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Gilead
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May 2017: 2004 > Gilead by Marilynne Robinson audiobook 5 stars

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Karin | 7301 comments 4 stars rounded up due to the excellent audiobook.

John Ames, in a long letter addressed to his son written while he is dying, writes not only of his love for his wife and son, but of three generations of ministers, some very colourful, of his lifetime friendship with Rev Bowder, and of his uneasy relationship with his namesake, John (Jack) Ames Bowder (aka Young Bowder). Also, through this, he writes of his faith, of his understanding and lack of understanding in this area. And through this, we can see so much of humanity and human feelings, love, sorrow, compassion, worry, concern and so much else.

The writing is lovely, and is best read aloud (thus the audiobook) because it is written as Ames would speak. The audiobook is extremely well done--kudos to the narrator, producer, et al. This is not a faced-paced, grip your seat tale, but slow paced, just like an elderly man with a serious heart condition might write, but well done.


message 2: by Susie (new)

Susie | 4488 comments Karin, does it have a large spiritual component? I recall taking if off my TBR for this reason.


message 3: by Karin (last edited May 26, 2017 07:10PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Karin | 7301 comments Susie wrote: "Karin, does it have a large spiritual component? I recall taking if off my TBR for this reason."

He is a minister, as were his rather colourful grandfather who moved to Kansas to help get it to enter the US as an abolutionist state, not a slave state, and his father, so it certainly does come up quite a bit, but it is a mainstream, literary novel, and not classified as Christian or put out under a religious imprint. There are atheists and agnostics who don't read Christian books that have read and liked it. However, if you dislike anything that mentions faith of any kind no matter the context, then don't read it, because it does come up quite often.

It won a Pulitzer.


message 4: by Susie (new)

Susie | 4488 comments Given my ruthlessness with my TBR for the challenge, I might leave it off. Thanks for your advice.


Denizen (den13) | 1138 comments Susie wrote: "Karin, does it have a large spiritual component? I recall taking if off my TBR for this reason."

Spiritual components are not my cup of tea as a rule, but I very much enjoyed this Pulitzer winning novel. I was reluctant to read it for the same reason. Karin is right- the audio is exceptional. It was a very strong 4 stars for me.


Jgrace | 3018 comments I read this 3 years ago. At the time I rated it 3.5 stars. I think I was frustrated with how slow moving it was. But this story, and especially John Ames as a chraracter, has really stayed with me. I'd probably bump my rating up at this time.


message 7: by Susie (new)

Susie | 4488 comments Oh that's good to know ladies. Perhaps I'll put it back!


message 8: by Nicole D. (new) - added it

Nicole D. | 1495 comments Susie wrote: "Karin, does it have a large spiritual component? I recall taking if off my TBR for this reason."
I gave up on it pretty early in


message 9: by Susie (new)

Susie | 4488 comments Nicole D. wrote: "Susie wrote: "Karin, does it have a large spiritual component? I recall taking if off my TBR for this reason."
I gave up on it pretty early in"


Because of the religion?


message 10: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6643 comments This book is also one I've gone back and forth on. The author is so acclaimed that I feel like I'm missing out on reading her, but it just sounds slow and not very appealing to me personally. But it gets great ratings so tough call.


Tracy (tstan) | 1219 comments This one was quiet. Her writing sort of reminds me of Kent Haruf- understated and peaceful. I also liked Home, which has the same setting and some of the characters. It was spiritual, but not in your face at all. Kind of like Father Mulcahy in MASH- in the background if you want it.


message 12: by Booknblues (new) - added it

Booknblues | 6497 comments Anita wrote: "This book is also one I've gone back and forth on. The author is so acclaimed that I feel like I'm missing out on reading her, but it just sounds slow and not very appealing to me personally. But i..."

I own it, but that is why, I've avoided it. I think I should read it but more exciting books rise to the top.


Karin | 7301 comments Anita wrote: "This book is also one I've gone back and forth on. The author is so acclaimed that I feel like I'm missing out on reading her, but it just sounds slow and not very appealing to me personally. But i..."

I can't remember if you like audiobooks, but if you listen to those and do choose to read this, listen to it.


message 14: by Susie (new)

Susie | 4488 comments Oh I love Father Mulcahy!


message 15: by Nicole D. (new) - added it

Nicole D. | 1495 comments Susie wrote:

Because of the religion?"

Probably that was most of it, but also was bored


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