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Look Homeward, Angel Paperback – October 10, 2006
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"Language as rich and ambitious and intensely American as any of our novelists has ever accomplished." -- Charles Frazier, author of Cold Mountain and Thirteen Moons
"Look Homeward, Angel is one of the most important novels of my life. . . . It's a wonderful story for any young person burning with literary ambition, but it also speaks to the longings of our whole lives; I'm still moved by Wolfe's ability to convey the human appetite for understanding and experience." -- Elizabeth Kostova, author of The Historian
"Wolfe made it possible to believe that the stuff of life, with all its awe and mystery and magic, could by some strange alchemy be transmuted to the page." -- William Gay, author of The Long Home
"As so many other American boys had before and have since, I discovered a version of myself in Look Homeward, Angel, and I became intoxicated with the elevated, poetic prose." -- Robert Morgan, author of Gap Creek
From the Publisher
Through his rich, ornate prose, Wolfe evokes the extraordinarily vivid family of the Gants, and with equal detail, the remarkable peculiarities of small-town life and the pain and upheaval of a boy who must leave both. A classic work of American literature, Look Homeward, Angel is a passionate, stirring, and unforgettable novel.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
No, I couldn't recommend this to EVERYbody, but if you haven't become too sophisticated to remember what it was really like to be young, lonely, in love, or homesick, or to see though a child's eyes the wonder in a leaf, a stone, a door; to cry "Oh, lost!" over a memory, you will find much to cherish in this book.
My favorite parts of the novel vary considerably. I love the prose poem in the very beginning of the book. I also love the protagonist's descriptions of seemingly ordinary activities such as walking through a pasture on a fall evening. Such passages have the unnerving quality of being accessible yet somehow ineffable. A part of you is walking through the field with Eugene Gant taking in the cold wind, the smells of smoke and cow manure under the grim sky. Another part of you is asking why that experience feels so real and immediate even though you've never had it before.
Woolfe took a microscope to ordinary people and somehow rendered them great. He did not accord them the stature of epoch heroes or contemporary celebrities. Instead, he rendered their feelings and actions as immediate as their surroundings.Read more ›
On the other hand, sometimes Wolfe writes pure poetry; and the novel pulses with life. He has captured a town (Asheville, North Carolina early in the 20th Century) with all its prejudices, idiosyncrasies but hopes as well and has created a family we will never forgot, the Gants. Anyone who knows anything about Thomas Wolfe understands that they are a thinly veiled version of his own family: the bigger-than-life patriarch of the family Gant who has bouts with the bottle; his wife Eliza, obsessed with making a dime at whatever cost; and their children-- Daisy, Helen, the sailor Luke, the twins Grover and Ben and Eugene, based on Wolfe, himself. These characters are as much of the literary history of the United States as Willie Loman, Rabbit Angstrom, the Compson family et al.
Yes, Wolfe's account of the death of Ben Gant at the age of 26 of double pneumonia will tear your heart out. After the Gant family members have spent excruciating days at his deathbed, Eugene has this beautiful words: "We can believe in the nothingness of life, we can believe in the nothingness of death and of life after death--but who can believe in the nothingness of Ben?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Although his language can turn towards unrivaled extensive prose Wolfe paints a picture of his life with rich colors. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Amazon Customer
Of course this novel is an American Classic written in the 1930's After having written 2 more novels (very autobiographical) about his growing up in Appalachia, and after the... Read morePublished 22 days ago by Ronnie T.
I understood this to be one of the greatest of novels. It is poetic. However, Wolfe interrupts the story and goes off on tangents describing people who are meaningless and... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Norma Jean Fritz
This might have been great literature in its day, but it was a long way to say very little. None of the characters were people I'd want to meet. I sure hope Mr. Read morePublished 1 month ago by obiejane
This massive, epic autobiographical novel is of course an American classic that has influenced other great free thinking American writers. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Buenvino
I read the book because I had toured Thomas Wolfe's former home in Asheville, NC when our daughter lived there. I thought I would read one of his books. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Gladys Green
The greatness of Thomas Wolfe's, LOOK HOMEWARD, ANGEL, is indisputable. Not every modern reader may particularly enjoy his style or pace of writing, but this work has nevertheless... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Librarian