The Amalgamation Polka

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The Amalgamation Polka (2006) is the fourth novel by writer Stephen Wright. The setting of novel is during the time of the Civil War of the United States. The plot is wrapped around the story of Liberty Fish and his travels after joining the Union army.

The New York Times has compared the story to the obvious Heart of Darkness, but has said the following as well: "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is a better bet (on the plot). Most of the people Liberty meets (and not just in the South) are what the Cheshire Cat would call 'mad,' from a shaggy hermit to the Georgia farmer who secedes from the Confederacy by reclaiming his little plot of land in the name of the Union."

The story concerns Liberty Fish, the son of two passionate abolitionists but whose grandparents were cruel slave-owners. The plot follows Liberty from his birth to young adulthood, his enlistment in the Union army, and his quest to find his grandparents whom he blames for the despair his mother feels. The tone has hints of dark humor, and at times can be heavily surreal.

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