― Beth Natale (Beth N), Monday, 19 June 2006 00:37 (sixteen years ago) link
― Roque Strew (RoqueStrew), Monday, 19 June 2006 01:28 (sixteen years ago) link
― Nathalie (stevie nixed), Monday, 19 June 2006 06:50 (sixteen years ago) link
― jed_ (jed), Monday, 19 June 2006 12:36 (sixteen years ago) link
― jed_ (jed), Monday, 19 June 2006 12:39 (sixteen years ago) link
― jed_ (jed), Monday, 19 June 2006 12:43 (sixteen years ago) link
― Jaq (Jaq), Monday, 19 June 2006 13:33 (sixteen years ago) link
― toby (tsg20), Tuesday, 20 June 2006 06:25 (sixteen years ago) link
― Beth Parker (Beth Parker), Monday, 26 June 2006 01:00 (sixteen years ago) link
― I'm Passing Open Windows (Ms Laura), Friday, 7 July 2006 06:26 (sixteen years ago) link
― jed_ (jed), Friday, 7 July 2006 09:41 (sixteen years ago) link
― I'm Passing Open Windows (Ms Laura), Friday, 7 July 2006 17:44 (sixteen years ago) link
― Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Monday, 10 July 2006 17:30 (sixteen years ago) link
― kyle (akmonday), Tuesday, 11 July 2006 13:56 (sixteen years ago) link
The chapter when their house floods is pretty impressive. I also enjoyed the bit involving the mother, a car and a cliff.
― Jeff LeVine (Jeff LeVine), Monday, 31 July 2006 03:46 (sixteen years ago) link
― kyle (akmonday), Monday, 31 July 2006 22:11 (sixteen years ago) link
― Aimless (Aimless), Monday, 31 July 2006 23:35 (sixteen years ago) link
― Jeff LeVine (Jeff LeVine), Tuesday, 1 August 2006 01:31 (sixteen years ago) link
Was looking for a thread about Gilead, but there doesn't seem to be one? In any case, I just found out about this:
I can't help feeling that it's going to be a disappointment, but on the other hand, I imagine I'll be buying it as soon as it's out.
― toby, Tuesday, 15 April 2008 02:46 (fifteen years ago) link
her essay/speech in harper's this month is EXCELLENT! i read it out loud outside in the sun yesterday. my kids weren't impressed, but i was!
― scott seward, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 16:14 (fifteen years ago) link
So - has anyone else read "Home"? I just finished it, and was pretty amazed.
― toby, Wednesday, 1 October 2008 11:37 (fourteen years ago) link
Gilead was lovely. I need to take a look at Home. Robinson is for me sort of one line of connection between classical literature and fc2 type stuff.
― s.clover, Wednesday, 1 October 2008 16:11 (fourteen years ago) link
I struggled for a month or two to make it through the first chapter of this book, then sat down last night and read the whole thing. What an amazing writer. So good.
― badg, Tuesday, 3 March 2009 03:02 (fourteen years ago) link
So she was on The Daily Show last night?
― kind of shrill and very self-righteous (Dr Morbius), Friday, 9 July 2010 11:59 (twelve years ago) link
she was? she has a new book out, something to do with positivism and faith as world views.
― jed_, Saturday, 10 July 2010 12:08 (twelve years ago) link
just finished this and it's pretty wonderful, although I'm not completely sold on the character of Sophie.
― like a ◴ ◷ ◶ (dyao), Thursday, 15 July 2010 12:29 (twelve years ago) link
Sylvie -- why not?
― kind of shrill and very self-righteous (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 20 July 2010 00:44 (twelve years ago) link
well she was this kind of a priori paragon of free-spirited feminine existence. she seemed to exist mainly for the purpose of being contrasted against. just a piston in the narrative's engine without any real force of its own.
(also, is she supposed to be an homage to plath?)
― dyao, Tuesday, 20 July 2010 01:27 (twelve years ago) link
Doesn't seem much like what I know of Plath...
But there WERE free-spirited women before feminism.
― kind of shrill and very self-righteous (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 20 July 2010 01:34 (twelve years ago) link
hah don't get it twisted, I'm not critiquing feminism itself, just that sylvie the character seemed opaque (and robinson probably meant it to be that way) but it was in a way that I found unsatisfying
― dyao, Tuesday, 20 July 2010 01:35 (twelve years ago) link
There are free-spirited women NOW who exist outside the straightjacket of orthodox modern feminism (not to start trouble or anything).
― kind of shrill and very self-righteous (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 20 July 2010 01:41 (twelve years ago) link
Morbs, you should read Gilead. Very different from Housekeeping, and an unforced masterpiece.
― Would love to hear Bam babble about this (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 20 July 2010 01:52 (twelve years ago) link
amen to that.
― jed_, Tuesday, 20 July 2010 02:15 (twelve years ago) link
she did it to me again, broke my heart with "Home".
― jed_, Tuesday, 31 August 2010 12:51 (twelve years ago) link
I wasn't as moved as I was by Gilead, but I haven't read two more finely wrought novels in recent years.
― Gucci Mane hermeneuticist (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 31 August 2010 12:54 (twelve years ago) link
Yeah I found it harder to get into and harder to love, but it was still masterful. I will try Housekeeping next. Her recent essays/lectures though, are bobbins.
― ledge, Tuesday, 31 August 2010 13:04 (twelve years ago) link
seriously don't read this if you plan to read the book.
when the event happens at the end of the novel it took my breath away, and i mean that quite literally. when i read the sentence describing D and her son in the car driving towards the house the shock produced a gasp and a sob that it took a few minutes for me to compose myself from before i read on. It's all the more affecting because of the way it's so deftly and quietly described; when you are a few pages from the end and you expect the thing to just ebb into silence. it was all tears for me from that point on. Did either of you anticipate it?
― jed_, Tuesday, 31 August 2010 14:29 (twelve years ago) link
I didn't, but I didn't find it that affecting either, I'm afraid. I think my problem with Home was one of sympathy and empathy. I could empathise with Glory, really understand the whys and wherefores of every issue she had - but still she seemed to me to be overthinking, obsessing over trivialities. I had trouble sympathising - in contrast to Ames in Gilead, who I thought brought just the right amount of thought to bear on each of his worries. As for Jack, of course I could sympathise, but empathy was completely lacking - perhaps understandably for such a black sheep, even one trying to make good.
― ledge, Tuesday, 31 August 2010 17:29 (twelve years ago) link
i can understand that. Maybe MR goes just too far in terms of Glory's reticence in relating her concerns. There's so much absent or merely suggested in the book, some of which is actually in Gilead, that perhaps a bit more of her inner monologue is needed to ground the thing.
― jed_, Tuesday, 31 August 2010 19:22 (twelve years ago) link
But if she had simply brought us home again to the high frame apartment building with the scaffolding of stairs, I would not remember her that way. Her eccentricities might have irked and embarrassed us when we grew older. We might have forgotten her birthday, and teased her to buy a car or to change her hair. We would have left her finally. We would have laughed together with bitterness and satisfaction at our strangely solitary childhood, in light of which our failings would seem inevitable, and all our attainments miraculous. Then we would telephone her out of guilt and nostalgia, and laugh bitterly afterward because she asked us nothing, and told us nothing, and fell silent from time to time, and was glad to get off the phone. We would take her to a restaurant and a movie on Thanksgiving and buy her best-sellers for Christmas. We would try to give her outings and make her find some interests, but she would soften and shrink in our hands, and become infirm. She would bear her infirmities with the same taut patience with which she bore our solicitude, and with which she had borne every other aspect of life, and her silence would make us more and more furious. Lucille and I would see each other often, and almost never talk of other things. Nothing would be more familiar to us than her silence, and her sad, abstracted calm. I know how it would have been, because I have observed that, in the way people are strange, they grow stranger. We would have laughed and felt abandoned and aggrieved, never knowing that she had gone all the way to the edge of the lake to rest her head and close her eyes, and had come back again for our sakes. She would have remained untransfigured. We would never have known that her calm was as slight as the skin on water, and that her calm sustained her as a coin can float on still water. We would have known nothing of the nature and reach of her sorrow if she had come back. But she left us and broke the family and the sorrow was released and we saw its wings and saw it fly a thousand ways into the hills, and sometimes I think sorrow is a predatory thing because birds scream at dawn with a marvelous terror, and there is, as I have said before, a deathly bitterness in the smell of ponds and ditches. When we were children and frightened of the dark, my grandmother used to say if we kept our eyes closed we would not see it. That was when I noticed the correspondence between the space within the circle of my skull and the space around me. I saw just the same figure against the lid of my eye or the wall of my room, or in the trees beyond my window. Even the illusion of perimeters fails when families are separated.
― johnny crunch, Friday, 14 March 2014 19:20 (nine years ago) link
Chat with Obama:
― The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 12 October 2015 18:40 (seven years ago) link
Just finished this. A rum one. When it proceeds with action and dialogue it's so successful and evocative, with such a sly economy of emotive language, but too often I also felt myself wading through the many, often contrived, and often infuriating reflections of the narrator. If you went through this novel and took out every single single it would be so very improved. It tries to tell, so copiously, when it achieves everything it needs to through showing. I suppose this is a commonplace pitfall of debut novels; I'm told the Gilead uses the hokey-simile voice as well, but much more appropriately
― imago, Monday, 6 January 2020 12:53 (three years ago) link
Every single simile, even. Some of them work, but to be safer they all need to go
― imago, Monday, 6 January 2020 12:54 (three years ago) link
I suppose there's an argument that the unrestrained figurative tower is redolent of the unrestrainedly Other lifestyle our heroines fall into
― imago, Monday, 6 January 2020 12:57 (three years ago) link
I didn't really get on with Housekeeping, possibly for similar reasons; as for Gilead I can't recall how simile prone the immensely likeable narrator is but concur with Alfred above that it is very different from Housekeeping, and an unforced masterpiece.
― Paperbag raita (ledge), Monday, 6 January 2020 13:49 (three years ago) link
I said that, eh?
― TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 6 January 2020 14:51 (three years ago) link
40 pages into Gilead. This is the most any writer's prose style has improved between their first and second novels, ever
― imago, Sunday, 9 April 2023 20:49 (two months ago) link
Glad you're enjoying it---I've read the four follow-ups as well, with Jack's 2020 publication encouraging my greed for just one more, despite the author's age and how far she's taken the cycle---I won't say who I'd like to be the central character of the next one, since you haven't heard about (x) yet---despite my being not even an atheist, no more than a dog or a cabbage is, I got hooked on Gilead, and MR's great subject as an Xtian novelist and artist period, has to do with many the toils and snares of faith, Religion, the human mind (re xpost Glory overthinking etc) as part of life---she's next to Graham Greene in that, maybe more consistent, less (or not at all?) the tricky yarnspinner with it.
― dow, Sunday, 9 April 2023 21:32 (two months ago) link
Also coping with the weird American historical thickets that you gradually become aware of being in, greater and lesser awareness and pressure of that at different times.
― dow, Sunday, 9 April 2023 21:35 (two months ago) link
― dow, Sunday, 9 April 2023 21:36 (two months ago) link
But still need to read Housekeeping (kind of remember the movie, at least that Margot Kidder seemed good in it)
― dow, Sunday, 9 April 2023 21:38 (two months ago) link
Sorry! Actually *three* follow-ups, not four: Home, Lila, and Jack.
― dow, Sunday, 9 April 2023 21:57 (two months ago) link
Well, I picked up Home at the same time as Gilead, so that'll follow. Housekeeping annoyed me (see upthread) but in a way that made me interested to read more of the author, and this one is as I'd hoped a full embrace of formerly evident strengths with none of the weaknesses even detectable. Could change - I've only just begun it - but I suspect it won't
― imago, Sunday, 9 April 2023 22:09 (two months ago) link
Jack's the weakest, most strained of the bunch.
If you haven't watched Bill Forsythe's adaptation of Housekeeping, waste not ime.
― the very juice and sperm of kindness. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 9 April 2023 22:12 (two months ago) link
I didn't know about Jack (the book)!One thing I got from Gilead, as an atheist, was the value and efficacy of prayer. Not as a means to divine intervention, obviously, but as a way of meditating on a problem.
― ledge, Monday, 10 April 2023 08:24 (two months ago) link
Yeah, and she (Rev. John's creator) gives him opportunities for that---I really enjoyed Jack shuffling, turning around in St. Louis, Memphis, Chicago, and Gilead's still on the map.
― dow, Monday, 10 April 2023 17:58 (two months ago) link
was not expecting an extended comic setpiece about the underground railroad, this book continues to amaze
― imago, Sunday, 23 April 2023 07:27 (one month ago) link
In Gilead? Can't say I remember that bit.
― ledge, Monday, 24 April 2023 09:56 (one month ago) link
(And I've read it maybe three times)
― the dreaded dependent claus (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 24 April 2023 10:11 (one month ago) link
the horse/tunnel bit!
― imago, Monday, 24 April 2023 10:32 (one month ago) link