Pavel's Reviews > Theophilus North

Theophilus North by Thornton Wilder
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Sep 25, 2009

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bookshelves: american
Read in October, 2009

If you ever saw movie "Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain" (or just "Amelie") you pretty much have the idea what's "Theophilus North" is about (and if you don't - run to your local DVD store and get it, you will be thanking me).
It's a story about Yale graduate who drops his teaching job, moves to Newport and starts to secretly interfere in lives of its inhabitants, fixing what's is wrong with them. He is like a good angel for different people who are stuck with some problem in their life. He does that in very tricky manner so the person who got his help doesn't really know about that or at least is not intimidated by being helped from a stranger.
Of course he is doing all that in accordance with HIS views of how these lives should look like so there is no room for manicheism in this book. What's good is good, what's evil is evil.
There are 13.5 different stories in the book , they are all interconnected by Theophilus North of course and 5-6 other characters but they are separate from each other , devoted to a certain "case" (nothing criminal in here) of dr. North. (Decameron like)
Obvious flow of this book is how Theophilus North is accepted by other characters. Every story filled with situations when he enters the room or meets someone and he is immideatelly adored, liked and trusted. People are giving him away all their secrets after several sentences of conversation. Basically that's the carcass of this book, main characterstic of its protagonist and although one can assume smth like "that's mr.North imagination (he is narrator and book is presented as his "diary"), that's his dream what he could be like" or "he is not ordinary person he is a good angel and people are treating him as an angel with unconsious love", I still felt uncomfortable when it happened over and over again.

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