[ Textbooks ] California GoldAuthor John Jakes – Autowiringdiagram.co

James Macklin Chase Was A Poor Pennsylvanian Who Dreamed Of Making It Rich In California But At The Turn Of The Century, The Money To Be Made Was In Oil, Citrus, Water Rights, And The Railroads Mack Would Have It All, If He Had His Way And Along The Way, The Men And Women He Met, The Passion He Found, The Enemies He Made, And The Great Historical Figures Like William Randolph Hearts, Leland Stanford, And Theodore Roosevelt, He Encountered, Helped Bring Glory To The Extraordinary Century RivetingCALIFORNIA GOLD Strikes Pay DirtThis Sweeping Epic Is A Dynamite Tribute To The Sheer Pluck Of One Man Who Scorns All Obstacles He Instills Vibrancy In All His Characterizations RICHMOND TIMES DISPATCHA Literary Guild Main Selection


10 thoughts on “California Gold

  1. says:

    I found this book at a used bookstore and bought it only because my mom had mentioned John Jakes as being one of her favorite authors I thoroughly enjoyed this book I recently moved away from California, so to read historical fiction that focused on the populating of California really appealed to memade me homesick even.


  2. says:

    California Gold begins thirty years after the Gold Rush as James Macklin Mack Chance leaves the Pennsylvania mining town where he grew up and heads for The Golden State to make his fortune After working and walking his way across country, Mack arrives in Oakland and is in for a rude surprise when he thinks he can stow away on the railroad s ferry across the bay and they wouldn t dare throw him overboard oh yes they would Once he makes it to San Francisco he witnesses a young woman jumping into the bay and fails in his attempt to rescue reporter Nellie Ross much to her chagrin as he ruins her story for Hearst s newspaper and the two begin a strong friendship that eventually turns into much Mack s fortunes continue up and down as his drive and temper finally upset the movers and shakers of San Francisco and after surviving a vicious beating he leaves for Los Angeles to take old traveling companion J Paul Wyatt up on his offer to join in with him in the real estate market selling worthless lots to unsuspecting tourists The land boom busts where did Wyatt originally get the funds to purchase the land from and the unstable Wyatt leaves Mack high and dry with creditors and angry buyers knocking at his doors Seeing potential in the worthless tar pits of the surrounding countryside Mack seeks employment with the oil prospectors as he learns the trade finally striking black gold and setting him on his way to fortune and power Despite their lifelong love for each other, Mack and Nellie s goals for their individual futures are too diverse for marriage at least they think so and Mack marries alcoholic Carla Hellman, daughter of wealthy land baron Swampy Hellman It doesn t take Mack long to realize the mistake he s made, although grateful for the son Carla gives him Mack continues to expand his business prospects, delving into real estate, agriculture, the burgeoning Hollywood film industry and these enterprises eventually lead him into increasingly dangerous conflicts with corrupt government officials and the growing labor unions Mack s story takes the reader from 1886 California and on into the early 1900 s, as California struggles with the old and the new ways, including the catastrophe of the 1906 earthquake that results in a profound personal loss for Mack that forever changes his perspectives on life As Mack assembles his great fortune, he finally realizes the empty shell his life has become and how little happiness all that wealth can bring without loved ones to share it with All in all a very good but not great read, although IMO Jakes tried to stuff way too much into the story and had Mack s business enterprises spread into way too many pies I have to confess my eyes glazed over a bit at times especially the complicated mechanics of getting that oil out of the ground Four stars, and still tops with me on big old fat sagas of Old California is still Celeste De Blasis The Proud Breed.


  3. says:

    Like all the Jakes books I ve read and I ve read a lot of them now this one is chock full of history Like some but not all of the others, the history here is fully developed and interesting than the story The first time I read a Jakes book I thought he wasn t good at writing female characters, and after a dozen of his books I still think so He just doesn t understand women deeply enough to create complex ones That isn t a fatal flaw, but it is worth mentioning.Another thing I ve noticed is that he creates a lot of fathers who do a bad job of understanding and raising their sons Because I ve seen this type of character over and over again in his work I m beginning to wonder if this is a personal issue for him.But criticism aside, this book is definitely worth reading for the fascinating picture of late 19th and early 20th century California it paints I ve lived in the state all my life and knew little of it.


  4. says:

    The story telling is similar to Michener s tales Here there is only one family history in the development of business in California after the gold rush and into the beginning of the 20th century The overall tale and interactions made this a difficult book to put down By the way, this is a cowboy story, the good guy wears a white hat, he gets the girl at the end and rides flies off into the sunset at the end of the story.


  5. says:

    Great story that takes place a few decades after the California gold rush It s about a young man with the desire to make it big in California and the adventures he runs into along his way The book does a great job of incorporating the history of California politics, railroads, farmers and oil I couldn t put the book down


  6. says:

    Jakes in his usual form, where he had brought us so many wonderful historical fiction yarns.Here we have a rags to riches story backgrounded by the history of California from 1885 to 1921 the oil boom to the movies boom, with all the backstabbing political corruption and union forming thrown in.


  7. says:

    This was my first John Jakes novel, and I must admit that I m rather disappointed I kept waiting to get into it and it just didn t happen If I could, I d probably rate it a 2.5, just shy of me liking it The plot just seemed so clicheA poor white boy goes West and has a hard time at first and doesn t fit in, then he works really hard and becomes inexplicably rich all of the sudden, then he can do anything, the plot has no limits because he s richget it then being rich isn t as fulfilling as he expectedthen he s grumpythen he sees the error of his ways and all is well in the end All of this happens while he conveniently finds himself wrapped up with major historical eventsUghboring This predictability would have been tolerable if I liked the main character or any other the characters Mack was unlikable I didn t care about him I think Jakes was attempting to be progressive with his gender relationsbut they were intolerable, painful even The romance was lackluster, I didn t believe the emotions behind any of the characters It took like a decade for Mack to hook up with Margaret and then Jakes is like, she took off her clothes and climbed on topscene Really Oy The narrative voice bothered me as well It followed Mack almost exclusively, then it would randomly jump to another character when Jakes needed it to to move the plot along It would have been much better to stick with Mack the entire time, forcing the reader to only work with the information available to Mack Lazy writing in my opinion.


  8. says:

    Mack Chance walks freezing cold from the Pennsylvania coal mines to find his way to California, the place his father explored but left, knowing that that was where happiness really was Mack encounters a half dead hobo who he brings back to life, and who consequently continues to be a part of his life, whether good or bad A bit later he encounters a land baron who refuses him a drink of water His voluptuous, uninhibited daughter sets her eye on Mack, and tho he is able to set her off for a bit, she continues to plague his life throughout the book A bit later he tries to rescue Nellie Ross as she jumps off a pier in San Francisco This encounter also leads to a relationship that comes and goes throughout the story Mack has come to find gold, but through much trial, error, and hardship, he becomes rich on all of California s other golds oil, fruit, water, shipping, etc He becomes acquainted with great conflict and grief through the SP railroad barons and the prejudices of the country toward the Chinese and the India Indians He is tossed right into the conflict of the current day Labor Disputes and is fully engaged in the great earthquake and fire of 1906 Mack becomes exceedingly wealthy, but learns after many separations and losses that money isn t everything, and seeks out those relationships that will bring fulfillment to his life Another great John Jakes story mk


  9. says:

    The story was good and I enjoy getting information while reading a work of fiction but someone needs to tell John Jakes just cause he found something out while doing research he doesn t have to include it in his book Instead of focusing on the story he tried too hard to get his characters through every major event that happened in California.There were also a few loose ends he never resolved what happened to the loan to buy the ferry boat after the murder of his partner It does not seem like it ever got paid off.Also, his development at San Solerno went from an oil field to a residential developmentdid he have both at the same time I can t imagine myself buying a building lot with an oil rig in the backyard.I guess since I read To Kill a Mockingbird again while finishing this California Gold the contrast was not flattering to John Jakes writing style Not a bad read, but I doubt I will ever read it twice.


  10. says:

    good,not great Don t care for his style not enough history