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Omensetter's Luck (Classic, 20th-Century, Penguin) Paperback – April 1, 1997
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From Library Journal
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
-David Foster Wallace
"Omsensetter's Luck is the work of a totally committed, totally uncompromising and extraordinarily gifted writer."
"A rich fever, a parade of secrets, delirious, tormented, terrifying, comic...one of the most exciting, energetic and beautiful novels we can ever hope to read."
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Top Customer Reviews
The time is evidently the late nineteenth century, the place a small town called Gilean located on the Ohio River. A "wide and happy" man named Brackett Omensetter recently has moved into town with his pregnant wife, two daughters, dog, and a mountain of furniture and belongings on a horse-drawn cart. He rents a house from a man named Henry Pimber and gets a job as a tanner with Mat Watson, the town blacksmith.
Omensetter quickly becomes an object of curiosity in Gilean for his unbelievable, almost supernatural, luck. In the middle of the rainy season, the rain stops for his moving day; his house manages to avoid an otherwise damage-guaranteeing flood; he seems impervious to injury. He's an expert stone skipper and an effective naturalistic healer. Nobody will bet against him. He is not only aware of his own incredible luck; he depends on it so strongly that it replaces religion, and he feels no need to attend Gilean's only church, ministered by the Reverend Jethro Furber.
Furber is a fascinating character who avoids the flatness of most fictional preachers.Read more ›
Everything comes together nicely in the last one hundred pages of the book. I credit William Gass' well-paced, extremely realistic dialogue for helping to accomplish this feat, which I would have otherwise considered impossible had I mistakenly decided not to stick with this flawed, but must-read book.
The novel takes place in the 1890s in a small town in Ohio just north of the Ohio River. The title character, Brackett Omensetter, is a happy-go-lucky craftsman who wanders into town one day with his wife and daughters. The Omensetters settle into a rented house down by the river and are gradually accepted by the community. Accepted, that is, by all save the town's puritanical Protestant minister, the Rev. Jethro Furber. Furber is a monster forged by religious convention untempered by religious conviction. He resents being banished to Gilean from Cleveland (his fire and brimstone sermons do not go over any better with his congregation there) and spends much of his time brooding bitterly about his downfall, much like Satan in Milton's poetry. He is also sexually frustrated and edging toward a nervous breakdown barely cloaked in the form of religious mania.
Furber's wrath is ultimately focused on Brackett Omensetter, if for no other reason than the man seems to enjoy an incredible grace without exhibiting the first ounce of good Christian behavior. Omensetter's luck changes many lives, some for good and some for bad. But his unintended redemption of Rev. Furber may be Omensetter's greatest piece of luck during his time in Gilean. In the end, Omensetter's catalytic luck brings Furber to the faith he has long espoused, but never really lived in his heart.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
To think that for nearly thirty years, Omensetter's Luck was the only novel William Gass had brought into the world. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Scott Collins
Book is new, but in very poor condition. Looks ready to disintegrate. Needs to be reprinted.Published 10 months ago by scott wagner
Great and fast and awesome! Super fast and cool book shipping!Published 11 months ago by Patrick Redmond
Another reviewer correctly described this novel as a "mental workout." This book was like climbing up to the apex of a mountain; a quarter of the way up and I wanted to... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Letty
The book is a mental workout-- consistently fascinating in style but often obscure, at least in my first reading.Published 15 months ago by Glenn Williams
I came to this book from David Foster Wallace's recommendation as many did and found it absolutely stunning. Read morePublished 16 months ago by L
Omsensetter's Luck is a great read . . . a completely absorbing narrative . . . I was surprised by how immediately absorbing it is . . . imagine "Ulysses" meets Faulkner . . . Read morePublished 16 months ago by william wilson
There's probably a segment of people who wonder why attempting to tell a fairly straightforward story in the most complicated way possible is in any way beneficial to actually... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Michael Battaglia
Stormy weather is looming, both literally and figuratively, when Brackett Omensetter shows up in the small Ohio town of Gilean with all his worldly possessions, plus his pregnant... Read morePublished on April 7, 2014 by Steven Davis