Claudia's Reviews > Deliverance

Deliverance by James Dickey
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's review
Feb 13, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: contemporary-fiction, 2011-book-challenge-150-books
Read from February 04 to 11, 2011

I have spent two days going back through this book for one reference, early on, to 'deliverance'. Cannot find it anywhere...but as I reread the beginning, the foreshadowing is there -- talk of survival, of being against the elements: "survival depends , well it depends on having to survive." Ed and his buddies think they're just following charismatic Lewis on another weekend adventure...canoeing on a wild river that will soon be submerged into a man-made lake. Ed is so fascinated with Lewis...envious and yet slightly repelled. But like Dean from ON THE ROAD, Lewis writes his own travels, his own story.

I was frustrated with the pivotal scene, because I cannot believe people are as evil and depraved as the two 'toothless hillbillies' are...certainly there was some motivation for the initial attack. Did I miss it because I was shivering in horror?

For all his machismo, Lewis is left helpless and Ed, who, at the beginning of the trip cannot shoot a deer, is left to save his friends.

I'm still irritated I can't find the one and only time Dickey used the title word..Who was delivered? How? Why? What was the cost?

Fierce and poetic. Uneven, satisfying and yet not. But a book I will not easily forget.

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Reading Progress

02/04/2011 page 15
02/09/2011 page 50
17.0% "Like slogging through GA mud right now."
02/10/2011 page 113
39.0% "Oh dear...I think we just met the bad guys. Great imagery and reflection from the narrator."

Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Kathy (new) - added it

Kathy Manus Wow, seeing this made me mark it as a "to-read". Just curious, what made you want to pick it up?

Claudia Reading the Conroy book -- it's one of the books he mentioned. Along with LOOK HOMEWARD ANGEL, and GONE WITH THE WIND and WAR AND of my boys read it last month and told me it's passed my way a couple of ways.

Mark I remarked on that (use of the title) as well, as I was reading it. It's on page 28, discussing sex, of all things. (Google books is your friend...)

Mark I think the pivotal scene is clearly when Ed goes about killing a man. The attack by the two locals is just setup, & demonstrating that Lewis already IS a real man, unafraid to do what needs doing.

Kasandra Re: your comment about looking for "deliverance", it's in my copy on p. 28, when Ed is having sex with Martha: "The girl from the studio threw back her hair and clasped her breast, and in the center of Martha's heaving and expertly working back, the gold eye shone, not with the practicality of sex, so necessary to its survival, but the promise of it that promised other things, another life, deliverance."

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