The Man Who Wouldn’t Sit Down by Jacob M Appel

With a trip to New York imminent, I asked for some suggestions for bIG apple themed reading from the Commuter Bookclub. This was one of the titles that came up.

Winner of the Dundee International Book Award 2012 this is the story of Arnold Brinkmann whose comfortable West Village life as a botanist and Garden Centre owner is forever changed after a trip to a Yankees baseball game.

Arnold has been prevailed upon to take his young nephew to a game.At the end of the match, Arnold refuses to stand to God Bless America routinely played since 9/11. His refusal is picked up on camera and shown on the big screen in the ground, on realising this Arnold, somewhat at a loss, sticks out his tongue.

Arnold’s actions cost him dear. The media take up the story and protesters gather outside his house. His continued refusal to apologise casts him onto the fringes of American society.

A very comic treatment of what is an extremely serious subject, this book had me laughing out loud on the train on occasion.Towards the end the storyline does become a little farcical but there are acute observations on middle class American life and the hypocrisy of tub-thumping politics. Thanks to @OuchLibrarian for the recommendation !

Daniel Schwen

Skyline of NYC from Top of The Rock


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