Ed's Reviews > Wise Blood

Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor
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Jan 05, 2010

it was amazing
Read in January, 2010

Like some of Faulkner and Capote, Flannery O'Connor writes in a literary style that's called Southern Gothic. You can read Wise Blood several ways for different things. It's a bleak, irreverent, bizarre, violent, funny, and dark sort of book that also considers the big themes in life, religion, and philosophy. Much of it, I believe, was written with O'Connor's tongue firmly planted in her cheek. Hazel Motes is a 22-year-old war vet who returns to Tenneessee to resolve some "issues", and he's certainly a memorable character.

I should add the movie Wise Blood was also released in 1979. It was directed by John Houston, and I remember watching it on TV because Brad Dourif played Hazel Motes. Too bad I don't have a memory of liking or disliking it.
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Reading Progress

01/03/2010 page 45
17.58% "I've started re-reading the strange case of Hazel Motes in a Southern classic novel." 1 comment
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Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

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Mary Ed - if you get a chance - check out the movie that was directed by John Huston.


message 2: by Ed (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ed Oh wow, I didn't know there was a movie. And directed by one of my favorites. We just saw his The Asphalt Jungle. Thanks for the heads up, Mary.


message 3: by Tony (new)

Tony Looks like Mary beat me to it. I was going to recommend that you rent the film after you read the book (one of my favorites). It is truly faithful to the spirit of the novel. If you haven't already done so, rush out and get a copy of "A Good Man is Hard to Find."


message 4: by Ann (new)

Ann I read this years ago -- enjoyed it -- but it is definitely weird. Also saw the movie too -- a long time ago -- it was well worth viewing.


message 5: by Catie (new)

Catie Bloomfield She doesn't write in Southern Gothic, it's not a language or anything, it's a literary movement. So, you should say, "She was considered a Southern Gothic writer." or "Her novels are considered part of the Southern Gothic movement." I've read a few of her short stories, and I didn't like them much.


message 6: by Ed (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ed Catie wrote: "She doesn't write in Southern Gothic, it's not a language or anything, it's a literary movement. So, you should say, "She was considered a Southern Gothic writer." or "Her novels are considered par..."

Very true. Thank you for mentioning it.


message 7: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Edwards I believe Ed's comment that she "writes in a literary style that's called Southern Gothic" is a perfectly acceptable statement. He never said she "writes in Southern Gothic" the way one might say a person writes in Sanskrit or German. Southern Gothic does define the style. Ed is quite right.


message 8: by Ed (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ed I made the correction after Catie mentioned it to me. I should've noted making the correction in my reply to her. Sorry for the confusion. You're both correct, I think.


Seana She is one of my favorite American authors.


message 10: by Ed (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ed You know, I've had a few days to think about her and her novel Wise Blood. There's something powerful about it. I got in her other novel The Violent Bear It Away that was published in 1960. It will be interesting to compare her early and later writing. I like her short stories, too.


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