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A Bearer of Divine Revelation: New and Selected Stories Paperback – October 15, 2003
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From the Back Cover
The fifteen new and selected stories here, stylistically and substantively rich, follow a central character through episodes reflecting Dorr's own eventful life: his childhood in Hungary; wartime experiences on the Russian front; hardship and poverty; the death of family and friends. With a subtle depth of feeling and a clear, mature voice, Dorr writes of refugees and survivors, and of the social, cultural, and religious chasms that separate them. The book's title story, as an example, follows Dorr's protagonist through Salzburg, Austria, as he struggles to survive both physically and spiritually in the aftermath of World War II.
Each of these stories has its own plot, but the book as a whole offers a subtle yet powerful story line that underscores the protagonist's deepening sense of life's meaning and grace. Dorr's literary odyssey is a pilgrim's progress: from trials and anguish come hard-won understanding and hope. While war and pain bring loss -- of friends, of family, of faith, of God -- slowly a new life, a new faith, and a new love emerge, and with them a deep peace.
As gripping to read as it is moving, "A Bearer of Divine Revelation will speak to readers at every stage and station in life.
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Top Customer Reviews
I recommend Lawrence Dorr to anyone who cares about intense and brilliant writing, as well as to those with interests in questions of faith and the travails of Europeans during and since World War II. Lawrence uniquely merges these three areas.
For starters, I recommend taking the time to read the book's introduction by James Vanden Bosch, which saves you from having to figure out that the male "narrator" in the stories (some are written in a first-person voice; others in third person) is "various narrators" who are nonetheless "recognizable versions of one basic narrator, a young man born in Hungary, raised as a Calvinist in a largely Catholic culture, who walked more or less innocently into the destructive energies of Eastern Europe in the 1930s." Though not all of the stories have the same characters, the narrative tone started on page 1 --- when the story's main character is aged 15, in 1936 --- is consistent enough throughout the book that by the last story --- when the main character is a grandfather immigrant to Florida, in the year 2000 --- you feel the satisfaction of having finished a novel.
The stories progress more or less chronologically, from the Hungarian freedom-fighters resisting Czech annexation, through World War II and Nazi ruination, followed by the hard fist of Soviet occupation. Eventually the narration moves to England and then to Florida, always with flashbacks to the harsh setting --- the dangers, toils and snares --- of war-torn or occupied Hungary.
The most satisfying stories are the ones for which the book is named, "A Bearer of Divine Revelation" and "The Angel of His Presence."
"Bearer" sets its narrator in Austria, after the War. He remembers a many- splendored childhood in Hungary. "By the time he was twenty-one, he was far away, sitting in a tank, half mad with fear and concentration, trying to survive.Read more ›