Chaybyrd's Reviews > Gilead

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Mar 20, 12

bookshelves: kindle-read, borrrrrring, read-in-2012, so-bad-it-made-me-mad
Read from March 06 to 20, 2012

I am devastated by how much I despised this novel. It was one of the most uninspired stories about Christianity, forgiveness and familial bonds I have ever read.

I can't help but wonder if this is the first plotless novel to win a Pulitzer. I'll be on the look out. The framework of the "story" is a dying minister writing in his diary presumably for his now 7 year old son to read after his death. The first person father writing to his son narrative was horrid. I felt like the entire book was one run-on sentence - not because the sentences were lengthy - but rather because it was written as rambling musings of an old man I neither cared about nor related to.

Plus, the sentences were a clunky patchwork of memories and present day reflections that did not connect smoothly. If the story was more linear, the "journal" style mechanism that Marilynne Robinson used could possibly make the novel enjoyable. Or readable.

Unlike the majority, I did not find the old man's reflections insightful - at all. The stories, memories, regrets, doctrine, in essence every single subject broached was so flippin, tear my hair out, boring. Call me ageist, but the stream of consciousness of a 77 year old comes across as senility not sentimentality. I can only assume Robinson was going for the latter. Don't be fooled.
35 likes · Likeflag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Gilead.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

12.0% "Very unimpressed so far. Waiting for this to unfold. Seems quite...ordinary"
18.0% "I just read 3 phenomenal books back to back so in comparison, this one is a bore. Not that into this preachers diatribe, but who knows maybe it'll get actually interesting."
23.0% "I feel like I'm reading one long run-on sentence. *yawn* so not impressed"
26.0% "I think I may hate this book."
32.0% "Dullest book on the face of the earth"
56.0% "Yup. I hate this plotless dribble"
show 1 hidden update…

Comments (showing 1-11 of 11) (11 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Shovelmonkey1 (new)

Shovelmonkey1 also like your "so bad it made me mad" bookshelf!

Chaybyrd Shovelmonkey1 wrote: "also like your "so bad it made me mad" bookshelf!"

Haha! Thanks Girlie! :)

Linda I sort of appreciated the empty baptism first in babyhood followed by a bedevilled life until in the end the old reverend put his heart into a blessing for the adult godson but I agree with you that it was a pretty boring journey....

Helen Flynn I really tried to like this book. There were moments but no cohesion, no story....very disjointed. I had a hard time finishing but my book club is ready it. Otherwise I would have tossed it.

Terry 45 more pages to go and I am struggling. I want to throw it but feel i need to finish just to say I did. How can this be a Pulitzer prize-winning novel? I need to read the qualifications for that award...

Chaybyrd Totally agree! It doesn't get better!

Janice Hansen I felt like I could never say anything negative about this book since there were so many that loved it? I thought there was a literary off switch I turned on. At least you recall something of the book, I remember nothing.

Jason Sometimes one reads a review with which one substantively disagrees -- but it is written in such a way that the critic's intellect and acumen are revealed as keen and perceptive. We can disagree with the verdict even as we admire the map of thought that circled and settled upon that verdict. And then one finds a review like this -- where even the first paragraph alone feels so confoundingly off-the-mark, one thinks, at first, the review must have been written in a spirit of tongue-in-cheek irony. And then you realize: no, no, the reviewer actually means what he or she is saying. And you're dumbfounded that anyone could miss the boat as utterly as has this reviewer. And then you just sigh...

Chaybyrd Don't troll me Jason. Move on.

message 10: by Julie (new)

Julie I really wanted to like this book. There were snippets of great prose, but mostly just continuous dribble. Made it almost halfway, but I. Just. Can't. Go. On !

Chaybyrd I have felt your pain Julie!

back to top