A Prayer for the Dying Author:Stewart O'Nan Set in Friendship, Wisconsin, just after the Civil War, A Prayer for the Dying tells of a horrible epidemic that has gripped the town in a vice of fear and Death. Jacob Hansen, Friendship's sheriff, undertaker, and pastor, is soon overwhelmed, though he continues to do what he can. Dark, poetic, and chilling,A Prayer for the Dying... more » makes us consider if it's possible to be a good man in atime of madness.« less
I loved this, but I'm a sucker for a book with a well-done unreliable narrator, and in this novel of the plague, O'Nan pulls off one heck of an unreliable narrator.
Was he unhinged to begin with, or do circumstances do him in?
That would be a great discussion topic for a book club, especially because as I passed this book among friends, it elicted strong emotions and reactions. Some loved it as I did, some hated it, but ALL were touched by it.
Set in Friendship, Wisconsin, just after the Civil War, A Prayer for the Dying tells of a horrible epidemic that has gripped the town in a vise of fear and death. Jacob Hansen, Friendship's sheriff, undertaker, and pastor is soon overwhelmed, though he continues to do what he can. But Jacob cannot contol the plague's rapid spread, the panic tht takes over Friendship, or his own feeling of dispair. Dark, poetic, and chilling this book makes us consider if it's possible to be a good man in a time of madness.
I enjoyed the first half of this book, but quickly lost interest soon thereafter because it was too dull and predictable. I finally gave up around page 170 or so because I seriously didn't have the patience to read through to the end. The book was well written, but I simply lost interest in the storyline.
I forgot that I had read this book some time ago, and consequently ended up re-reading it. Both times I found it thrilling and captivating. This is the story of a civil war veteran who now works as sheriff and undertaker for a small town when both a natural and biological disaster strikes. It's equal parts Stephen King's "The Stand" mixed with "The Red Badge of Courage", and the author makes some interesting character developments out of the main character, something that I didn't really notice the first time, but which definitely stood out the second go round. It's quick and easy to read, too, at less than 200 pages.