Classic Flannery 'O Connor weirdness. Loved it.
Very powerful, not for the faint of heart.
In an age where the crucifix has become tame and even religious people have forgotten how deeply violent and disturbing is this symbol of faith, Flannery O'Connor sought to bring a spiritual message.
This review sums it up:
From the days of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence, and the
violent bear it away.
Flannery O'Connor wrote with one of the most distinctive voices in American Literature; a kind of grotesque amalgam of Jonathan Edwards, Charles Brockden Brown, Edgar Allen Poe, and William Faulkner. She perceived the world in starkly Manichean terms, as a struggle between the forces of Light and Dark, Good and Evil. The Violent Bear it Away is a psychomachia--literally a battle for the soul--the story of a backwoods Southern boy named Francis Marion Tarwater (see The Violent Bear it Away and The Bible by Angela Lucey for more on this). The boy's great uncle, an Old Testament style patriarch, kidnapped him away from an uncle, George Rayber, and has raised him to be a prophet of God. Upon his great uncle's death, Tarwater rejects the prophetic mission and heads to the city to live with his uncle, who tries to wean the boy away from the teachings of the great uncle. Through a series of increasingly violent actions, Tarwater is eventual driven back to the woods and a final acceptance of God and his own role in God's plans.
This is powerful stuff, O'Connor felt that exaggeration and caricature were more likely to reach a modern audience than more subtle styles ever could. Combine that with her vision of violence as a sort of crucible which forces the individual to make a final choice between Good and Evil, and you've got the makings of a truly disturbing fiction. The book will surely not appeal to all tastes, but it is undeniably affecting and thought provoking.
I hated this book .The story was very depressing.I would have never read this book on my own the only reason I read it was for one of my book clubs.