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The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder
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Apr 03, 2010

it was amazing
Read from April 03 to 04, 2010 — I own a copy

Thoroughly enjoyed this. What a terribly beautiful, terribly well-written book. I'm already sure this is going to be one of the best books I'll have read this year.
I wonder why I never heard about this until recently. From its inclusion of numerous "best novels of the century" lists I gather this was a classic, but somehow it slipped under my radar all through my study and afterwards. Probably because Wilder made a reputation predominantly as a stage writer. But this is something else. Such elegance and clarity of style in the writing. It reminds me of French novels more than of American literature. The quiet, essayistic build up of the narrative, the aphoristic elegance of the writing. Another author it reminds me of is Marai.
Very impressed.

I do have to add that I'm reading the ebook version [epub:] of this Penguin edition, and it's riddled with what seem to be OCR errors. There are so many (I count about 85 in all, quite few for such a slim volume) that I plan to write Penguin and ask them to do something about this.
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Quotes Frank Liked

Thornton Wilder
“Style is but the faintly contemptible vessel in which the bitter liquid is recommended to the world.”
Thornton Wilder, The Bridge of San Luis Rey

Thornton Wilder
“Next she lost her belief in the sincerity of those about her. She secretly refused to believe that anyone (herself excepted) loved anyone. All families lived in a wasteful atmosphere of custom and kissed one another with secret indifference. She saw that the people of this world moved about in an armour of egotism, drunk with self-gazing, athirst for compliments, hearing little of what was said to them, unmoved by the accidents that befell their closest friends, in dread of all appeals that might interrupt their long communion with their own desires.”
Thornton Wilder, The Bridge of San Luis Rey


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