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Jayber Crow Paperback – September 18, 2001
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Jayber Crow is another story of the Port William membership, the community whose life--and lives--Berry has unfurled over the course of a half dozen novels. Jayber himself is an orphan, lately returned to the town. And his status as barber and bachelor places him simultaneously at its center and on its margins. A born observer, he hears much, watches carefully, and spends 50 years learning its citizens by heart.
They were rememberers, carrying in their living thoughts all the history that such places as Port William ever have. I listened to them with all my ears, and have tried to remember what they said, though from remembering what I remember I know that much is lost. Things went to the grave with them that will never be known again.Jayber tells the town's stories tenderly. Gently elegiac, the novel charts the tension between an urge to isolation and an impulse to connectivity, writ both small and large. As the 20th century moves inexorably forward, swallowing in great mechanized gulps rural towns governed by agricultural rhythms, Port William turns in upon itself. And as Jayber admits quietly, "Once a fabric is torn, it is apt to keep tearing. It was coming apart. The old integrity had been broken." Integrity, both whole and shattered, is key to the stories of Burley Coulter, Cecelia Overhold, Troy Chatham, and above all, Athey Keith and his daughter Mattie, to whom Jayber pledges his undying and unrequited love.
Berry's prose, so carefully tuned that you never know it is there, carries us into the very heart of the land itself; his exquisitely constructed sentences suggesting the cyclic rhythms of his agrarian world. Jayber Crow resonates with variations played on themes of change, looping transitions from war into peace, winter into spring, browning flood destruction into greening fields, absence into presence, lost into found. --Kelly Flynn --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Yet on another level, Jayber Crow is a philosophical reflection on the nature of love, God, time, and eternity. As a religious reflection, Wendell Berry, through Jayber, reaches to the core of our faith when he realizes that the only true prayer is "Thy will be done", a prayer that makes him tremble, but also makes him more of a whole person. Indeed, his reflections on the love of God, and the love that comes forth on this planet, is visionary and has the capacity to enlarge and fortify the heart of the reader. Chapter 23, "The Way of Love," is one of the greatest passages I have read. We see a man aching for love and for God, who some nights "in the midst of this loneliness" swings among "the scattered stars at the end of the thin thread of faith alone." We feel for his struggle and his faith gives us faith.
Concurrent with his longing for God, and his faith, is his love for Mattie. It is the most beautiful and truest portrayl of love I have seen: it is a love that personifies First Corinthians 13. It is a love that wishes only good and finds hope in knowing it has loved: nothing more. It is a love that does not seek for a payback.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An unexpected but purely wonderful message of faith, love, and learning oneself. Wendall Berry is a marvelously masterful word master who created the desire to never want the end... Read morePublished 15 hours ago by Amazon Customer
This was my first read of Wendell Berry's works. It was a beautiful read.Published 10 days ago by George Sammuel
I loved Jaber Crow! I felt like I was there - Mr. Berry's writing is gentle and thoughtful, Jaber's life was hard at times, but redemptive. Y'all should get this book!Published 12 days ago by Nascentone
Have just discovered Wendell Berry. Read Hannah Coulter first and absolutely fell in love with the characters and Berry's writing style. Read Jayber Crow next. Read morePublished 14 days ago by robin
This is a book of uncommon beauty - it moved me more than all but a very few others have. I'm not sure how I came to read it, how it found its way into my hands, but I'm grateful... Read morePublished 20 days ago by R. Sachs
This is one of my all time favorite books. It was Wendell Berry's first novel, and I believe his best, though they are all wonderful. Read morePublished 26 days ago by KJB