Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Runaway Soul” as Want to Read:
The Runaway Soul
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Runaway Soul

3.55  ·  Rating Details  ·  33 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
Acclaimed New Yorker writer Brodkey set the literary world ablaze with this much-talked-about debut novel--a literary tour de force about an adopted child in the early 1930s who is raised in the St. Louis household of his cousins. "Impressive. . . . The work of a lifetime. . . . As haunted by love, death, and madness as The Oresteia".--Washington Post Book World.
Paperback, 835 pages
Published November 1st 1992 by Harper Perennial (first published 1991)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Runaway Soul, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Runaway Soul

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 243)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
MJ Nicholls
Brodkey’s lifelong opus, largely forgotten for obvious reasons, is a contender for the most solipsistic, inward-looking 835pp novel since Bill Vollmann’s nine-volume Reflections on My Eyebrows. Brodkey, who published a story collection in 1958 and no books in the 60s or 70s or most-of-the-80s until Stories in an Almost Classical Mode in 1988, by remaining a New Yorker man his entire life, made himself a human dartboard by holding back this novel until 1991. Because TRS was savaged by everyone ex ...more
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
See Friend Jonathan's review:

The Village Bookshop had an inscribed 1st/1st for US$7.95. Now I have it. I am happified.

I kn[e]w nothing. Something about "much maligned" and one insightful goodreads reviewer used the word "verbal diarrhea" but hers is a sentence fragment meaning perhaps to have said "not" verbal diarrhea.

"Whatever" say today's kids and we'll provide a link:
Hans Van
Oct 14, 2014 Hans Van rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
I have tried to get through more than the first 50 pages of this scores of times, to no avail. Since I like books that 'go somewhere' more (i.e. somthing of note happens), and I have the feeling that this one doesn't, I decided to abandon trying to read it. It must be a great book, but unfortunately, I fail to recognise what's great this time.
Feb 02, 2013 Gregory rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All
Recommended to Gregory by: The remainder bookstore in Branson, Missouri
Flying and crying and trying and dying and wondrous entrance into Wiley Silenowicz's consciousness, St. Louis representing realness of the twentieth century, indirect hommage to both hobos and Proust the famous homo in the first couple vignettes, a book that lit up my late-teen years to the possibilities of modernist and postmodernist fiction.
Nov 02, 2007 Henry marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I tried to read it (I will continue to try) but there was just too much Writing in there to hold my attention.
Anne Sanow
Feb 22, 2008 Anne Sanow rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Verbal diarrhea. Read anything else by him.
Alex Strout
Alex Strout rated it really liked it
Apr 06, 2016
Christopher Klein
Christopher Klein marked it as to-read
Apr 02, 2016
Casey Bell
Casey Bell marked it as to-read
Mar 24, 2016
Edu added it
Mar 22, 2016
Tyler Schneider
Tyler Schneider marked it as to-read
Mar 19, 2016
Sheryl Constable
Sheryl Constable marked it as to-read
Mar 02, 2016
Lauren Finley Jacob
Lauren Finley Jacob marked it as to-read
Feb 17, 2016
Mahak marked it as to-read
Feb 08, 2016
Kristen Long
Kristen Long marked it as to-read
Feb 06, 2016
Jasmin marked it as to-read
Feb 04, 2016
Forza marked it as to-read
Jan 31, 2016
Ena Alvarado
Ena Alvarado marked it as to-read
Jan 28, 2016
Sean rated it it was amazing
Jan 23, 2016
Mira Ursic
Mira Ursic marked it as to-read
Jan 22, 2016
Essay19 is currently reading it
Jan 12, 2016
Brightpath57 marked it as to-read
Jan 06, 2016
Kc marked it as to-read
Jan 02, 2016
Kamil marked it as to-read
Dec 30, 2015
Thomas marked it as to-read
Dec 25, 2015
Zuzana marked it as to-read
Dec 12, 2015
Sadrach Pierre
Sadrach Pierre marked it as to-read
Feb 24, 2016
Nick added it
Jan 05, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Divine Days
  • Laura Warholic or, the Sexual Intellectual
  • The Brunist Day of Wrath
  • Miss MacIntosh, My Darling
  • Women and Men
  • Die Dämonen
  • Zettels Traum
  • Frog
  • Take Five
  • Crosstown Traffic: Jimi Hendrix and Post-War Pop
  • Pride
  • Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom: The Golden Age of Rock
  • Adán Buenosayres
  • 2014 on Goodreads
  • Elvis
  • Fogság
  • Imperial
Harold Brodkey was born into a Mid-Western Jewish family, moving to New York and coming to prominence as a writer in the early 1950s. During the following four decades, he established himself as a modern master of short fiction. He contracted the AIDS virus and died in 1996. Some of his books were published posthumously.
More about Harold Brodkey...

Share This Book