Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Book Review: Angle of Repose

After a teacher friend brought in several boxes of books to donate to the school library, I thought I'd pick up a few to peruse.  I read one last week, and though I was a little disappointed, I completed the book and picked up a second one for this week by an author I didn't know, Wallace Stegner.  When I saw that Angle of Repose is a Pulitzer Prize winner, I debated whether I wanted to chew on it.  I've found Pulitzer's to be difficult reading and, since I'm still trying to stay ahead of a class by reading and analyzing several essays weekly, I debated the sensibility of reading a  difficult book as well.
I shouldn't have given it a moment of worry.  I'm finding Angle of Repose an absolute joy.  It's not easy reading, necessarily, but it certainly is enjoyable reading.  I suppose all the analyzing that I've been doing for English 1001 has my brain well-trained, akin to runner's legs that are muscular and strong.

The story is about a retired history professor who researches his grandmother's life.  I've gotten all the way to page 81, of 563.  So, there's not much I would say about the novel, yet, except that every page is filled with literary devices, rich language, beautiful descriptions.   

 In one scene, Oliver holds Susan by the ankles so that she can enjoy the dizzying heights of a waterfall.  As one who is terrified of heights, I felt a great deal of anxiety while reading the scene.  My mind's eye so clearly saw what Susan experiences!

And so, with that, I'll leave you to read someone else's brief description of Stegner's novel (taken from

Stegner's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel--the magnificent story of four generations in the life of an American family. A wheelchair-bound retired historian embarks on a monumental quest: to come to know his grandparents, now long dead. The unfolding drama of the story of the American West sets the tone for Stegner's masterpiece.

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