Last night’s work read was a novel whose tone profoundly disturbed me. But that’s all I can say because I don’t blog in detail about the books I read for work. Instead, you get a post On Reading.
I recently posted a few of my blog reviews up on Amazon, just to see what would happen, and in doing so remembered that I posted a review on Amazon a very loooooooong time ago–my only one until recently. I wasn’t sure if it’d still be there, or if I’d even recognize which one I wrote, but lo and behold:
The Last Gentleman
What it means to pass from death to life
August 19, 1997
Reviewer: A reader
Marooned in New York City, displaced Southerner Will Barrett finds himself utterly abstracted from his world and himself. When a chance encounter in Central Park leads him to make the acquaintance of the Vaughts, fellow Southerners who knew his father, Will embarks on a journey that he hopes will tell him what he desperately needs to know. What does he need to know? If Will knew the answer to that, he wouldn’t need the Vaughts, or the South, or the haunted memory of his father. Traversing the country, Will seeks the one man he believes will tell him what to do. Percy not only weaves a lush character study of lost Will, but realizes a profound meditation on the nature of identity, place, and home. Above all, like any good picaresque novel, Will’s journey is not so much about the end, but about what he discovers along the way. However, as a testament to Percy’s imagination and probity, Will’s final destination provides nothing less than utter revelation. I closed this book and jumped out of bed immediately, my breath coming in gulps as I absorbed and processed what Walker Percy had taught me with such love, patience, beauty and truth.
I think for awhile it had my name on it, but I guess in some email switch my old identity was lost forever. Back in August of 1997 I was working for a film producer who taught me how to analyze screenplays and write coverage. I’d been obsessed with Amazon since earlier that year, because I remember killing time at my post-grad school internship by looking up books on the site in the winter of 1997.
The internet has changed, and so have I, but my opinion of The Last Gentleman by the great Walker Percy stands secure.