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Three by Flannery O'Connor (Signet Classics) Mass Market Paperback – August 21, 1986

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

More information to be announced soon on this forthcoming title from Penguin USA.
--This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: Signet Classics
  • Mass Market Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Signet Classics (August 21, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451525140
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451525147
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 1.1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #465,725 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Flannery O'Connor was born in Savannah, Georgia in 1925, the only child of Catholic parents. In 1945 she enrolled at the Georgia State College for Women. After earning her degree she continued her studies on the University of Iowa's writing program, and her first published story, 'The Geranium', was written while she was still a student. Her writing is best-known for its explorations of religious themes and southern racial issues, and for combining the comic with the tragic. After university, she moved to New York where she continued to write. In 1952 she learned that she was dying of lupus, a disease which had afflicted her father. For the rest of her life, she and her mother lived on the family dairy farm, Andalusia, outside Millidgeville, Georgia. For pleasure she raised peacocks, pheasants, swans, geese, chickens and Muscovy ducks. She was a good amateur painter. She died in the summer of 1964.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Orrin C. Judd VINE VOICE on December 18, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Wise Blood (1952)(Flannery O'Connor 1925-68)
All human nature vigorously resists grace because grace changes us and the change is painful. -Flannery O'Connor
Wise Blood is Flannery O'Connor's grotesque picaresque tale of Hazel Motes of Eastrod, Tennessee; a young man who has come to the city of Taulkinham bringing with him an enormous resentment of Christianity and the clergy. He is in an open state of rebellion against the rigidity of his itinerant preacher grandfather and his strict mother. So when one of the first people he encounters is the blind street preacher Asa Hawks and Motes finds himself both attracted and repelled by Hawks' bewitching fifteen year old daughter Lily Sabbath, he reacts by establishing his own street ministry. He founds the "Church without Christ":
Listen you people, I'm going to take the truth with me wherever I go. I'm going to preach it to whoever'll listen at whatever place. I'm going to preach there was no Fall because there was nothing to fall from and no Redemption because there was no Fall and no Judgment because there wasn't the first two. Nothing matters but that Jesus was a liar.
As you can guess the church is singularly unsuccessful, although he does attract a couple of other crackpots: Enoch Emery a young man who works at the zoo and longs for a kind word from anybody; and Onnie Jay Holy, yet another rival preacher who believes Motes when he says he's found a "new jesus."
While at first this cast of bizarre characters, ranging from merely repugnant to truly evil, and the scenes of physical, moral and spiritual degradation through which they pass all seem to be just a little too much, the reader is carried along by O'Connor's sure hand for dark comedy. The book is very funny.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Luke D. Powers on November 22, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
...can be found in Flannery O'Connor. But don't be deceived, she is not an easy read. Her stories are disturbing and her characters are often grotesque, yet the reader undoubtedly knows that the author loves her characters very much. We never feel that a bitter, misanthropic creator is behind the stories, and this is the same view that O'Connor has of God that is put forth in her stories. Reading Wise Blood feels like going fifteen rounds with Mike Tyson, and making it to the final bell. Although the reader feels battered and beaten up afterward, you also feel saved. This is the feeling most of O'Connor's stories leave with the reader, and it is a result of her deeply held faith. These stories are some the strongest affirmations of faith to be found in a disturbing, modern world.
Granted, some stories do not leave the reader with the idea of grace that Hazel Motes attains at the end of Wise Blood. O'Connor, herself, said that the old man in "A View of the Woods" is pretty as close to damned as any of her characters. But most of characters, we know, are saved, no matter how pretentious (the woman in "Revelation" for example), or misguided in thought.
The stories, despite their ugliness, are almost transcendent in where they leave the reader. In short, they are beautiful, and a testament to her faith.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Man'OThought on January 18, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Have you ever wondered what you would do if you were God and you had the ability to punish people justly and adequately for their actions? This author certainly did, and it turned out to be some of the most original art since cubism. If Flannery O'Connor hadn't died so young (39) her name would easily role off the tips of people's tongues just as easily as Faulkner or Hemingway. Many call her the greatest American Woman to write prose, yet some how that description seems to fall a bit short. Discussing themes of destruction of the person by way of religion, the horrifically beautiful way people touch one another, and the devout karma that will attack those in need of it, O'Connor transcends any labels that might beset her.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 26, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
O'Connor did not write for celebrity, impressive money, or so that she could look glamorous, sleekly pasted on the back jacket photo. Maybe she knew one day we'd have Danielle Steele for that. As it was, her photos of herself were not something she admired. She wrote because she had talent, and she felt to do less would be do to a disservice to her gift. She wrote for love, but not for sex. She writes characthers who search for love, for understanding of identity, wisdom, or redemption. As Ms. O'Connor knew, all of us who inhabit creation are weak and flawed. She turned her creative and spirtual sights to showing us how we flawed creatures do what we do and how we damage ourselves. O'Connor writes of suffering and love and faith, in spite of all that seems crude, awkward, and yes, grotesque, in our world. She isn't EASY to understand the way a romance novel is, or an adventure story. She's not writing that kind of book. What she writes in multi-layed, but it was not, to O'Connor's mind, subtle. Still, O'Connor writes prose that pulls you along as a reader, that she manages to encompase a tone or atmosphere in places that feels as though it would explode. That's not bad writing--that's good, because you read it, and you know that you're getting something profound, even if you're not sure what that is right at that moment. O'Connor believed in God, in that kind of love. She knew how sickly we humans approach it. She attempts no less than to draw us to an eternal message. She's not anti-religious in that message because she's writing about the weaknesses of those who fail in their station, in what they were called upon to do, with what gifts they were given.Read more ›
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