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Everything That Rises Must Converge: Stories

4.28 of 5 stars 4.28  ·  rating details  ·  11,498 ratings  ·  626 reviews
Flannery O'Connor was working on Everything That Rises Must Converge at the time of her death. This collection is an exquisite legacy from a genius of the American short story, in which she scrutinizes territory familiar to her readers: race, faith, and morality. The stories encompass the comic and the tragic, the beautiful and the grotesque; each carries her highly indivi ...more
Paperback, 269 pages
Published January 1st 1996 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published 1965)
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To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeGone with the Wind by Margaret MitchellThe Help by Kathryn StockettThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark TwainFried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg
Best Southern Literature
35th out of 784 books — 1,874 voters
Nine Stories by J.D. SalingerThe Complete Stories and Poems by Edgar Allan PoeA Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories by Flannery O'ConnorDubliners by James JoyceThe Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
Collections of Short Stories
17th out of 1,695 books — 1,358 voters

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Community Reviews

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Paquita Maria Sanchez
Sometimes Flannery O'Connor feels like a verbally abusive boyfriend that you just keep going back to. You sigh a bit deeper at the end of each tale, feeling a little more defeated by the uglier sides of existence, the weaknesses of human beings, and the general cruelty masked within the humdrum buzzing of life. Her view is grim, you never hope for a Hollywood ending, you sense it building page by page, the inevitable dagger to the gut that will be dealt by the final paragraph, and then that last ...more
and she observed that the more education they got, the less they could do.

A descriptive title of Flannery O'Connor's short story collection could be, This Aint Gonna End Well.

This collection is like a crescendo of awfulness, brutality and despair. Physically it's sort of akin to getting kicked in the stomach, and then when your down getting stomped on the back, then for the next story getting kicked in the face, and then getting a nice solid shot to the liver when you try to stand up again, and

Go back to hell where you came from, you old wart hog

There is no doubt. I am a Flannery O’ Connor junkie. I can’t think of anything she’s written I haven’t loved. Even her letters and essays ring true. She is, to some degree, a product of her environment, and her use of certain words can grate on our 21st-century ears, but a toned-down O’Connor would not be O’Connor. Everything That Rises Must Converge may be her best collection of short stories, including, among others, the title story, “Parker
Well I tell you one thing she can write. This woman was of exceptional cleverness and writes of characters of her era and ones that live around us now. She rights of the human condition and the darkness of the heart. These story have humour thrown in she tries to give us a view of how we behave and how insanely stupid and careless we can be. How love blinds and evil destroys, how good can only prosper.
She writes of parenthood, guilt, obsession, control freaks, the sick, the despondent, vengeance
Stephen M
Prose style: 2
Plot: 3
Depth of characters: 3
Overall sense of aesthetic: 2
Originality: 3
Entertaining: 1
Emotional Reaction: 2
Intellectual Stimulation: 4
Social Relevance: 4
Writerly Inspiration: 1

Average = 2.5
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There were some stories that I thought were very strong, the first two especially. On their own, those were hands down five stars. 'The Comforts of Home' and 'The Lame Shall Enter First' I also thought worked very well. But my grippes all come from her writing style. She has a ver
Genia Lukin
These stories are amazingly grim. Practically every single one manages to end with the death of someone or another, usually in the grisliest and most horrifying manner possible.

Aside from a tendency to never leave her characters alive, O'Connor also takes a look at hypocrisy, and she does it again, and again, and again. It's actually a quite terrifying look, all the more so because you keep feeling 'I know this person... wait, I've been this person'.

Which one of us hasn't felt the urge to be ch
(this review kind of takes in 'A Good Man is Hard to Find' as well)

...been wallowing in Flannery O'Connor's world for a few days now, and in some ways that has worked against the effectiveness of these great stories. Because it's a library book that's got to go back I was reading two or three stories a day and I think I will buy the collected stories and read them slowly, probably over a year or more and far apart again to fully savour O'Connordom. Complete mad worlds tilted with subtle heirarch
Gruesome, dark, wickedly funny, yet particularly spiritual, these short stories stand as some of the best of the genre. The characters here are across the board pretty revolting and rarely evoke pity (O'Connor despised pity), yet they are wonderful examinations of the ridiculously painful and the painfully ridiculous facts of human existence. These stories are fascinating case studies, and some of them are just perfectly written down to the last word.

The showpiece here is "Greenleaf" (if you rea
This lovely collection of sentimental stories is just the thing for a rainy Sunday when you want to curl up on the couch and read your blues away. Just try to read the title story, in which a beloved mother learns she has something surprising in common with a woman of color, without feeling your spirits rise! Or "A View of the Woods," a beautiful pastoral where an old man takes his favorite granddaughter out for ice cream and they both learn about the importance of family. This must have been wh ...more
Charles Wilson
"Behind the newspaper Julian was withdrawing into the inner compartment of his mind where he spent most of his time. This was a kind of mental bubble in which he established himself when he could not bear to be a part of what was going on around him. From it he could see out and judge but in it he was safe from any kind of penetration from without."

Many of the stories deal with issues of race in a post-Civil War South that was changing, particularly the title story and "Judgement Day."
My interest in this book was doubly piqued; it's on the 1001 Books to Read Before you Die list and (more intriguingly to me) was featured in the season 5 finale of Lost. Why was Jacob so obviously engrossed in this book of mid-20th century short stories?

Each story in the collection is a deceptively simple observation of everyday events, objects and people either set in or relating to the American South. There is a series of events that greatly impacts the characters in the stories - frequently w
Vinny Haddad
I'm slightly embarassed to say that I picked this collection of short stories up because a character in the TV show LOST, Jacob, was reading it on the beach in the final season. As I was reading, I understood immediately why that particular character was reading this book. Flannery O'Connor definitely makes clear distinctions between right and wrong, good and evil. Bad things happen to bad people. In this way, Flannery O'Connor's writing fits into the literature though of as realism (even though ...more
This is my first full collection by O'Connor; I'd previously read individual stories, mostly from A Good Man Is Hard to Find. I read it last week while in South Africa, which added a layer of meaning to the early stories in the book, which delve further into race relations than any other stories of hers that I've read.
I found it interesting that most of O'Connor's protagonists are male. A number of them are dependent on others, adults living at home with their parents or grown children, echoing
With her previous collection of short stories, A Good Man is Hard to Find, Flannery O'Connor announced herself as a promising and unique literary talent. That collection, while containing some truly powerful moments, was also uneven, as if the writer were still struggling to find her voice. In Everything That Rises Must Converge, O'Connor shows her growth as a writer and delivers a more focused, taut and compelling product. Though she still struggled with consistency -- the stories at the end of ...more
Dark, dark, dark! These stories are full of mayhem and tragedy, but the writing is oh, so good. While listening I felt like I was viewing a train wreck about to happen--horrifying, but I couldn't look away. Many thanks to my Goodreads friend, Lori, for recommending this collection. I will be moving on to read the rest of the stories in The Complete Stories, which I got from her in the Yankee Swap at Booktopia Bellingham. I think I'll take a break first, however!

A note on the readers of this audi
One of the best lines of dialogue in the English language: "I wouldn't milk a cow to save your soul from hell." Her characters are larger-than-life bastards and I love them all.
I have had an abusive relationship with this book. I would feel sad, disgusted and bitter at the end of every story and yet, I'd find my way back to the book the next day. I'd be in the middle of one of the short stories, check the number of pages left and get agitated that the end is about to come, that it is going to leave a bitter taste in my mouth for the rest of the day. In addition to glorifying my idiocracies, this also speaks of the powerful narrative style of Flannery.

The manner in whic
Luís Miguel
Depois de “Um bom homem é difícil de encontrar” Flannery O’Connor poderá considerar-se apresentada. Nesta compilação de contos, só muito subtilmente encontraremos algo de estruturalmente diferente das outras, sendo uma dessas pequenas diferenças o grau de violência empregue, no entanto, até isso é discutível. Posto isto, o impacto e autenticidade destas estórias sulistas são candidamente filtrados, cabendo ao leitor pesar o mal e daí retirar a devida densidade dos acontecimentos.

Deparo-me com vá
O, the pleasure I get from reading about horrible people doing horrible things to one another. No one does it better than O'Connor. Note the succinct, positively perfect way lines like "'I wouldn't milk a cow to save your soul from hell'" and "'Go back to hell where you came from, you old wart hog'" relay the cruelest and most absurdly amusing ways we approach others. These lines may shine particularly bright (or dark), but the sentiments are hardly unique among the inhabitants of O'Connor's ins ...more
Dec 18, 2012 Lori rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to an AMAZING set of narrators bring life to this short story collection. If at all possible, especially if you don't live in the South and are surrounded by authentic southern drawls, get the audio version of this collection because the different narrators bring such dynamic authenticity to O'Connor's words. I would suggest putting some time between the reading of the stories, especially the first three. They are all excellent but O'Connor loves to put ironic twis ...more
Flannery O'Connor's link to my home state of Iowa: she attended the Writer's Workshop. When she went to the Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa, she said, she “didn’t know a short story from an ad in the newspaper.” Yet she quickly became a star there and “scared the boys to death with her irony,” as a teacher put it.

O'Connor frightens many readers. On Goodreads, reviewers describe her work as dark, sarcastic, depressing.

Oddly, O'Connor was a devotee of racial jokes. She also enjoyed ma
Reading this for the second time! March, 2011
So. I'm done - still love it, still one of my favorites. But I noticed this time around that reading these stories actually made me feel cheerful. WTF does that say about my state of mind right now???

*Read Aug. 6, 2009*
I've never been a big fan of short stories. Maybe it's just that I hadn't read Flannery O'Connor. Thanks to Lost, that's no longer the case. I freaking loved this book! Every single story was engrossing and I could not put it down. As I
Mathew Shaw
I see the story "Everything That Rises Must Converge" as a metaphor for the generational divide that occured in the 1960s between the Baby Boomers and the older generation, Julian representing the former and his mother representing the latter. It also represents arrogance at its worst. Julian possesses that juvenile arrogance, of thinking that he's so much better than his mother because he is so "progressive;" his mother represents the kind of arrogance of being old and set in one's ways.

I enjo
Nate D
Aug 25, 2010 Nate D rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Misanthropes
Recommended to Nate D by: Jessica H.
Here is O'Connor's best: pitch-black, scathingly perceptive, vicious. Many of these deal with the problems of a flacid intellectualism unable or unwilling to accomplish any good and consumed by its own narcissism. The others deal with various sociopaths, zealots, and uncomprehending racists. Nothing can end well for any of them. And then, shortly after filing a last story called "Judgement Day", Flannery O'Connor died.

Read as part of the Complete Stories.
Had I not been stuck on a plane for ten hours, I would not have read this book in it's entirety in one sitting.

Don't get me wrong, I love Flannery's writing- I'll never forget the smack in the face delivered by A Good Man is Hard To Find (in fact, I highly recommend any Flannery newbie start with that story). I just think her stories are best read in small doses. An entire collection of dark and tragic with a heavy dose of just desserts becomes a bit much. Everything in moderation.

There are som
This is a collection of short stories that are very moving in their tragedy. As you read from one story to the other, you see new and different characters in different situations, but there's something nibbling at the back of your head that suggests that there's a common theme running through them. At first I thought it was simply death, but it goes much deeper than that.

It took me a while to see it clearly, but now, having finished all the stories, I think I can articulate it.

I love the cover a
Normally, I don't like short stories. They take too long to get in to, and then they are over. You never get a chance to figure out who the characters are and what everything means. I have NEVER struggled to put down a book of short stories before. Usually, they take me weeks to read because I can't do more than 1-2 a day.

Clearly, I have been reading the wrong short stories. The stories in this book are beautifully written and compelling, full of sorrow and unexpectedly mundane despair. None of
oh, Flannery O' Connor...what a conundrum. Let's see what we know about her: White woman, devout Catholic, proud Southerner, anti-liberal, very sick with Lupus and disabled for much of her life, died relatively young at 39, and quite prolific in that short life. Racist? Oh, for sure - perhaps no more or less than your average middle-class, white Southern woman of her time (she died a few years after Southern Freedom Riders came to the south). Perhaps.

Many people have written, discussed and argu
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These stories are brutally penetrating into the human condition and ultimately into the readers own heart and mind. They are incredible feats of story telling with laugh out loud humor, specifically in its sarcasm. In that way, think The Simpsons of classic literature. And each story works as a morality play or a parable, think VonTreer's Dogville or PT Anderson's Hard Eight or even Scorcesi Taxi Driver.

But one thing that is incredible is that upon reading all the stories collected, you feel as
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Mary Flannery O'Connor was an American novelist, short-story writer and essayist. O'Connor's writing often reflected her own Roman Catholic faith, and frequently examined questions of morality and ethics.

Her The Complete Stories received the 1972 National Book Award for Fiction. In a 2009 online poll conducted by the National Book Foundation, the collection was named the best work to have won the
More about Flannery O'Connor...
The Complete Stories A Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories Wise Blood The Violent Bear it Away Collected Works: Wise Blood / A Good Man is Hard to Find / The Violent Bear it Away / Everything that Rises Must Converge / Essays and Letters (Library of America #39)

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“He loved her because it was his nature to do so, but there were times when he could not endure her love for him. There were times when it became nothing but pure idiot mystery...” 165 likes
“She had observed that the more education they got, the less they could do. Their father had gone to a one-room schoolhouse through the eighth grade and he could do anything.” 46 likes
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