Phillip's Reviews > The Bells

The Bells by Richard Harvell
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Jan 24, 2011

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Read in January, 2011

Had to opine on this one because there is tragedy and there is gratuitous cruelty. Harvell has burdened us with the latter. Please God, don't let me be resurrected in a tragedy so imagined. I could not endure it. To be sure, I get tragedy and I comprehend Orpheus as one of the greatest, but reading this book was a torture to my very soul. I have been irreparably harmed.

Some pain need not be explored in such excruciating detail... some ugliness in the world, while we should be aware of it and even take arms toward its demise, should nonetheless remain unexamined, lest we cannot be recovered to beauty. The level of pain and suffering in this book suffocates entirely; I am still without my breath. I am warning anyone who may consider it, be very careful. You will not be the same if you have the stomach to finish. Indeed, you may be changed at the very first. Take heed: it is cruelty upon cruelty... yet among its suffering lies the most sublime and perfect beauty. Harvell, how am I to bear such a thing? I cannot unread it.

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Vicky Your review is as well written as anything I've read. I enjoyed the book, however, unlike you. One caveat: I am a social worker, and have witnessed tragedy much worse than imagined, so I have a self-protective sheild, I guess you could say. It is hard to do the work most social workers do without becoming somewhat calloused while being able to still care enough to make a difference. Does that make sense? Anyway, enjoyed your review.

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