if you had said to me - "here karen, i have this book for you about a merchant marine and his grapplings with such untidy philosophical questions as the difference between selfhood and identity and how much of love is just self-deception," i would have politely thanked you, and then put the book in that safe dark place with the red sweater with the teddy bear on it and the ceramic angel jewelery-box.
but, you read enough positive reviews of something, and it gets hard to not have your interest pi...more
I’m really tempted to give this one 5 stars—as it is, I’m settling for 4, partly because I read a really ratty old mass market paperback edition with tiny print, partly because I give way too many 5 stars ratings, and partly because I’d rather you read it and gave it the 5th star yourself.
I don’t usually generalize from myself to other people, at least not in any ways that do credit to me or them, but I liked the narrator from almost the very beginning, and pretty quickly, he won me over thinki...more
Probably I was still drunk from the whiskey. I threw a crowbar, a heavy one; it soared end-over-end and vanished softly and invisibly like a bird.
“Listen! this is serious!” I yelled.
It wasn’t that there was nothing there. It was the silence was there, a physical presence, and wouldn’t answer. I wouldn’t have minded if there had been no God, then the universe would be empty and all things would be possible. But that HE should e...more
S P O I L E R S A H O Y
I had the odd sensation that the nothingness began at the surface of my skin and went on forever, in every direction, to infinity. Well, I finally had what I wanted, I was alone!so Rod recommended this to me after reading my review of the equally superb The Story of Harold. th...more
I'm not positive but I think this all started with Brian reading the book, and then him and Kowalski spooging on the internets about it. And then apparently a copy started floating around, I think stemming from Rod, that is making the rounds among people. I'm only coo...more
as a kid i was always turned off by the too-cool-for-school guys, those fonzified turdfucks who felt it cool to act casual about everything. oh, fuck that. i'm one easily enthused jackass and i'd have it no other way. back then, those guys who talke...more
You could read the blurb here o...more
My bad that I came to this book immediately after reading Gass and Lowry's glorious prose- part Conrad,part noir,and part existential musings,Mortal Leap is an interesting,& at times, a captivating take on the weighty issues of seeking and forging an identity and finding meaning in the act of being,living,and co-existing,but this reader felt excluded by its overtly male-centric pov.
The narrative tone somewhat softened in the second half with the entry of the female lead.(Don't women...more
He who loves a person on account of their beauty, does he love the person? No; for the small pox, which kills the beauty without killing the person, will destroy the love. And if o...more
Larry doesn't really know who he is. He simply knows that his whole life he's been battling and fighting against how his current environment has defined him.
Until he's given a rare opportunity.
Plucked from the sea amidst the burning wreckage of a sunken Naval ship, inju...more
In the meantime, I can give no better recommendation for Mortal Leap than adding it to my Essential list (consider it my 6 star or the best of my favorites). It IS that good.
"I had no objection to facts and labels in principle. Let them find out the facts, let them write labels all day if it gave them ple...more
Our narrator starts out as a young man in Utah, from a devout Mormon family, who will rather get caught re...more
rod's, who started this all by his championing http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...
The book was very unusual and was in two distinct halves. One before the 'leap' and one after. The first half reminded me of Catcher in the Rye -...more
There are plenty of stories of mistaken identity, and plenty more, like the Kevin Kline comedy, “Dave”, where one person pretends to be another (in that case, the President of the United States) to deceive others. In Mortal Leap, however, we are led, with careful attention to detail, motivation, and effect, through a man’s decision...more
MACDONALD HARRIS was born in South Pasadena in 1921. Seastruck from the time he read Stevenson at the age of twelve, he went to sea in earnest as a merchant marine cadet in 1942, sat for his Third Mate's license in 1943, and spent the rest of the war as a naval officer on a fleet oiler. After the war he earned a B.A. at Redlands and a doctorate in comparative literature a...more