“Styron’s most impressive performance…Belongs on that small shelf reserved for American masterpieces.” —Washington Post Book World
Winner of the 1980 National Book Award, Sophie’s Choice is William Styron’s classic novel of love, survival, and regret, set in Brooklyn in the wake of the Second World War. The novel centers on three characters: Stingo, a sexually frustrated...more
Call me Sophie. Sophie was a Polish Catholic wraith who washed ashore in Brooklyn as a postwar refugee. A tattooed number on her forearm testifies to her internment at Auschwitz; thick scars on her wrists proclaim her attempt at self-destruction. Guilt pursued Sophie like a demon:
Often I cry alone when I listen to music, which reminds me...more
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.” Emily Dickinson
Styron brings the Brooklyn of the forties and its flourishing intellectualism back to life through the eyes of three characters, whose irreconcilable pasts find a common ground in the sweeping vision of optimistic America, distancing the narrative from stereotyped clichés and with the inimitable diction of a true Southern voice.
A lush, descriptive prose soaked in an a ...more
This novel was chosen by members of On the Southern Literary Trail as a group read for September, 2014.
Sophie's Choice, First Ed., First Prtg., William Styron, Random House, New York, New York, 1979
The gate to Auschwitz, where those in charge choose who lives and who dies
Life is but a series of choices, is it not? Some easy, quickly made, given no further thought. Others are more difficult. We worry about the outcome ...more
Problem number 1: I personally found Sophie to be an unbeleivable character. I just thought she was not-fascinating and contradictory, like, not in the ...more
Flashbacks from an American boarding house to Auschwitz.
An intriguing love triangle.
Secrets and lies unfolding with each new chapter.
Sex, written with meticulousness.
This is how Styron gets you to stick with this intricately woven and stylistically stupendous novel.
For synchronous with the stunning effect she made on my eyes as she stood there arrested in the doorway--blinking at the gloom, her flaxen hair drenched in the evening gold-...more
The narration was clumsy and over-explanatory. Do you really have to recap an event that you just nar ...more
And the way everything that went down in Auschwitz is narrated here is very heartbreaking, just as is the relationship between Nathan and Sophie. But the question that resounds, as Styron asks, is: At Auschwitz, tell me, where was God.
Well, we may blame God as much as we wish, or even do as Sophie did and say 'FUCK God and all his Hande Werk.' Or resolve to the thought that stuff like Auschwitz makes us lose faith in humani ...more
Despite its prevalence in the cultural landscape, I’m not going to assum ...more
This book is not at all what I thought it would be--a moving story of one woman's time at Auschwitz and the awful things she endures there as a mother. That description covers only about 10% of what happens in this novel. "Sophie's Choi ...more
And the answer: "Where was man?”
I do not dare write about suffering; dare not think that I have locked eyes with it, EVER. Whatever it is that I feel, when the skin of my complacency breaks open (to reveal what? just what?) is not, cannot be, suffering. Is it only when faced with the utterly incomprehensible, the indigestible that I can see the enormous smallness of my hurts. Is this true for all of us?
Someday, I will understand Auschwitz.
So says ...more
There I was, traipsing, skipping, meandering, flying, all the while, reading words into song, and these were from the Masters, these Mozart's and Beethoven's and Liszt's of ST ...more
A writer once said (I think it was Vonnegut) ...more
The main characters of the book, Stingo, Sophie and Nathan, are full of layers and represent to me the human nature itself. I couldn't but recognize myself in even the darkest of their feelings, thoughts and behavior. All that is represented by them - naivete, suffering, fe ...more
OK, first of all, let's get something over with. A young amatuer (not so Southern) writer comes to Brooklyn, meets a Polish émigré, falls straight away in love with her. But this Holocaust victim, tattooed on her hand, in her heart and soul, Auschwitz's purgatory, is hopelessly in an undetachable love, lust, anguish, masochistic, and redeeming relationship with a Northern Jew. And this prejudiced yet genius of a charmer, suffers from fatal capricious fits. H ...more
I'm just not so keen on contemporary literature, I suppose. Fiction, for the most part, has become indistinguishable from magazine writing: pretentious yet self-deprecating, staccato ("relatable") language, a smattering of intellectual/poetic adornment, some social commentary, and the contents of your medicine cabinet--to show that this is an intimate communication between us. Sophie's Choice is all th ...more
adventurous to say the least. The story is the account of.....drum roll....wait for it......the happenings in NYC, the South and a German Concentration camp. So, maybe I should give Styron a break on the length of the book. Why did it take me a long time to read? This book emotionally drained me and I literally could not read big chunks out of this without feeling my family would suffer from my depressed ma ...more
However, when touching upon the Holocaust, it is difficult to argue or consider any passages as overreaching or unnecessary. In this, "Sophie's Choice" remains a document to be cherished and admired.
It is the character of Nathan Landau that remains a little contentio ...more
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|On the Southern L...: Sophie's Choice Final Impressions||23||37||Nov 28, 2014 04:42PM|
|Does the book get interesting the more you read it.||8||39||Nov 10, 2014 08:37PM|
|On the Southern L...: Sophie's Choice Initial Impressions||39||45||Oct 22, 2014 11:02AM|
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The query: "At Auschwitz, tell me, where was God?"
And the answer: "Where was man?”