A few of the sentiments in this book kinda made me teary! Just lovely. Really beautiful religious insights that came at a good time for me to hear. Th...moreA few of the sentiments in this book kinda made me teary! Just lovely. Really beautiful religious insights that came at a good time for me to hear. The book really kept getting better. I kind of always wish books I read had more punch at the very end, but this one was still good.
A unique way of telling a story, for me at least; through letters to his son. An old preacher writing letters to his very young son, knowing he (the preacher) will die and not be able to see his son grow up. Sounds so sad but it's not really a sad book. It's pretty affirming.
I love a really good book written by a woman. Something different about it.
Robinson accomplishes this really beautiful book and I can't tell that she was trying. It is very sincere and not put-on. A lot of things I read, you can tell the author was going for something. Not so here.
I think this book also helped me appreciate the wonders and glories of every day life. I hope so.
The love he felt for his wife and child was so touching to me.
I found lots of quotes I liked, and I'd like to record and share them:
"I feel sometimes as if I were a child who opens its eyes on the world once and sees amazing things it will never know any names for and then has to close its eyes again. I know this is all mere apparition compared to what awaits us, but it is only lovelier for that. There is a human beauty in it. And I can't believe that, when we have all been changed and put on incorruptibility, we will forget our fantastic condition of mortality and impermanence, the great bright dream of procreating and perishing that meant the whole world to us. In eternity this world will be Troy, I believe, and all that has passed here will be the epic of the universe, the ballad they sing in the streets. Because I don't imagine any reality putting this one in the shade entirely, and I think piety forbids me to try."
"In the matter of belief, I have always found that defenses have the same irrelevance about them as the criticisms they are meant to answer. I think the attempt to defend belief can unsettle it, in fact, because there is always an inadequacy in argument about ultimate things."
"It is a good thing to know what it is to be poor, and a better thing if you can do it in company."
"I might seem to be comparing something great and holy with a minor and ordinary thing, that is, love of God with mortal love. But I just don't see them as separate things at all. If we can be divinely fed with a morsel and divinely blessed with a touch, then the terrible pleasure we find in a particular face can certainly instruct us in the nature of the very grandest love. I devoutly believe this to be true."
"I can tell you this, that if I'd married some rosy dame and she had given me ten children and they had each given me ten grandchildren, I'd leave them all, on Christmas Eve, on the coldest night of the world, and walk a thousand miles just for the sight of your face, your mother's face. And if I never found you, my comfort would be in that hope, my lonely and singular hope, which could not exist in the whole of Creation except in my heart and in the heart of the Lord. That is just a way of saying I could never thank God sufficiently for the splendor He has hidden from the world- your mother excepted of course- and revealed to me in your sweetly ordinary face."
I've been waiting about 2 years, since I read Atwood's "The Blind Assassin," for a book I'd be blown away with again. This was it.
I'm not going to att...moreI've been waiting about 2 years, since I read Atwood's "The Blind Assassin," for a book I'd be blown away with again. This was it.
I'm not going to attempt an in-depth review here, but there are a few things I want to mention:
-really interesting use of ancient Greek tragedy themes (and probably comedy too but I didn't notice that because I don't know about Greek comedy very much...). Admittedly, I noticed these things probably because the characters are Greek, and because it was pretty obvious in a few places, but hey, I noticed it and it was well done. Smoothly integrated, and it wasn't just thrown in there and hanging separately. It added to the story.
-Gripping, engaging. The narrator and the way the story is told really pulled me in and kept me anxiously reading and reading and reading. It was just really skillfully put together.
-The characters are interesting and you care about them.
-The content of the story - the issue of hermaphroditism - is really affecting and impactful. It made me think a lot about it when I wasn't reading.
-This book had incredible build. I was impressed by how we could basically know exactly what would happen at the climax of the book, but because we didn't know exactly how it would happen or the real details of it, and because of the skill with which the book was building up to the climax, we are totally engaged.
Really this book had me loving it all the way through and it really affected me, and I'm so glad I found another book that was this good. It will probably be years before I find another one. (less)
I wish there were more books this substantial and engaging. Maybe there are. A quick "review" = very subtle. He gets really great things across in few...moreI wish there were more books this substantial and engaging. Maybe there are. A quick "review" = very subtle. He gets really great things across in few words, without saying too much or too little, without giving away too much detail. He gives you a clear vision of the atmosphere/setting, while still letting your imagination put it together. He doesn't get too graphic or horror-movie-ish, but it's still terrifying, and he gives you enough, for sure. Keeps you wanting more. Really beautiful scenes. A quick read, too.(less)
These were all very interesting, almost "gripping" short stories, but I am not a fan of short stories, I have come to learn. I do like that these were...moreThese were all very interesting, almost "gripping" short stories, but I am not a fan of short stories, I have come to learn. I do like that these were more obviously connected/similar than other short story compilations I've read, but I just prefer a longer story, a novel.
This book adds to my list of Pulitzer Prize winners that I've read, and I have to say that after reading a few of them and not being able to say "I LOVED IT!" and give it 5 stars, I am starting to wonder what the qualifications are to win the Pulitzer for fiction. B/c like I said, I've read several winners and wasn't totally blown away. Maybe there's something wrong with me.
All of this said, I liked this book, and I was interested enough in the short stories and those characters that I would like to read another of this same author's work- but a novel next time.(less)