Darrenglass's Reviews > Bright's Passage

Bright's Passage by Josh Ritter
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's review
Sep 04, 2011

really liked it

This novel tells the story of Henry Bright, a soldier who has recently returned from World War I, who is grieving the loss of his bride and trying to take care of his newborn son, all while trying to escape the wrath of his father-in-law, who is not so happy about recent events. Oh, and the whole time Bright is taking instructions from conversations with his horse, who (he believes) is an angel that followed him back from Europe.

Now, this isnt really the type of novel I typically enjoy. I'm not a big fan of military novels or historical fiction, and this novel has both. It also has lots of magical realism (as in the aforementioned horse) which is not normally my cup of tea. And the structure of the book, jumping around in time and narrator without much help to the reader, is one that I think authors need to earn more than perhaps Ritter had. But Ritter is so good at setting a tone, and his words so often capture a great turn of phrase, that I did enjoy this book. Neither of these things will be a surprise to people who are fans of Ritter's music, and I am certainly a big fan of his. In the end, I agree with most of Stephen King's review of this book in the NY Times that Brights Passage is certainly a good read, and better yet gives indication that Ritter has some truly exceptional novels in him if he keeps writing. (I just hope it doesnt slow down his musical output)
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