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Gilead

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Gilead.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Marilynne Robinson(Author)

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In 1956, toward the end of Reverend John Ames's life, he begins a letter to his young son, a kind of last testament to his remarkable forebears.

'It is a book of such meditative calm, such spiritual intensity that is seems miraculous that her silence was only for 23 years; such measure of wisdom is the fruit of a lifetime. Robinson's prose, aligned with the sublime simplicity of the language of the bible, is nothing short of a benediction. You might not share its faith, but it is difficult not to be awed moved and ultimately humbled by the spiritual effulgence that lights up the novel from within' Neel Mukherjee, The Times

'Writing of this quality, with an authority as unforced as the perfect pitch in music, is rare and carries with it a sense almost of danger - that at any moment, it might all go wrong. In Gilead, however, nothing goes wrong' Jane Shilling, Sunday Telegraph

...a country of mystical sunsets, abandoned shacks, storms that could have come out of the book of Job, snowstorms that that can take your life within a few feet of your own front door, and wild rivers in which one can be baptized. I said Marilynne Robinson's prose was like clear, cold water and so it is - and sometimes it is about water too - you are never far from its cleansing, chilly power, or from the mysterious rush of the wind, sounding like the ocean in a region impossibly far from any sea. (Peter Hitchens Mail Online)Her poetic, almost biblical style of writing...flows like clear cold water and is full of quiet power while remaining oddly conversational... People say they love these books, and I can see why. Quite how they can do so without discerning within them a serious, deep, patient but modest defence of the Christian proposition, I do not know. (Peter Hitchens Mail Online)Gilead is no less a masterpiece than Housekeeping (Sunday Times)Stunning... there are gems on every page of Gilead, but it is the whole construction that marks it as a great work (Daily Telegraph)The slow pulse of Robinson's writing slows the reader's eye and mind, and creates in the reading process a literary version of the narrator's spiritual experience. Gilead reminds us that words have power to spare, to forgive, to do justice (Independent)A novel as big as a nation, as quiet as thought, and moving as prayer. Matchless and towering. (Kirkus Review)

4.2 (10060)
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Book details

  • PDF | 288 pages
  • Marilynne Robinson(Author)
  • Virago; New Ed edition (2 Feb. 2006)
  • English
  • 6
  • Other books

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Review Text

  • By BrynGriffith on 23 April 2017

    In think Marilynne Robinson is rightly regarded as one of America's finest living writers. When reading her books you feel like you are in the company of a highly intelligent, reflective and articulate writer. This of course means the writing isn't always easy and if you have a tendency to skim read you will miss a lot of what is on offer.The thoughts and ideas of the reverend who narrates this book through writings to his son are so well developed that it seems to me that they must, at least in part, reflect the ideas of the author herself.Some of the writing is philosophical in character and does need more careful attention then you might usually give to a novel. For example, when the reverend explains his view on our inability to understand the nature of God he writes :" ... if God is the Author of existence what can it mean to say God exists? There's a problem in vocabulary. He would have had to have had a character before existence which the poverty of our understanding can only call existence. That is clearly a source of confusion". Not your standard fare!But, don't get me wrong, the book is not all hard going and it does contain an interesting story, especially in the second half (which I wont spoil).If I was to quibble with the book at all (and sometimes you simply feel not worthy to do so with some writers) it is that I didn't really like the book being presented as the writings of an elderly dying reverend to his very young son. I found this a bit of a distraction and would have preferred it to have been presented as a memoir to be read by me the reader.But make no mistake Marilynne Robinson is a stellar writer, and this book has prompted me to investigate her more academic writings. I am partial to the writings of people like Dennett and Dawkins who she apparently attacks, so it should be interesting to see what she has to say on the limits of science.

  • By sassy on 27 May 2017

    I loved this book. Every sentence is a joy to read as the story unfolds. Forgiveness, duty and love are the main themes and quite a departure from fast paced crime dramas that I like to read yet it held my attention for the entire book. Thank goodness for the variety of book club!

  • By Robert A. Reynolds on 12 September 2017

    If you're a fan of small-town America with its eccentrics, friendly neighbours, large family, etc then you'll like this book. It would be a good idea to be familiar with baseball terms such as "stealing bases" while you're at it. The reviews for this book are amazing with lines like "visionary work of dazzling originality" (Observer) "it is difficult not to be awed, moved and ultimately humbled" (Telegraph), etc but I just found it tedious and couldn't finish it.

  • By Hanna Moy on 30 March 2017

    This book made me cry out loud in a coffee shop. I have never done that before. Incredible.

  • By sheenaghs on 27 April 2017

    I loved this book. The word pictures were haunting at times. The writing was beautiful, measured and weighty. This is not a book to 'fly' through ... but to savour and take time to focus and concentrate. I now need to think! I may have left it , but it hasn't left me!

  • By K.P. Gray on 3 June 2017

    One of the most beautiful and moving books I have ever read. Every passage is a work of art. It is a book to be savoured and I found myself reading it slowly, over weeks.

  • By conny blunt on 15 March 2017

    This book is just so beautiful, intelligent and heartfelt. Thank You.

  • By James S. Weaver on 3 January 2016

    A simple but profound story, beautifully written, embodying great wisdom. A classic of its kind.


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