Vida's Reviews > The Poet of Tolstoy Park

The Poet of Tolstoy Park by Sonny Brewer
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's review
Jul 06, 09

did not like it
Read in July, 2009

Sonny Brewer' first writing attempt was really hard for me to read. I found that the way he wrote the character, Henry Stuart, to be selfish and arrogant. Sort of like this line from the book, "We become obsessed with our own cleverness." Sonny Brewer is obsessed with his own cleverness and transposed that on to his protagonist. That he left his sons, I found unfathomable, that he didn't want live with them, a testament to his failure as a father. That he preferred the company of stranger I found unforgivable. The author should have done a better job explaining this.

I think there was more to Henry Stuart that Brewer was unable to communicate. He literary allusions seemed designed to let the reader how smart the author is and well as let the reader know how stupid and uneducated they are. Stuart's dialog was stilted and unreal, I kept asking myself, "Who talks like that?"

I am sorry. I tried to like this book. The author just kept digging a deeper 14 foot wide hole for himself.
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Marco I think Sonny Brewer characterized Stuart leaving his family as a spiritual act. Family bonds ultimately give way to divine ones:
"Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?" 49Pointing to his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother."
In the Hindu spiritual tradition also, when a couple reached a certain age, they became hermits, and sometime after that, wandered into the forest to meditate on God until they passed.
The Buddha also left his wife and children to attain enlightenment, alone in the woods.
I think Henry stuart leaving was a more modern version of sacrificing some part of worldly life for spiritual fulfillment.

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