Nicola's Reviews > Wise Blood

Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor
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's review
Jul 31, 2011

really liked it
Read in July, 2011

Yikes. But a good "yikes," a provocative, darkly funny, uncanny one. I was neither raised with religion nor grew up in the South, but still feel a gravitation, a "wise[ness]" to this odd book, as I guess I do to all the Southern Gothic I've been exposed to. I get the sense that when people couch ideas in terms of angels and devils and sin and salvation and tongues and blood and violence, I'm seeing through a distorted, dark glass at a world I half-feel, half-know. This is life at its most cracked out--a man in a gorilla suit, a shrunken Jesus, an anti-preacher preacher, an atrocious miracle of a car--but life all the same.

If you enjoyed this book, I highly recommend the documentary "Searching For the Wrong-Eyed Jesus."

Qualified randomness: The women in "Wise Blood" were vivid and memorable. So much of the narration is informed by their twisted eyes (and minds) looking at and guessing at Hazel's. As in her short stories, Flannery creates a layering of consciousness, prejudice, vanity, truth, etc., all that good stuff.

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