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Adrift after four years in the service, Hazel takes a train to the city of Taulkinham, buys himself a "rat-colored car," and sets about preaching on street corners for the Church Without Christ, "where the blind don't see and the lame don't walk and what's dead stays that way." Along the way he meets Enoch Emery, who's only 18 years old but already works for the city, as well the blind preacher Asa Hawks and his illegitimate daughter, Sabbath Lily. (Her letter to an advice column: "Dear Mary, I am a bastard and a bastard shall not enter the kingdom of heaven as we all know, but I have this personality that makes boys follow me. Do you think I should neck or not?") Subsequent events involve a desiccated, centuries-old dwarf--Gonga the Giant Jungle Monarch--and Hazel's nemesis, Hoover Shoats, who starts the rival Church of Christ Without Christ. If you think these events don't end happily, you might be right.
Wise Blood is a savage satire of America's secular, commercial culture, as well as the humanism it holds so dear ("Dear Sabbath," Mary Brittle writes back, "Light necking is acceptable, but I think your real problem is one of adjustment to the modern world. Perhaps you ought to re-examine your religious values to see if they meet your needs in Life.") But the book's ultimate purpose is Religious, with a capital R--no metaphors, no allusions, just the thing itself in all its fierce glory. When Hazel whispers "I'm not clean," for instance, O'Connor thinks he is perfectly right. For readers unaccustomed to holding low comedy and high seriousness in their heads at the same time, all this can come as something of a shock. Who else could offer an allegory about free will, redemption, and original sin right alongside the more elemental pleasure of witnessing Enoch Emery dress up in a gorilla suit? Nobody else, that's who. And that's OK. More than one Flannery O'Connor in this world might show us more truth than we could bear. --Mary Park --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Flannery has come back with a vengeance for her 2nd and last novel! The story surrounds Tarwater, a boy who has been raised by his Religion-crazed great-uncle, and who is trying to... Read morePublished 1 day ago by K.N.R.
The reviews are in a tangle. Some are written about Wise Blood and others about The Violent Beart It Away.
A good many of the reviews could be about either novella.
I feel this is one of the best examples of "Southern Gothic" literature that exists. I almost feel guilty admitting how much I love the work of Flannery O'Connor. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Francis C. Donnelly
This is an odd, disturbing book; but also entertaining. Flannery O'Connor had a wonderful sense of the grotesque, which is very much in evidence in this novel. Read morePublished 3 months ago by N. Hall
I still can't figure this book out. It is my first read. But I found her interesting.Published 3 months ago by E. E. Negron
Wise Blood is an allegorical valentine of hate toward southern protestantism from an intellectually superior catholic, inexpertly cobbled together from some short stories. Read morePublished 3 months ago by smurdge
If you were raised in the rural South or spent the summertime there with someone in your WASP family, you may still suffer the occasional nightmare, as I do, from the trauma left... Read morePublished 4 months ago by W Perry Hall