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O Lost: A Story of the Buried Life Hardcover – October 2, 2000

4.8 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 736 pages
  • Publisher: University of South Carolina Press; Centenary ed edition (October 2, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570033692
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570033698
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #624,381 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on November 18, 2000
Format: Hardcover
As Pat Conroy writes on the rear jacket panel of this book, "'O Lost' is the greatest news for Thomas Wolfe lovers since the publication of 'Look Homeward, Angel.'" The statement is not hyperbole. This is it---the original manuscript that Wolfe delivered to the offices of Scribners, the version around which have swirled controversies and questions ever since and yet which has remained unseen by the public until now. Was Thomas Wolfe a sort of idiot savant, a wildly impulsive and uncontrolled writer who desperately needed the firm professional hand of a Maxwell Perkins to bring form and control to his inspired ramblings? Or was he simply a genius, so far ahead of his time that even the likes of Perkins could not comprehend what he had in the innovative and unconventional manuscript of "O Lost"? On the basis of this new edition, it might be said that he was a bit of both.
For the lover of "Look Homeward, Angel," the tired phrase "essential reading" is an understatement. There is magnificent new material here (this version is 66,000 words longer than LHA). For me, the most notable appears at the beginning--a long section detailing the early life of W.O. Gant, lovingly rendered, heartbreakingly real, writing so vivid that it must be admitted that Perkins made a terrible mistake in cutting it; it is as good as anything Thomas Wolfe ever wrote. Too, the famous kaleidoscopic scene in which we see dozens of Altamont residents waking one morning in 1908 as newspapers are delivered is here much longer, much more inclusive, with far more wonderful character sketches--writing so pure that it seems to capture for all time what a certain time and place was.
Now, in all fairness, it must be admitted that some of the new material is substandard.
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Format: Hardcover
What a wonderful book. It's too bad so many readers today know only Tom Wolfe, not Thomas Wolfe. Even though it has been at least 10 years since reading Look Homewood Angel, I knew almost immediately when I came to the new sections. They add a depth to the novel, bringing in the whole town and relatives, rather being only about Eugene Gant. My favorite Wolfe readings involve trains; the experience about time stopping for a moment when you look into the eyes of someone looking directly at you into the train, is exactly as I remember my earlier train rides.What are they doing now, that the train has passed? Other 800 page books might be dull, but not this one. Having been given it as a present recently, I am very surprised and disappointed that it is already 'out of print." More people should know about O Lost!
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By A Customer on October 25, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Thomas Wolfe is undoubtedly one of the, if not THE, greatest writers of the Twentieth Century. He is so underappreciated. O Lost is the correct title (finally) to his first novel, Look Homeward, Angel. It was always intended to bear this title, and rightfully so, for if you read it you will understand how lost he was as a child, an adolescent, and a man. His story of the Gants is incredibly gripping and touching...hang in there the speed picks up once you get into it. It will give you so much insight on the South and the trials of a young man torn between his city, his family, and his ambitions. Thank God for Thomas Wolfe.
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Format: Hardcover
Like so many others, "Look Homeward Angel" provided one of those pivotal experiences in college. I remember reading it twice - consecutively! - and then hastening on to Wolfe's other books. Well now here is the full work and for me it provided a long, leisurely read that not only had the nostalgia inherent in the story and the leftovers from my life during my first reading, it had more of the things that make Wolfe such an important literary figure in the 20th Century. O LOST ( a phrase oft repeated in this long and rambling coming of age story) is full of the unfinished sentences, fragments, stream of consciousness admixing of past/present/future that Wolfe gradually polished during his brief career. This is a work of poetry that nestles in with Whitman, Dickinson, Agee, Faulkner in its ability to create characters who step off the page and take up permanent residence in your psyche.
Yes, some of the previously edited portions give credence to the need for the Editor's role in shaping a novel. But being able to slowly drift along with Wolfe's imagery and imagination, his acute visualization of life and death, fear and orgasm, rage and gullability...this original piece gives so much back to the reader that finishing the book is painful.
In a time when most novels hover around the 300 page mark it is a complete joy to meander through a tome of nearly 800 pages that takes concentration, patience, and a lot of time to consume. But the journey is overwhelmingly justified. Do your mind - and your heart - a favor: read "O Lost" next.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Just comparing the first chapter, the unedited version, "O Lost" is kind of amateurish. It reads like adolescent fiction. The edited version that was published as "Look Homeward Angel" in the 1930s is more artistic and has a great atmosphere which "O Lost" lacks, IMHO. I am happy to own "O Lost", but I do not think Thomas Wolfe would have been taken seriously if his work did not have a good editor.
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