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Book of Sorrows (Chauntecleer the Rooster #2)

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4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  373 ratings  ·  57 reviews
This sequel to the award-winning The Book of the Dun Cow stands on its own as a powerful work of literature. In this absorbing, highly original fantasy, Chauntecleer, Pertelote, and the other familiar characters of the Coop struggle to piece together their shattered lives in the aftermath of the terrible conflict with the dreaded Wyrm. But their respite is short-lived: Int ...more
Paperback, 339 pages
Published March 28th 1989 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 1985)
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Jordan
Walter Wangerin, Jr. here produces a sequel that explores the emotional, relational, and spiritual themes of its predecessor in even more depth. The book is not a children's fairy tale. It is sometimes graphic, but always powerful. I sometimes laughed and sometimes had to turn away and catch my breath. On several occasions I nearly threw the book across the room. The Book of Sorrows is not misnamed. It is sad, one of the saddest stories I have ever read, and one of the most lingering. You can't ...more
Joel
This book knocked me out. Wow. Heavy, powerful stuff. The follow up to the Book of the Dun Cow is a tale fiercely fought for redemption from evil, a tale of what it means to bear with those suffering, about never taking salvation into our own hands. The salvation in the book is beautifully rendered because it is tragically needed - when all hope seems gone. It is in these moments, where the currency of the world, where "everyone cut cuts back twice" is shown for what it is, and bearing pain inst ...more
Pewterbreath
Jan 03, 2008 Pewterbreath rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Pewterbreath by: Pamela Ivey
All I can say yet is that it is as good as Dun Cow. Also that one would definately have to read Dun Cow before touching this--it would make sense I guess, but it wouldn't have the emotional power with the opening chapters (you wouldn't know how these characters connected, nor the distress at not having a home--)

I finished this in one big gulp, and I can confidently say that there hasn't been a set of books that had so many Characters I loved since Alice's Adventures in Wonderland/Through the Loo
...more
GoldGato
This sequel to The Book of the Dun Cow is almost as good as the original, featuring a frightening war between good and evil as represented by Chauntecleer the Rooster and Wyrm. Yes, this is fantasy fiction, but beautifully written and spellbinding at times.

This sequel is darker than the first book, due to Wyrm taking center stage. The reader feels for the Rooster and his bouts of self-doubt. At times it takes on a Homeric tone, one mirroring the same Cold War reality of the 1980s. I certainly id
...more
Laura
The title of this book is very fitting it is defiantly a very sorrowful book. As I mentioned with the book of the dun cow (the first book in this series) these books have religious connotations but I am not religious and feel that this book can be enjoyed by non-religious and religious people alike. This is a very good story very well told about the struggles we face in the world and within ourselves with good and evil and trying our best to do the right thing.
I might also mention that althou
...more
Sarah
I admit that when I first picked up The Book of the Dun Cow, I laughed to see that a trilogy about animals was being likened to J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. Now I retract that chuckle. There is nothing ordinary, unoriginal or cliche about this uniquely-crafted fantasy world. I love Walter Wangerin Jr.s fantastic writing style, and all the spiritual depth that runs through both the plot and the inner-workings of it's characters.

The first half of The Book of Sorrows does run a bit slow
...more
Claire
I tend to consider myself pretty tough when reading those "emotional" kinds of books. Those gimmicky "oh this book is totally gonna make you cry at the end" books that become national bestsellers and eventual film adaptations usually have little to no emotional impact on me. I have claimed in a few past book reviews that "oh this book left me in tears" or "oh this book had me crying like a baby." To be honest, though, I exaggerated a little. When I said that "this book had me crying like a baby" ...more
Margaret
Charlie bought me this book, which is a sequel to Book of the Dun Cow. The main characters are animals which has made it fun as a Mom to tell Charles about. But the fact that they are animals does not make it at all trite. The author personifies them vividly, and has such a biblical framework of good and evil. He has so many gospel themes yet it never feels preachy. The story proceeds from very sad, then gets worse, but is all the while very real, and climaxes in a beautiful scene of forgiveness ...more
Jay
this one hits so close to home.

it makes me believe again.

Marci
Jan 19, 2010 Marci rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teens, fantasy lovers, christians
I discovered this book in a grocery store bargain bin when I was a kid. I remembering thinking the cover looked neat, and the description on the dust cover spoke of talking animals and a war of good against evil. It was right up my alley -- but I had no idea what I was in for. Finding this book was one of those moments I'll never forget.

I've read and re-read this book year after year, for the last two decades. It's been a constant companion. I don't think I've ever loved characters quite this m
...more
Veronica
Hmm. I liked reading this book, and it often moved me to tears. But thinking about it now- it just wasn't what the Dun Cow was. it took a long time for the story to unfold, and spends a lot of time of wallowing in that sorrow for which it is named. It is indeed an unending march of sorrows. And once again Wangerin managed to take human truths and wrap them into a story about animals- animals which struggle mightily with themselves and each other and ultimately, against the very nature of evil (w ...more
Rosie
[SPOILER] This sequel to The Book of the Dun Cow takes place in the time after the great war between the animals ruled by Chauntecleer, and Wyrm, the serpentine, subterranean embodiment of cosmic evil. It is unbelievably bleak and difficult to read. The stench of death runs through the book. Even though Wyrm had been defeated in the first novel, and is in fact dead, evil is still very powerful and seeps into the fabric of society, taking control of even Chauntecleer. All the way through chapter ...more
Mike
It was not quite as good as the Book of the Dun Cow, but it was still an intriguing book. It's a hard book to describe considering that characters are all animals led by a rooster that fight against the evil force named Wyrm. Believe me, I tried to explain both books to my wife, and I quickly gave way to a broad, "it's just really good."

The writing is strong and some of the climatic points in the story were stirring and vivid. Other parts dragged, and maybe that contributes to a book on sufferin
...more
Dave Rench
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
David
As the title would indicate the sequel to The Book of the Dun Cow is not a real cheerful read. It is beautiful and the picture of the insidious nature of evil is very accurate and well drawn:

"Wyrm had been right: he could not have invaded the Animals frontally, but only by entering at the heart. There had to be complicity of one, then two, and then two thousand. They had to chose for Evil themselves and then, to protect and nourish it within, to justify their choices. Let wrong be right and righ
...more
Sarah Rodgers
Hmmm.
I LOVED The Book of the Dun Cow, which is the first book in this two-part chronicle. I LOVED it. I mean, it changed the way I read books and inspired me to write like I've never written before.
The Book of Sorrows, while still beautiful, and gorgeously written, is, well, SAD.
I know. That's what I get for reading something entitled "The Book of Sorrows", right?
It's just that I almost felt like there wasn't enough happy to contrast the sad. In the first book, the charm and humor of the beg
...more
MisterFweem
Wow. If I could give this book more stars, I would. An impressive story here, told in a way that feels as close to scripture as any other thing I've read. Wangerin really has a feel for the struggle between good and evil, and the pernicious ways pride afflicts those who think they are doing the right thing -- but discover they've done it all for the wrong reason.

Wangerin is also almost Dickensian in the way he is able to create characters and weave them into a story. Ferric Coyote and his relati
...more
Bart
The tragic sequel to Book of the Dun Cow explores more intimately the nature of evil, trespass, and confession. The book is more inward-focused than its predecessor and thus more willing to explore the emotions of protagonists. Wangerin creates a compelling page turner, even if it is more "adult." Some earlier portions of the book become somewhat syrupy in describing the passions and feelings of the characters. All in all, the work is a worthwhile read that provides a cathartic conclusion to a p ...more
Camilla Sofia
Hauntingly beautiful. Wangerin's prose is unsurpassed.
Suzanne Benner
True to the title. Sad but engaging
Erin Hendrian
Very aptly named... I couldn't stop crying. It was a little too sad for me to love as much as The Book of the Dun Cow, but still a beautiful book. It poignantly illustrates the nature of evil, the despair, pain, and futility of seeking to pay penance, take vengeance, or earn love on our own merit, and the beauty of sacrifice, the release of facing our sins, receiving forgiveness, and having the humility to accept love despite our flaws and failings, and in turn to forgive and love even those who ...more
Kirsten
Properly titled, the Book of Sorrows is deeply sad--sadness present both in struggling in a hurt, sinful world and being unable to escape taking part in hurting others. An unlikely hope runs through the narritive in the unfolding of meek characters, and meekness itself is more fully worked into the imagination than I have come across in any other story. It was a slow read--always interesting but sometimes too sad to dwell on for too long--but I took alot away from it. I'd like to read it again.
Coyle
While not as good as The Book of the Dun Cow either in terms of plot or theme, Wagnerin still delivers a readable and enjoyable story.
Unfortunately, there's not much more that I can say without giving away plot points, so read for yourself. Just be aware that it does in fact live up to its title...
C. Tilden
it definitely lives up to its title. though beautiful in its prose, it just seems to drag on, too often rehashing the same pessimistic emotions over and over and over and over and...over. wake up, Chauntecleer! snap out of it already! furthermore, the ending was anticlimactic and too sentimental, though it is still worth reading. excellent characterization.
Nate
Wangerin doesn't pull punches. The title is quite fitting. Like The Book of the Dun Cow, he has written a story that is deeply true and very moving. Yes, the story is a fictional tale of animals, and yet this is how the world is; this is how we are. Evil is real and subtle and cruel, and love meets us in sadness with healing, yet only if we will have it.
Heidi Jo
This sequel to Book of the Dun Cow is equally as well written, but a bit more sorrowful, than its predecessor. It ends with a great lesson in forgiveness and redemption, but expect to cry through the last 50 pages or so. I found it amazing that a book whose main characters are roosters, hens, and a family of foxes could be so moving.
Renee
I had mixed feelings about this book. I loved how Wangerin wrote it, but story itself is a little disturbing. The characters are strong and "lovable/ hate-able." The importance of the setting is striking, and the repetition of phrases brings a poetic sound to the work. Overall, I liked it, but I wouldn't reread it.
Luke H
the book was powerful in some ways, but very sad. a difficult book to read for sure. i think many of the images are powerful but i found myself walking away from it more saddened than anything else, even with the redemptive elements to it. i guess maybe that's what i should have expected from the title.
Nate Walker
Well named the Book of Sorrows - moving, beautiful, dark - but must be read to the end. Moves a bit slower than the Dun Cow, but many parts are breathtaking. Profound meditations on the psychology of pride, marriage, and evil. Look forward to reading to my family when my children are older.
Todd
This book worked on me emotionally like no other I've ever read. The saddest book I've ever read, it's intensely unnerving but strangely edifying. This is a masterpiece (I strongly recommend that you read The Book of the Dun Cow first, since The Book of Sorrows is the sequel).
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Walter Wangerin Jr. is widely recognized as one of the most gifted writers writing today on the issues of faith and spirituality. Starting with the renowned Book of the Dun Cow, Wangerin's writing career has encompassed most every genre: fiction, essay, short story, children's story, meditation, and biblical exposition. His writing voice is immediately recognizable, and his fans number in the mill ...more
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The Book of the Dun Cow (Chauntecleer the Rooster, #1) The Book of God: The Bible as a Novel Paul Ragman: And Other Cries of Faith As For Me And My House: Crafting Your Marriage To Last

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