Look Homeward, Angel
A legendary author on par with William Faulkner and Flannery O'Connor, Thomas Wolfe published Look Homeward, Angel, his first novel, about a young man's burning desire to leave his small town and tumultuous family in search of a better life, in 1929. It gave the world proof of...more
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The Book Report: A legendary author on par with William Faulkner and Flannery O'Connor, Thomas Wolfe published Look Homeward, Angel, his first novel, about a young man's burning desire to leave his small town and tumultuous family in search of a better life, in 1929. It gave the world proof of his genius and launched a powerful legacy.
The novel follows the trajectory of Eugene Gant, a brilliant and restless young man whose wanderlust and passion shape his adolescent years in...more
No, seriously: I've been trying to read it for almost six years. I've tried to read it in the spring, the summer, the fall, the winter -- on planes, on the bus, on the El, in Chicago, in Baltimore, in North Carolina. And every single time, I stall out about 60% of the way through.
Stargate: Atlantis fans think that John Sheppard's still trying to read War and Peace after three years in the Pegasus Galaxy; I canonically can't finish Look Homeward, Angel.
I know it shouldn't...more
That said, there's something haunting about Wolfe's prose, which often reads almost like prose poem: "Which of us has not remained forever prison-pent? Which of us is not forever a stranger...more
I read the very first sentence of this book and my heart sank. So I read it again. And again. After about the fifth reading, I finally had some idea what he was trying to say a...more
The ruinous Gants are mighty memorable, though, and this is the raw material for so many others. Thank you, Thomas Wolfe.
The prose and style reflect the time in which it was written. Wolfe agonized over every word which made me feel guilty when I found sometimes found passages too long to comple...more
The novel tells the life of the Gant family in a small mountain town in North Carolina. It is widely acknowledged that the town is Asheville, NC and that the book is a thinly disguised accou...more
I am not certain that someone who is not an English major or a lover of long and in-dept...more
"Look Homeward, Angel" is a classic coming-of-age novel about Eugene Gant and his raving mad family, with a heavy emphasis on the family. An early problem that I encountered while reading about this eccentric little boy, who is apparently homologous to the real Thomas Wolfe, was that I disliked him. This was a serious dilemma, se...more
After finishing the book, I drove to the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Home in downtown Asheville, just to see the boarding house his mother op...more
The hardest thing was the level of racism and sexism. It’s totally understandable for a book written by a Southern white man in the 20s. In this autobiographical novel, he was describing the environment he lived in, and the way he thought about it. But it just real...more
“I don’t know yet what I am capable of doing,” wrote Thomas Wolfe at the age of twenty-three, “but, by God, I have genius–I know it too well to blush behind it.”
Perhaps my bias kept me from fully appreciating this read and I do wonder had I not been clued in to Wolfe’s overly infl...more
Thomas Wolfe wrote Look Homeward, Angel when he was rather young, and it's almost hard to believe once you trample your way through this lofty tome. It's a highly fictionalized account of Wolfe's own life, told through the character of Eugene Gant from his birth up until just shy of his twentieth year. The family dynamic is surely a complicated one, with an intensl...more
Quite honestly, I think Wolfe is overrated. He’s nowhere close to being a Hemingway or a Faulkner. The entire novel is just a bunch of nothing, really. There’s no substance to the “story” at all. In a way, he reminds me of Stephenie Meyer....more