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GileadAuthor: Book Type: Paperback298
Review Date: 12/29/2009
One of the best books I have read in along time. This book was able to keep me entertained with a downhome folksy feel to it; but still provide an intellectual challenge. Plus, it offers 2 terrific father son relationship skeletons, both with the Ames and his young son and with Broughton and his middle aged son (Each with their own problem and neither really concluding). It might be even better a second time through, as I read the first half with the bias that Ames told the stories with, it would be refreshing to re-read now that I have the "rest of the story".
The spiritual aspect shouldn't be ignored, there was a tremendous leap of faith made by the preacher (Ames) in his acknowledgement of and acceptance of those who didn't fear sharing their questions and skepticism as much as he seemed to. It was refreshing to meet a preacher who wasn't preachy and didn't let the pre-ordained notion of God get in the way of his version of God and his providence.
The book touches so many chords: spiritual reconciliation, one's existential purpose, the selfish nature of man,and love on several different levels.
Not exactly an easy read, as you (should) find yourself stopping to ponder the old man's wisdom along the way.
Review Date: 5/31/2009
Helpful Score: 1
This book was a terrific read (that started a little slow) and had a few diversions along the way. I loved the story and the characters and (based on Roy's development efforts) felt a close personal connection to each. The writing was wonderful and the "package" very neatly (albeit in a round about way) tied up in the end.
Review Date: 8/9/2009
This is probably the best book that I have read this year, perhaps in several years. It chronicles the development of a family simultaneously with Cal. It pulls you along, at first, like a car wreck ahead of you on the highway might, waiting for Cal to arrive (in more ways than one). There is no disappointment with the culmination of this tightly told story and the last 100 pages pull you along effortlessly and leave you wishing there were 100 more.
Review Date: 12/28/2009
Just an absolute Man's Book. Whether or not a book or a collection fo short stories, it is a very well strung together piece of terrific writing. Makes you appreciate what you have and those who have gone before you, to places that you'll never have to go and to see things you will never have to see. O'brien goes through the things they carried, listing some by weight and factor awkwardness, but I couldn't help but think that they real thing they carried, these veterans and boys, could never be measured in pounds. That was the point for me, I suppose.
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