With inventive prose and eccentric characters, Purple Jesus has a lot going for it. For me, I never really connected with the characters, though I did admire what Ron Cooper has accomplished. I would like to see this book, published by a small, independent publisher, find an audience, so please check it out if you like Flannery O’Connor, Walker Percy, or John Kennedy Toole. You’ll find a lot to enjoy in this rich book.
An aging minister writes a letter to his young son, telling him all he’ll never have the chance to tell him when his son is a man.
“Just now I was listening to a song on the radio, standing there swaying to it a little, I guess, because your mother saw me from the hallway and she said, ‘I could show you how to do that.’ She came and put her arms around me and put her head on my shoulder, and after a while she said, in the gentlest voice you could ever imagine, ‘Why’d you have to be so damn old?’”
Only Marilynne Robinson’s own words are sufficient to communicate the grace and beauty of Gilead, her second novel and Pulitzer Prize winner. The narrator, Reverend John Ames Boughton, is nearing the end of his life and his heart aches with love for his younger wife and their seven-year-old son Robbie. His reflections are inspired by the return of his namesake, John Ames Boughton, the middle-aged scoundrel son of his dearest friend, the Reverend Robert Boughton. Known as Jack, Boughton’s son has squandered his heritage–and yet, in true prodigal fashion, Ames knows that he is the one of Boughton’s many children who is closest to his heart.
Ames’s recollection meander through memoir, apologia, philosophy and confession. Robinson’s prose isn’t showy, but she finds new ways to express the startling beauty of the ordinary. This is my second time reading Gilead and I found so much more in it the second time around. It’s about as deeply Christian a work of fiction as anything I’ve ever read, and Robinson surpasses even Walker Percy in the way she discovers the sacramental in the quotidian.
Picked this meme up from Melanie, in honor of two YA books I read for work this weekend.
The goal of this is to list favourite authors according to last name (with a representative fave book as well).
Atwood, Margaret — Cat’s Eye
Bronte, Charlotte — Jane Eyre
Card, Orson Scott — Ender’s Game
Dragonwagon, Crescent — The Year It Rained (with Paul Zindel)
Eager, Edward — Half Magic
Forster, EM — Howard’s End
Gibson, William — Neuromancer
Hobb, Robin — Ship of Magic
Ishiguro, Kazuo — And Never Let Me Go
Jackson, Shirley — Hangsaman
King, Stephen — The Gunslinger
Lewis, CS — Till We Have Faces
Martin, George RR — Game of Thrones
Novik, Naomi — His Majesty’s Dragon
Oates, Joyce Carol — Blonde
Percy, Walker — The Last Gentleman
Queenan, Joe — If You’re Talking to Me, Your Career Must Be in Trouble
Rendell, Ruth — Judgment in Stone
Smith, Wesley — Culture of Death
Tolkien, JRR — The Return of the King
Undset, Sigrid — Kristin Lavransdatter
Vine, Barbara — A Dark-Adapted Eye
Wharton, Edith — Twilight Sleep
X — I’ll read the next book someone recommends by an author whose last name starts with X.
Yancey, Phillip — Where is God When It Hurts?
Zarr, Sara — Story of a Girl