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The Runaway Soul

3.53 of 5 stars 3.53  ·  rating details  ·  32 ratings  ·  7 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.
Hardcover, 852 pages
Published November 21st 1991 by Jonathan Cape Ltd (first published 1991)
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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
0. First some reception history. If you want to skip to content on The Runaway Soul itself, go to 10.

1. As of today, January 3rd 2013, Harold Brodkey's The Runaway Soul received its 21st rating on goodreads. The novel is hovering over oblivion.

2. Was the novel barely reviewed, ignored upon release (1991)? Not at all. In the not-so-distant past, Harold Brodkey was a very public figure, especially for an American doing ambitious, original work. With some big guns behind him—Bloom called him an “A
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
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 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
Verbal diarrhea. Read anything else by him.
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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...
Stories in an Almost Classical Mode First Love and Other Sorrows: Stories This Wild Darkness: The Story of My Death Profane Friendship My Venice

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