before going on to the University of North Dakota for his master's degree. After graduating from college, he taught high school English for the next 10 years. In 1970, while teaching at Brainerd Community College, he became interested in writing fictional stories. In 1987, Hassler's fifth novel, Grand Opening, a tale told from the point of view of a twelve-year-old boy living in the corrupt town of Plainview, Minnesota, won the Best Fiction Award, given by the Society of Midland Authors.

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by. Hassler, Jon. Publication date. Books for People with Print Disabilities. Internet Archive Books. Modern fiction, Fiction - General, Fiction, Literary, Fiction, Literary, Catholics, Prejudices. New York : Ballantine. t on October 17, 2011.

Twelve-year old Brendan tells the story, set in 1944-45, that begins.

A writer good enough to restore your faith in fiction.

Grand Opening (1987). Collection of Jon Hassler books. Works by or about Jon Hassler in libraries (WorldCat catalog). North of Hope (1990). The Jon Hassler Theater, which is a not for profit theater affiliated with the Rural America Arts Partnership, is located in Plainview, Minnesota.

I'm not going to do your homework for you, but I'd be happy to answer specific questions about the characters, etc. if there is something in particular that you don't understand

I'm not going to do your homework for you, but I'd be happy to answer specific questions about the characters, etc. if there is something in particular that you don't understand. Repost with specific questions if you like and I'll help you out if I can.

Twelve-year old Brendan tells the story, set in 1944-45, that begins with his parents' decision to buy a run-down grocery store in a tiny Minnesota town. What they discover about small town idealism, bigotry, and good old American values will change them and the town forever...."A writer good enough to restore your faith in fiction."THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEWFrom the Paperback edition.
Comments (7)

I have read three of Jon Hassler's novels and I consider this the best of the lot. The book succeeds in capturing the character and personality of small town America. The characters in the novel are interesting and they all play a significant role in the development of the plot. Hassler brings to life the challenges a family faces in the move from the privacy afforded by a metropolitan area to a small town where they find themselves the topic of conversation and rumor. The change places stresses on all family members and their reactions to it are well handled by the author. This is a classically great novel.

R. Thomas Roe, Author of The Gaelic Letters
This was my 6th Jon Hassler book. I enjoyed all of them. This was my favorite.
This is a good book that keeps you turning pages. You get to understand how boys feel about belonging. Touching.
GRAND OPENING is my favorite Jon Hassler novel. The author laid down his patch of small-town Minnesota and made it his own, as surely as Faulkner "owned" Yoknapatawpha Country, and Dorothy Parker New York City. All is apparently sweetness and light in this little town late during World War Two, but look out! This nordic "Mayberry" holds a sting of its own that is not fully realized until the end of the book. Highly recommended.
GRAND OPENING is like taking a step back in time to 1944 and makes the reader both want to return to a simpler place and time while also being glad that times have changed and we don't have to live in Hassler's fictional town. In the book we meet the Foster family: Hank and Catherine and their son Brendan and Catherine's father. The family is staunchly Catholic and moves to the small town of Plum to open a grocery store. They soon discover that the town is evenly split between Catholics and Lutherans, neither of whom will socialize with the other. They also learn that small the politics of small town life are not always easy to navigate and that harsh judgments rarely go away. We see innocence in Brendan who loves his new home, and we see some quirks from the grandfather that can be amusing. We also meet a group of interesting characters: Wallace Flint, a man who is more disturbed than he appears; Dodger Hicks, a young man with few chances or saving graces in his life; Fr. O'Day, the parish priest without the finesse of Bing Crosby's famous Fr. O'Malley; Paul Dimmitburg, the son of the Lutheran minister taking a leave from his seminary studies; and Mrs. Brask, the mayor's wife and the worst kind of snob imaginable.

Hassler has a gift for creating good characters and he presents a slice of life in this novel that is both pleasant and dark. There are conflicts throughout the book, both large and small. Hassler does not immediately throw the reader into controversy as some writers do. Instead he brings the reader into the town itself and sets the reader on firm ground, and then the conflicts and tensions begin. It's almost as if we're being transported back to 1944 and we've moved to Plum. Hassler also doe a good job at creating a small Midwestern town at the end of World War II, keeping the historical circumstances in mind while not allowing World War II to envelope the entire story.

This book will be enjoyed by many of Jon Hassler's fans, and is a great introduction to the works of an enjoyable writer.
I have many different ways of rating a book; writing style, emotional impact, what it has taught me, etc.

Although I have read quite a few good novels this past year I think Jon Hassler's Grand Opening has been my favorite despite the fact there was really nothing spectacular in the style of writing. There was something very real about this book. It's the perfect portrayal of how certain individuals will just never be accepted into small town life. I have grown up in small towns all my life and have experienced this treatment because my family was never one for participating in small-town politics. It also didn't help matters that my mom was a "big city girl" from Minneapolis, MN. It's hard to be accepted in a small town unless you were born there, but really...even the people who are born there rarely make the cut themselves.

This book is full of bad things happening to good people. It's also full of good people having not-so-good thoughts and being hard on themselves for it. The beauty of Catholic guilt is well reflected in the character of Brendan.

The book had me split the entire time; I loved it for it's realism, yet I hated it because it wasn't an escape for me. People generally read to escape from the issues of daily life, yet this book paralleled the small town behavior I have viewed my entire life.
I first read this novel some years ago after "Staggerford" and it made me a true-blue Hassler fan. Its rich cast of characters keeps this novel moving along. Though a few of the characters are merely great window-dressing (for example, I wanted to see more done with grandfather), most are fully developed and integral to the plot. Overall, the theme of redemption through action is clear, and, sadly, many negative elements of small town life haven't changed in the 21st century.

"Staggerford (also by Hassler)," "Grand Opening", and "Passing through Paradise" by John Schreiber make a great trio of Minnesota novels. All are highly recommended.
I own many books by John Hassler, and cherish them all. This is my favorite (except The Love Hunter).
The story is dark: about that child whom we've all met. Unruly, boistrous, unwanted, but terribly lovable. It is about the goodhearted family who takes in that child, and the disasters that occur thereafter. It is a tale of hope, love, redemption. It is a tale that makes one examine, oh so gently, ones responsibility to their bethren.
Like all of Mr Hasslers work, this is not a book which demands, threatens, accuses, or grabs you by the neck and throttles you. It is gentle and subtle and sweet. And in it's darkest moments, warm rays of light shine and you are left hopeful, albeit thoughtful. Read them all. Then read them again.

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