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The Storm

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3.48 of 5 stars 3.48  ·  rating details  ·  244 ratings  ·  41 reviews
The Boston Globe calls Frederick Buechner "one of our finest writers." USA Today says he's "one of our most original storytellers." Now this acclaimed author gives us his most beguiling novel yet--a magical tale of love, betrayal, and redemption inspired by Shakespeare's The Tempest.

On wealthy Plantation Island in South Florida, an old man waits, Kenzie Maxwell is a writer
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ebook, 208 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 1998)
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Becca
Sometimes you read a book and upon finishing it you squeal a little squeal, cry a little tear, sigh a little sigh, each in complete contentment. Then immediately you want to read it again. That’s how I felt about The Storm.

It’s the quietly told story of Kenzie Maxwell, a man of nearly 70, thrice-married and kinda of shiftless. He’s had some late success as a writer. But the story is more about the past and his group of loosely related relatives.

Twenty years ago, while working at a shelter for te
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Joanna King
This is one of my favorite books I have read to date. Buechner's story is a soul-salve, a heart massage. The beauty of this short work is simple and profound. This novel rings so truth, plumbing the depths of the human experience. Buechner exposes the humanity of his characters, and in so doing exposes himself. I finished The Storm with tears in my eyes only then realizing how much of myself had been exposed in the reading.
Tony Villatoro
The Storm was a good book!

Kenzie and his brother Dalton have not seen each other in two decades due to a transgression that Kenzie made, but Dalton worsened.

Now, Kenzie celebrates his seventieth birthday and reminisces on that one transgression and brings a group of people along with him to tell the story. The array of different characters that the author describes made it a fun read and made me drop my guard on predicting what could be next.

I enjoyed the author’s ability to tell a story within
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Rose
I immensely enjoyed this tale of family love, betrayal and eventual redemption. The main character, Kenzie, is a writer who has lived quite well with a succession of wealthy wives. He has escaped New York and a scandal from his youth and now lives on an exclusive island in south Florida. With his 70th birthday approaching, he comes face to face with the daughter of his scandal, his estranged brother and assorted local characters. A tempest in the ocean conspires to toss them all together and mak ...more
Becca
Jun 09, 2009 Becca rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone

what i'm reading- the storm


title: The Storm
author: Frederick Buechner


Sometimes you read a book and upon finishing it you squeal a little squeal, cry a little tear, sigh a little sigh, each in complete contentment. Then immediately you want to read it again. That's how I felt about The Storm.


It's the quietly told story of Kenzie Maxwell, a man of nearly 70, thrice-married and kinda of shiftless. He's had some late success as a writer. But the story is more about the past and his group of loosely related relatives.


Twenty

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Lindsey Torkko
I've used quotes by Buechner but have never read one of his books. I think I tried once. When I came across this little number at the library, it looked like a good place to start.

The Storm is about how one man's mistep into scandal changed the direction of his and his brother's life. He fell in love with a teenager who died while giving birth to his son. His reputation was destroyed when his brother, who lives a life of black and white, released a note of apology to the press. They haven't spo
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Adam
In The Storm Buechner paraphrases Shakespeare’s The Tempest, taking--like Shakespeare himself frequently did--a well known story and redrawing its outline with his own particular flourishes. There is a strong, consistent tension in the novel as it dances between parallels to the play that it is modeled on and this other, contemporary context that Buechner has invented for his tale. He writes so well that constantly we’re sucked in, believing in the independence of these characters and their worl ...more
Derek Emerson
It takes a lot of nerve to update Shakespeare and I'm sure there have been failed attempts in the past. But Frederick Buechner takes it one step further and not only updates The Tempest, but adds a Christian element to it as well. Well, what you do you expect from a Presbyterian minister who is as comfortable with fiction as he is theology and has a sense of humor to boot.


The Storm uses Shakespeare's play as the basis, but Buechner avoids trying to recreate the scenario item by item. Considering
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Mitchell
After almost a two-decade love of Frederick Buechner, I picked up another of his novels. I listed some of his books in "Books that changed me and the way I think." I rank his autobiographical trilogy (The Sacred Journey, Now and Then, and Telling Secrets) with the likes of Thomas Merton's The Seven Story Mountain.

I love the way that Buechner writes, the pictures he paints, and the characters he builds--and the stories he tells, because for Buechner it is the story that is so important. And altho
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Machel
What makes a novel amazing? Have you ever truly asked yourself that? I think in part is remembering it. When a story stays with you over time you know that it was truly a winner. "The Storm, A Novel" by Buechner I read in 1998 right after I was first married in the 90's. At the time I had mono and this book had become one of those that I read during my "resting in bed stretch" along with "The Reader," "The End of the Affair" and many others. Small, delightful and incredibly personal. You feel as ...more
Brent Soderstrum
70 year old Kenzie and his 80 year old brother Dalton haven't spoken in 20 years. Kenzie was working at a halfway house which Dalton was on the board of directors of when Kenzie got a young homeless girl pregnant. Kia had the baby but died giving birth. 20 years later the family is getting together on an island off Florida for Kenzie's 70th birthday. Many different characters will be attending and you get a glimpse at all they have going on in their lives. Dalton happens to be on the island on K ...more
Donna
This was a little book that I enjoyed after finding Frederick Buechner quotes in The Ragamuffin Gospel and Brennan Manning's other books. It is a novel with some complex family dynamics an insights. Buechner is a storyteller and has the ability to write from the perspective of several characters at the same time. I am looking forward to the rest of his books (I have a pile right here by m chair!). If you Google the author, there is a 30 minute interview done by some students in 2003 that you mig ...more
Jim Dykstra
This is a story of betrayal and forgiveness, of regret and redemption. Best read in a single sitting, this story moves at a quick pace. Woven through the somewhat messy lives of the characters are strong elements of faith. I would recommend this book.
howard
Excellent book. The development of human relationships was marvelous.
Michelle
There was probably a lot more to this book than I got out of it. I haven't read The Tempest in a very long time, and this story was supposed to be something of a modern version of that, so I missed all those parallels. However, despite the nagging sense that the story was much deeper than my ability to focus and think carefully, I still appreciated the writing style, the characters, and some of the themes presented. Watching reconciliation and forgiveness play among the characters out made those ...more
Daniel
I have enjoyed the works of Frederick Buechner, and looked forward to this retelling of Shakespeare's The Tempest, but actually found it to be rather dull and bland.

The set-up and history of Kenzie and Kia was interesting, and the characters throughout were interesting. Buechner writes his characters' idiosyncracies so well!

But the plot failed to interest me. Is it because I already knew what would happen? Or was it because he was trying so hard to stay true to the Shakespearean story? Hard to s
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Cindy Munoz
Really interesting cast of characters, all flawed with no real villian. It was an entertaining story; the ending is not wrapped up in a neat little bow, but you see the seeds of change that are planted in each character.
Jacki
While the story wasn't much in this book, the characters were beautifully painted. It just took me a few hours to read this little book and I'm so glad that I did.

I didn't realize until after reading it that it was a re-telling of The Tempest, but that makes it even more interesting to me.

This came highly recommended to me by a big fan of Buechner, who I had never read before. I have another of his (Sons of Laughter) waiting for me as well and I can see myself really getting into his writing st
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Janet
beautifully written! A sort of modern day version of Shakespeare's The Tempest... Favorite quotes:
"Peace is the presence of the Almighty."
There is also a lovely, heart-wrenching depiction of first love:
"...it was their having those two early lost loves in common that constituted the strongest bond that there was between them..."

Another quote:
"Nothing is entirely black. Not even the human heart. Maybe not even my own."
Conrad
Having never read Shakespeare's 'The Tempest', I'm sure I am missing an element to this story that might further enhance it. As it is though, it is an excellent character study of fragmented lives - their prejudices, hopes and aspirations. The storm is the catalyst that brings them all together, giving them a new appreciation for each other and a new sense of hope and purpose - redemption, as it were.
Peter
Some beautiful moments in here. Kind of a world-weary look at relationship and selfhood. It felt a little bit melodramatic at parts, but well rendered, sympathetic characters overall, and Buechner's strong understand of the relationship between desire and regret in the human psyche.

Not as transcendent as his historical novels, but still better than most.
Jonathan
This short novel is based loosely on Shakespeare's "The Temptest." (Buechner is a big fan of Bill.) Here he tells a great little story of loss and redemption. Buechner's books always have autobiographical morsels in them, and this one's no different. Two wonderful passages stand out in my mind. A great summer read at about 175 pages.
Katie
I was disappointed... Godric, by Buechner is one of my favorite books, but this just didn't do it for me. I felt like the characters were a bit cliché. That said, the book is based on The Tempest, which I have never read. Maybe someone who likes Shakespeare would be a better judge of the books merits.
CLM
I was actually paid to review this book, which I did not care for at all. If I want a retelling of the Tempest, I prefer This Rough Magic or others I can't recall at the moment.
Fraser Coltman
With shame I must admit that I haven't read Shakespeare's The Tempest, which was the inspiration for this novel, but it was an interesting story. Buechner has a gift for creating characters that are flawed but loveable. It seems to be an expression of his Christian faith.
John
Buechner is one of the least appreciated modern authors. At first, I hated the characters and the plot was too slow. But I love Buechner's style, so I stuck with it. By the end, I was immersed in his world and I genuinely liked the most flawed people in the book.
Dana
Aug 06, 2012 Dana rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Dana by: Charlie Sims
This was a very well-written novel with excellent character development. I was drawn in to the people and their relationship to each other. So why the lower rating? The romantic in me wants a nice tidy ending with all the lose ends tied with a bow.
Katie M.
This one was a big ol' disappointment, especially since I enjoyed On the Road with the Archangel so much.
Tiffany
The first chapter is enchanting. I always underestimate the degree to which Buechner draws me into a story.
Edit: Beautiful story about restoring relationships and forgiveness over time, loosely based on The Tempest.
Tim
A brief and thoughtful (even happy read) about people who are not especially happy. It is modernization of sorts of the Tempest, but its been awhile since I've read/seen the play and I still enjoyed it mightily.
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Frederick Buechner is a highly influential writer and theologian who has won awards for his poetry, short stories, novels and theological writings. His work pioneered the genre of spiritual memoir, laying the groundwork for writers such as Anne Lamott, Rob Bell and Lauren Winner.

His first book, A Long Day's Dying, was published to acclaim just two years after he graduated from Princeton. He entere
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More about Frederick Buechner...
Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairy Tale Listening to Your Life: Daily Meditations with Frederick Buechner Godric The Sacred Journey: A Memoir of Early Days Telling Secrets

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