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Notes from a Bottle Found on the Beach at Carmel
Notes from a Bottle Found on the Beach at Carmel
by Evan S. Connell
Edition: Paperback
29 used & new from $4.12

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece., November 23, 2005
I can do no better than to quote what Annie Dillard, in Harper's magazine, wrote about this book:

"It takes the form of a spiritual journey 'towards penance and redemption,' a journey through all the fabulous and fiery cruelties of history that purge the spirit's basest dross and purify it to gold. On the page it is a dazzling series of disparate chunks. These are the 'notes from the bottle' written in increasingly apocalyptic haste by the poem's speaker, or 'note-taker...'

"The tone is merciless and meticulous; the alien landscapes are spare. ...

"I cannot begin to suggest the intricate tensions of the poem's complexity. After you read it once, you can get lost on any page."

After an equally glowing review of Connell's Points for a Compass, she writes:

"These poems are masterpieces. You could bend a lifetime of energy to their study, and have lived well. The fabric of their meaning is seamless, inexhaustible. ... their language is steely and bladelike; from both of its surfaces flickering lights gleam. Each page sheds insight on every other page; understanding snaps back and forth, tacking like a sloop up the long fjord of mystery."


Points for a Compass Rose
Points for a Compass Rose
by Evan S. Connell
Edition: Paperback
25 used & new from $0.01

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece, November 23, 2005
I cannot do better than to quote what Annie Dillard, in Harper's magazine, wrote about this book:

"We have here on the planet with us a man of such courage and strength of spirit that he has not lost what Alfred Adler calls 'the nerve for excellence.' He has kept it despite the burden of an awareness not only of the enormity of his project and of the limitations of his own human understanding, but also of the abject ignorance and indifference of his audience."

"... Somehow Connell makes you care. Many modern poets demand a good deal of work; Connell excites it. Sometimes the note-taker's [narrator] tone is hectoring, even belligerent; if you have any competitive spirit at all, you seize a thread - any thread - follow it, and, lo, it traces a pattern. ... you understand at last that these notes are not tentative explorations, and far less are they 'expressions': they are instead the magnificent artifices of a giant intellect."

After reviewing both this book and Notes from a Bottle Found on the Beach at Carmel, she writes:

"These poems are masterpieces. You could bend a lifetime of energy to their study, and have lived well. The fabric of their meaning is seamless, inexhaustible. ... their language is steely and bladelike; from both of its surfaces flickering lights gleam. Each page sheds insight on every other page; understanding snaps back and forth, tacking like a sloop up the long fjord of mystery."


Walden : An Annotated Edition
Walden : An Annotated Edition
by Henry David Thoreau
Edition: Hardcover
40 used & new from $0.40

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best edition of a classic, December 2, 2003
The physicality of this edition feels as though Thoreau himself has put it together by hand - from the unusual scrap-book inspired approach to the cover to the reproductions of drawings and notations Thoreau had made in his own copy, it is a complete experience.


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