Sophie's Reviews > Cloudsplitter

Cloudsplitter by Russell Banks
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's review
Jun 26, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: southern-literature
Read from June 11 to 26, 2011

This was an impressive book, very educational, and a surprisingly fast read, but disappointing overall. It was mainly enjoyable for being an interesting, LONG meditation on what life would be like in sparsely populated, primitive 19th century America. The day-to-day struggles and chores and worries and, in this family's case, the intense religiosity were made very real and ordinary. And despite all the downsides I'm about to list, I was surprised that I didn't actually dislike it. But that said, the writing was just not beautiful in any way (it's written in the voice of a long-winded, pious, stylized 19th century man) and even though I admired the breadth and scope of the story, I was also ready for it to be over long before it was. And a lot of the themes of father-son relations, fanaticism and radicalism, religion and politics, etc should have been so thought-provoking but felt kind of flat to me for whatever reason. The story moved along and kept my interest, but it was never really funny or sad or wistful or evocative of any other strong emotion. I'm glad I read it because I had been curious about it, but I wouldn't read it again.

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

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message 1: by Lily (new)

Lily yikes. Now that I have the high points, I don't think I'll read it.

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