This New York Times bestselling novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Annie Dillard is a mesmerizing evocation of life in the Pacific Northwest during the last decades of the 19th century.
This book made me wince when I saw I had paid 75% of the original price. It did not look promising.Stained, or fly-specked around the edges; pages yellowing an ...more
Ad ogni modo, non mi è dispiaciuto.
I picked up this book after seeing that Dillard had written a review of the book I had just finished reading--John Mathiessen's Shadow County, a book that is an intense, complex, and thoroughly satisfying read. I was about a third of the way through The Living and realized something was bothering me. It wasn't the quality of the writing. Dillard writes beautifully and eloquently and the story she tells is compelling, but there is a detachment from the characters that prevents the reader from be ...more
I slogged through this novel because I'm a huge fan of Dillard's writing style. Fortunately, she doesn't disappoint on that level. The gorgeous imagery is dispensed by means of carefully constructed sentences that are full of rich language and clever juxtapositions. I highlighted her well-phrased insights and laughed out loud multiple times, but not often enough considering the novel's size and pace—both ...more
The name of the author and the cover with a rustic homestead first attracted me to this book and GR BookSwap made it available to me at ...more
"Bellingham Bay lies ninety miles north of Seattle, on the northwest coast of Washington State. A rough settlement founded in the 1850s became the town of Whatcom. The Living tells the rich and serious story of nineteenth century Whatcom.
"Here is the intimate, murderous tale of three men. Clare Fishburn believes that greatness lies in store for him. John Ireland Sharp, an educated orphan, abandons hope whe ...more
And yet, well, put it this way: one character is said to have written a three-hundred page epic poem in which men battle polar bears and pack ice; although the poet is a rank amateur, I wish I could have read his no-doubt-inept poem rather than this finely wrought novel.
I w ...more
1) Again, I'm a sucker for a way-out-west pioneer story. Just love 'em. And the more settlement details the better.
2) Chocked full of historical tidbits of the Pacific Northwest. Made me want to move there right now (so what if I'm a few centuries late...)
3) The stark unromanticism of Dillard's story-telling. It made everything feel very authentically harsh and unforgiving---pretty apropo for the setting.
What I hated:
1) Like another reviewer, I wasn't all that interested in ANY of t ...more
The Living seemed a disjointed story with a revolving carousel of characters, only one of which seemed even partially well drawn, and that was the villain.
I found this in tone, a violent book, dark and without redemption. If I had not known, I would never have guessed Annie Dillard as the author. This perhaps says something about her ability as a writer to be able to change vo ...more
"There's just a think sheet of sandpaper between this country and hell." 9
"...he could not recollect why he had been so all-fired busy all these years, congratulating himself, life everyone else; no wonder people were so astonished to die ...more
Caveat: some long-winded rambling poetic passages that I need to read a few more times before I "get it". .... and some parts that are really violent.
Un libro che racconta della grande epopea dei coloni americani in cerca di fortuna alle pendici del monte Baker, tra innumerevoli difficoltà, morti improvvise, l'amicizia forte con le popolazioni indiane del posto, la costruzione della linea ferroviaria e i primi collegamenti marittimi con la costa ricca dell'est, la scoperta di giacimenti dell'oro, la bonifica dei terreni e la costruzione di nuove città.
La scrittrice ci descrive i personaggi in manier ...more