Friday, April 26

Book Review: The Violent Bear It Away

Author: Flannery O'Connor
Title: The Violent Bear It Away
Genre: Classic, Gothic, Drama
Pages: 243
First Published: 1955
Where I Got It: borrowed from library

"First published in 1955, The Violent Bear It Away is now a landmark in American literature. It is a dark and absorbing example of the Gothic sensibility and bracing satirical voice that are united in Flannery O'Conner's work. In it, the orphaned Francis Marion Tarwater and his cousins, the schoolteacher Rayber, defy the prophecy of their dead uncle--that Tarwater will become a prophet and will baptize Rayber's young son, Bishop. A series of struggles ensues: Tarwater fights an internal battle against his innate faith and the voices calling him to be a prophet while Rayber tries to draw Tarwater into a more "reasonable" modern world. Both wrestle with the legacy of their dead relatives and lay claim to Bishop's soul.

O'Connor observes all this with an astonishing combination of irony and compassion, humor and pathos. The result is a novel whose range and depth reveal a brilliant and innovative writers acutely alert to where the sacred lives and to where it does not."

Well....I read this for my American Literature II class...>.> Since I am at a lost for words, I shall divide and conquer this review:

The Good
  • I like Flannery O'Connor's writing style. Super flowly and nice
  • Very interesting story
  • Interesting concepts
  • At first I thought this was going to be a big ol' Christian type book, but I was wrong and I'm glad.
  • It pokes huge holes in Christianity and mocks it of sorts 
  • It pokes huge holes in atheism and mocks people who consider themselves "scholars"
The Bad and the Ugly
  • I could barely finish it. It was annoying and I'll admit that I skimmed like a pool skimmer. 
  • Just no.
  • No.
  • I like dark but the ending PISSED me off. Poor Bishop
  • How in the world is this a classic? 
  • The characters were dumb.
  • I wanted to punch everyone.
Just no. No, no, no. This was simply not my cup of tea AT all. I could barely finish it. I have no idea why we had to read this in my class. I'm still at a loss of words for this book. I would recommend this to those that like these type of books. It just wasn't for me and I'm mad that I was forced to read this. In the end, though, I grant this 1 star. It would be none, but I do admire the author's writing technique;  it was lovely. Great imagery, great word choice, etc. 

Favorite Character(s): Bishop (poor kid)
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Everyone else



Blodeuedd said...

wow, nooooooooooo

Carole Rae said...

yupppp....a noooooooo.