Nancy's Reviews > Words Made Fresh: Essays on Literature & Culture

Words Made Fresh by Larry Woiwode
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Aug 09, 2011

did not like it
Read in August, 2011

Disappointing. I like essays, and I like essays that mix spirituality with culture, so Larry Woiwode's new book seemed to be perfect for me. Indeed, the first essay - about his experience of killing a wounded deer, segueing into reflections on gun ownership - was beautifully written, and promised more goodies to come. But none of the following essays - mostly literary criticism heavily interspersed with Woiwode's religious and cultural biases - were interesting enough, or well-written enough, to keep my attention. Woiwode's writing is permeated by a deeply weird, paranoid conviction that, due to his evangelical beliefs, he (and other writers) are under CONSTANT ATTACK. I am guessing he will read this review as more of the same, which is a genuine pity; I might have been interested in what he had to say if it had come off less angry, less paranoid, and less convoluted. It seems that when Woiwode begins to talk about God, he loses his ability (and it is surely there) to write clear and interesting prose.

Now I think I need to read some nice, clear, well-written theology.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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David Alexander Nancy, your review is interesting and I have to agree with you that his first essay soars above the rest, perhaps because it more personal, perhaps because it was written when he was younger. I don't think I agree with you in the degree to which you find the rest distasteful but it is interesting to hear your perspective.


Nancy Thanks for commenting! I think my annoyance was partly because I was truly disappointed; I like reading about writers' own spiritual journeys, and it is such a letdown when, instead, I get a polemicized take. It makes me want to suggest a month of decaf.


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