Jeff Yoak's Reviews > Paul's Case

Paul's Case by Willa Cather
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Jul 23, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: read-in-1988, audio-collection, read-in-2012, probably-never-read-again
Read 2 times. Last read July 11, 2012.

I had this book rated as five stars and remembered it as one of the few stories inflicted upon me in high school that I actually liked at the time rather than finding an affection for them later when they were no longer associated with the terror of English class. Sometimes there were extreme cases of that such as The Clan of the Cave Bear which I hated at the time, but that would later become favorites. Paul's Case worked out the opposite way.

The story is of a boy who finds his middle class life and school dreary. He weaves a fantasy world around the arts and to some extent the signs of wealth, treating school, family and friends with disdain, imagining himself to live in a bigger world. When his fantasy starts reaches the point of being too destructive upon his life, his father pulls him out of school and all contact with the arts and sets him to work, essentially forcing him to face up to life "as it is." Paul breaks and the story centers on his fantastic attempt to regain the fantasy and the tragic end it brings him.

The story is ultimately rather dreary and sad. I'm not sure why I liked it so much as a teenager. Perhaps the opening of the story having Paul in contact with his dreary teachers and their contempt for him resonated. He was my age, living in my town, and had some discontents that I could relate to. That said, I don't I either actually or as aspiration could relate to his escapism. My situation didn't cause the crippling depression that his did. The connection was somewhat weak.

At any rate, this was one of the ones that it was a disappointment to revisit.
4 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Paul's Case.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

Finished Reading
July 23, 2010 – Shelved
July 23, 2010 – Shelved as: read-in-1988
July 23, 2010 – Shelved as: audio-collection
July 11, 2012 – Started Reading
July 11, 2012 – Shelved as: read-in-2012
July 11, 2012 – Shelved as: probably-never-read-again
July 11, 2012 – Finished Reading

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

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Cathy (new)

Cathy DuPont Nice review.

back to top