Mike's Reviews > Sophie's Choice

Sophie's Choice by William Styron
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Sep 06, 2008

really liked it

It is difficult to describe, in these few lines, the emotions felt when reading such a work. The scope and the grandeur are beyond limit. However, at times, the book does seem a little bloated, especially in its pseudo-erotic scenes.

However, when touching upon the Holocaust, it is difficult to argue or consider any passages as overreaching or unnecessary. In this, "Sophie's Choice" remains a document to be cherished and admired.

It is the character of Nathan Landau that remains a little contentious. While Mr. Styron tries to make him somewhat grotesque there is an underlying sympathy. Perhaps Styron's sympathy is with the mentally ill and not this character per se.

As for Sophie, I cannot argue with Styron's depiction as I have never met a survivior and, while I find the character somewhat unbelievable, who am I to argue? How a human being put under such stress (in this, she is wholly believable) would turn out is difficult to answer.

Stingo is the fulcrum of the story and if we remember 22, his is the most identifiable character -- the most universal.

All in all, "Sophie's Choice" remains a text to be read and kept as a record of a period in American history (World history, for that matter) that should be preserved for its optimism and horror at the same time. I imagine that the period post-WWII was one of optimism in that the Nazi regime had been defeated, but one of horror for what was allowed to happen. This dual feeling must have left all feeling a little frenetic and hoping to distance themselves from those very recent events. Styron's novel evokes this frenzy perfectly.
7 likes · flag

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

Reading Progress

Finished Reading
September 6, 2008 – Shelved
November 12, 2008 –
page 41
November 18, 2008 –
page 64
November 19, 2008 –
page 118
November 21, 2008 –
page 153
November 24, 2008 –
page 188
30.03% "The book is beginning to gain momentum as the characters are being fleshed out."
November 25, 2008 –
page 228
36.42% "The Leslie Lapidus scene seems a little trite in that it is typical of literature and films set in this time period, though a little funnier"
November 25, 2008 –
page 261
November 26, 2008 –
page 284
November 28, 2008 –
page 367
November 29, 2008 –
page 406
December 1, 2008 –
page 483
December 1, 2008 –
page 483

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

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Laura (new)

Laura This is a well-written review, Mike. I have not read the book yet, however, after reading your review I now have the desire to do so. Thanks for posting it.
Laura :-)

back to top