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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.
It is a short book and one that will stay with you long after you've finished.
The way O'Connor incorporated her hidden themes into her novel provided the reader several ways to interpret her implied religious beliefs.
The disjointed structure makes for a frustrating read at times - sometimes too much happens, sometimes nothing seems to happen.
Perfect if one likes the American southern gothic. Much more accessible than Faulkner. Flows beautifully - not unlike a Stephen King story. Ms. Read morePublished 8 days ago by veronica lamelza
Started no where and ended no where. You had to read too much into it.Published 1 month ago by Denis Shunta
When I read a novel, I like to be entertained. If I learn something in the process, that's all the better. It's why historical fiction is one of my favorite genres. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Camille Di Maio
Described as 'southern gothic' it is the tale of Hazel Motes, recently discharged from the army as he sets outs to set up a 'anti' religious church- the "Church Without... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Paul Rooney
(You can almost hear Father Ted saying, "Those Protestants; up to no good as usual."). A slight but hysterical piece of southern Grand-Guignol in which O'Connor, in stark... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Peter Jakobsen
What a writer and what a story. Not for everyone, but she was a genius.Published 5 months ago by Margaret Hansen