Sunday, February 8, 2009

BOOK: Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson, 246 pages

Pulitzer Winner 2004; themed reading challenge

Old preacher man writes a letter to his young son. Writes about his grandfather - saint and sinner preacher abolitionist who fought in the Civil War and stole random items in his old age. Writes about his father, preacher and pacifist. So much father and son dynamics.

Writes about his sermons, and biblical passages. So much philosophy that puts me to sleep. He actually gets confused in the middle of some passages himself, so I didn't feel so bad.

Writes about his namesake, a preacher friend's troubled son. This part of the story was more interesting as the narrator had to deal with his own jealousies and prejudices. He was very human, less religiously perfect in his dealings with his godson.

Loneliness, prejudice, good, man's relationship with God. I think there are many people who would enjoy this slow, character driven novel. It was well written but not about things that interest me enough. I can see why it was a Pulitzer winner. Prize winning books should make you think, should show an inner conflict, and make for great discussion. Not for me but I can recognize it would be loved by another type of reader. It's too far away from a good murder mystery to entertain me.

also reviewed by Rhinoa (and she gave it 4.5/5, I knew others would like it)


  1. Funnily enough I read this last week and haven't yet put up my review of it. It made a definite impression on me and I haven't quite collected all my thoughts like that. I really enjoyed it basically!

  2. I really didn't like this book when I read it... I don't even really remember why anymore. It didn't make a lasting impression, I guess.

  3. This has been on TBR list for a while now...glad that you wrote honestly about your reading experience with this book. I'm a civil war freak so I think I might like it but sometimes I don't want to think too hard about the underlying themes within a book.

  4. Thanks for the honest review. I want to read it - sometime, but I have a feeling that I'll have a similar reaction as you.

  5. This novel did have some good points - some humour, good writing, but in the end I didn't rate it very highly when I read it a while ago.

  6. yeah, I wasn't so thrilled with this one either. I've come to realize the character-driven novels are simply not my cup of tea. :)

  7. Hmm... this one is waiting for me but I haven't started it because I think my thoughts will be similar to yours... I'm curious though!


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