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The Divine Comics: A Vaudeville Show in Three Acts Paperback – November 15, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1000 pages
  • Publisher: Mercer University Press; 1 edition (November 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0881462616
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881462616
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 7 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,508,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Philip Lee Williams is the author of
fifteen volumes of fiction, poetry, and
essays, and his work has won numerous
national and regional awards. Books
& Culture, a national literary journal,
named his most recent book with
Mercer University Press, The Flower
Seeker: An Epic Poem of William
Bartram, Book of the Year for 2010.
And his 2004 Civil War novel, A Distant
Flame, won the Michael Shaara Prize as
best Civil War novel published in that
year. He lives near Athens, Georgia,
with his wife and daughter and taught
creative writing at the University of
Georgia before his retirement in 2010.

More About the Author

Philip Lee Williams is the author of 18 published books, including 12 novels, four works of non-fiction, and two volumes of poetry. His books have been published by such presses as St. Martin's, W. W. Norton, Random House, Grove Press, Ballantine, Dell, Viking/Penguin, and Mercer University Press, as well a number of other smaller and university presses.

Philip's autobiography It Is Written: My Life in Letters, is now out from Mercer University Press. A new volume of poetry The Color of All Things: 99 Love Poems will be out in early 2015.

His latest novel, Emerson's Brother, was published in May 2012. It is about the mentally challenged brother of noted American writer Ralph Waldo Emerson. His 1000-page novel, The Divine Comics, was published in November 2011 by Mercer University Press. This book is a modern re-imagining and updating of Dante's fabled Divine Comedy.

The University of Georgia Press republished his Michael Shaara Prize-winning novel A Distant Flame on April 1, 2011.

Williams's The Flower Seeker: An Epic Poem of William Bartram, came out in 2010. It was named Book of the Year by Books & Culture Magazine.

In May 2007, he received the Governor's Award in the Humanities from the State of Georgia during ceremonies in Atlanta, and in June of that year he was for the second time named Georgia Author of the Year, this time in the essay category in a program at Kennesaw State University. He has since been named Georgia Author of the Year twice more.

His most recent nonfiction book, nature essays called In the Morning: Reflections From First Light, came out in the fall of 2006 from Mercer University Press. He is a featured author in a textbook about Georgia authors for the state's eighth graders that was released in the fall of 2008.

His novel A Distant Flame was published by St. Martin's Press in September 2004. In April 2005, it was named winner of the Michael Shaara Award as the best Civil War novel published in the United States in 2004. Williams received the award in Boston in June 2005. The book was also named, by The Georgia Center for the Book, one of 25 books that "All Georgians Should Read." It came out in a trade paperback edition in November 2005.

His books have been translated into Swedish, German, French, and Japanese and have appeared in large-print editions as well. A number of his books have been optioned for film by such people as producer Richard Zanuck, director Ron Howard, and actress Meg Ryan. He was hired by M-G-M to write the screenplay of his own book, All the Western Stars, though the movie has not yet been made.

Two of Williams's unpublished manuscripts have also been optioned by producers in Hollywood.

Williams has also published poetry in more than 40 magazines, including Poetry, Press, Karamu, the Cumberland Poetry Review and many others. He has published essays and short stories, and one story, "An Early Snow," published in 2000, was nominated by The Chattahoochee Review for a Pushcart Prize.

An essay of Williams's appeared in the fall 2010 issue of The Georgia Review.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Malcolm R. Campbell on November 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
"In a great comedy, we are always made aware of the darkness in life, but the ending must be happy or it's not a comedy. A man's journey to wholeness is therefore most rightly named `The Comedy,' for the end is the final awareness of that love which is the joy of the universe." - Helen M. Luke in "Dark Wood to White Rose: Journey and Transformation in Dante's `Divine Comedy'"

Philip Lee Williams' magnificent "The Divine Comics: a Vaudeville Show in Three Acts" begins and ends with Whitman Bentley, a young man with gangly legs who's been dreaming again, perhaps to escape the fact that among the eccentrics at The School of Music, he "may be the weakest, torn with every phobia in the catalogue."

Since the novel's back-cover informs readers that Williams' novel reimagines and updates Dante's "The Divine Comedy," we know going in that Whitman Bentley will, to put it crudely, go to hell and back, after--as Dante might put it--the eccentric second-string symphony conductor awakes to find himself in a dark wood where the right road is wholly lost and gone.

En route to the ending of "The Divine Comics," (which is pure poetry and white rose wonderment) the reader--as well as Williams' huge cast of dysfunctional characters--may sense that that there is no right road and that the trickster gods (known as the Divine Comics, aka "The Lords of the Inner Kingdom") are plagued with every manner of dark joke in the catalogue. Ah, but the chapters in "The Divine Comics" are called skits for a reason.

The novel's three sections, "Fire," "Earth" and "Air," match Dante's "Inferno," "Purgatorio," and "Paradiso.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
"In a great comedy, we are always made aware of the darkness in life, but the ending must be happy or it's not a comedy. A man's journey to wholeness is therefore most rightly named `The Comedy,' for the end is the final awareness of that love which is the joy of the universe." - Helen M. Luke in "Dark Wood to White Rose: Journey and Transformation in Dante's `Divine Comedy'"

Philip Lee Williams' magnificent "The Divine Comics: a Vaudeville Show in Three Acts" begins and ends with Whitman Bentley, a young man with gangly legs who's been dreaming again, perhaps to escape the fact that among the eccentrics at The School of Music, he "may be the weakest, torn with every phobia in the catalogue."

Since the novel's back-cover informs readers that Williams' novel reimagines and updates Dante's "The Divine Comedy," we know going in that Whitman Bentley will, to put it crudely, go to hell and back, after--as Dante might put it--the eccentric second-string symphony conductor awakes to find himself in a dark wood where the right road is wholly lost and gone.

En route to the ending of "The Divine Comics," (which is pure poetry and white rose wonderment) the reader--as well as Williams' huge cast of dysfunctional characters--may sense that that there is no right road and that the trickster gods (known as the Divine Comics, aka "The Lords of the Inner Kingdom") are plagued with every manner of dark joke in the catalogue. Ah, but the chapters in "The Divine Comics" are called skits for a reason.

The novel's three sections, "Fire," "Earth" and "Air," match Dante's "Inferno," "Purgatorio," and "Paradiso.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again