Sara's Reviews > Ironweed

Ironweed by William Kennedy
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Apr 01, 09

bookshelves: fiction
Read in March, 2009

I made a decision a few weeks ago that I would read all the Pulitzer Prize winners for fiction, beginning in the year I was born (1984) and continuing through the present. I always know what's next, the mix of authors and material is varied, and I will finally get around to reading some things I know I should have gotten to long ago. Ironweed, as you may have figured out, was the 1984 winner.

In it, Kennedy tells the story of a bum who was once a well liked ball-player and family man but lost everything as a result of a series of accidents and poor decisions. The novel explores the ways that humanity, wealth, comfort, religion, morality, intimacy and identity all exist relative to poverty and his characters' closeness to it, and are colored by it. This novel is tragic, humorous, gritty and hopeful at turns, but accomodates all of these contradictions gracefully, because Kennedy is incredibly adept at giving the reader a lens through which to understand each and every perspective he offers.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay I really like this idea. I think I may co-opt it.


Sara Feel free! This is what happens when I get bored working at the B&N.



message 3: by booklady (last edited Jun 24, 2009 06:28PM) (new)

booklady Excellent idea Sara and great review! Bored working at B&N?! That's my dream job! Ha! Of course, as I've never done it and there isn't even a bookstore near my home, excursions to one are almost like pilgrimages, planned and eagerly anticipated. The reality, I'm sure, wouldn't be anything like I hope/imagine...more's the pity!


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