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A Bearer of Divine Revelation: New and Selected Stories Paperback – October 15, 2003

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 198 pages
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. (October 15, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802821235
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802821232
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,399,543 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By A Customer on December 22, 2003
Format: Paperback
These 15 stories by Lawrence Dorr are much like stations of the cross. Each deals with an event in the life of the narrator, an émigré from Hungary after World War II and now a non-hyphenated American. Each story mirrors a world of suffering and loneliness but where love and friendships redeem. Dorr's belief is that God's grace is sufficient even in a violent and unpredictable world, thus his narratives, whether about war or deprivation as in "The Binge" and "The Barbershop on Kartner Strasse" or intimate family activities such as in "Lazarus" and "The Angel of His Presence," bring joy, messages of hope, and spiritual illumination. Dorr's themes shine amid poignant details about his life and history. Dorr also engages readers with plots that surprise and with subtle and sometimes humorous observations about human nature. His vocabulary and sentences are so carefully selected and crafted, his prose is a joy to read.
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By A Customer on December 16, 2003
Format: Paperback
Lawrence Dorr's new work, "A Bearer of Divine Revelation," is a wonderful collection of stories, containing unforgettable characters and profound emotional truths. Dorr's world can be frightening, but in the end good prevails in the most unexpected manner, making his world once again a safe place to live. Dorr never hammers the reader with his ideas of God, but it is clear that his spiritual beliefs have a great deal to do with his perception of the past and present. Dorr creates unforgettable characters, as is rarely seen in the literary world today. They reflect the best and the worst of human fallibility, with an intensity that compels the reader toward a new understanding. Dorr also has the unique ability to explore his perception and interpretation of reality, but he never permits what is fictional to prevail. Dorr, a sharp observer of human behavior, writes of human life, action, thoughts, and beliefs - but in the end, it is clear that it is the divine, i.e., his faith, that will allow him to transcend the fraility of the humanness that plagues us all.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I live in the same town as Lawrence Dorr, know him personally, and have studied writing under him. His new collection, beautifully written, is a joy to read. He is a master of the short story. His life experiences hit the reader between the eyes and will be long remembered.
I recommend Lawrence Dorr to anyone who cares about intense and brilliant writing, as well as to those with interests in questions of faith and the travails of Europeans during and since World War II. Lawrence uniquely merges these three areas.
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Format: Paperback
Here is one of the true artists and soul revealers of our time. If you haven't been lucky enough to read 'A Slight Momentary Affliction' (which by the way was nominated for the Pulitzer) or 'A Slow Soft River,' please read his latest triumph and grant yourself a window into the soul of a man who has known unimaginable suffering and come out on the side of love. His craft of touching the heart through the medium of story is unmatched. Haunting, full of surprises and unexpected hopes. Two thumbs up!
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Format: Paperback
This book of 15 short stories is for seasoned readers who enjoy the challenge of literary fiction in which grace prevails, though not quickly or easily.

For starters, I recommend taking the time to read the book's introduction by James Vanden Bosch, which saves you from having to figure out that the male "narrator" in the stories (some are written in a first-person voice; others in third person) is "various narrators" who are nonetheless "recognizable versions of one basic narrator, a young man born in Hungary, raised as a Calvinist in a largely Catholic culture, who walked more or less innocently into the destructive energies of Eastern Europe in the 1930s." Though not all of the stories have the same characters, the narrative tone started on page 1 --- when the story's main character is aged 15, in 1936 --- is consistent enough throughout the book that by the last story --- when the main character is a grandfather immigrant to Florida, in the year 2000 --- you feel the satisfaction of having finished a novel.

The stories progress more or less chronologically, from the Hungarian freedom-fighters resisting Czech annexation, through World War II and Nazi ruination, followed by the hard fist of Soviet occupation. Eventually the narration moves to England and then to Florida, always with flashbacks to the harsh setting --- the dangers, toils and snares --- of war-torn or occupied Hungary.

The most satisfying stories are the ones for which the book is named, "A Bearer of Divine Revelation" and "The Angel of His Presence."

"Bearer" sets its narrator in Austria, after the War. He remembers a many- splendored childhood in Hungary. "By the time he was twenty-one, he was far away, sitting in a tank, half mad with fear and concentration, trying to survive.
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