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The Poet of Tolstoy Park: A Novel (Reader's Circle) Paperback – March 28, 2006
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Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
This is the tale of Henry James Stuart, who when he heard that he was dying of consumption and had only a year to live, decided to leave the cold climate of Idaho for Fairhope, Alabama. His wife had died a few years before and his two sons were grown, so Henry was itching for some adventure in the last days of his life, and he also didn't want to burden his sons with having to care for him. Henry is a practical, no-nonsense, seminary-educated disciple of Tolstoy, Black Elk and Chief Seattle, albeit a quiet, unassuming man whose simple life spoke much louder than his words. In magical, luminous words, he brings to life his hilltop on Mobile Bay where, when inspired by watching a pair of Ospreys build their nest, he decides to build a circular house. In struggling to come to terms with his impending death, he instead, discovers life and how to live it.
This is a must-read and a must-own tome! I plan to read it over and over again. Thank you, Mr. Brewer, for such a magnificant work of literature!!!
Henry Stuart is quirky and independent, hermetic yet endearing, thoughtful and inclusive of others, despite his intentions otherwise. He cherishes honest and thoughtful interaction with others. He'll grant others their oddities if only they'll grant him his.
Like another lingering, sauntering work, "Cold Mountain," we know where the story is going and enjoy the telling for what it is, a poetic and reflective journey lived one day at a time, one task at a time, offered like a hymn of praise.
I savored the language and the thought, often reading a half-dozen pages and putting the book down so that I could ruminate properly, much as Stuart would do. This is one of those books in my library that I'll treasure, often running my fingers down its spine and smiling as I enjoy a moment of memory and the anticipation of reading it again.
My hat's off to Sonny Brewer for making the time to craft such a fine novel. He has brought credit to himself and Fairhope in the process. He loves words and books, writing and ideas, Fairhope and community -- that's obvious. I'm grateful that he shared so generously.
Sonny Brewer has written a beautiful story and, like a poet, has given his readers plenty to ponder.
Just wanted to say that "The Poet of Tolstoy Park" has rendered me incapable of starting another book. I finished on Saturday and have since been unable to let myself be drawn away from Henry Stuart, Tolstoy Park, and Fairhope. "The Confessions of Max Tivoli" sits on my bedside table, and though I'd been very
eager to read it, I now find I haven't the will. I want to savor your book awhile longer.
By my reckoning, such as its worth, "The Poet of Tolstoy Park" is a thing of beauty, grace, and wisdom. And humor, too. In fact, I'm puzzled that the reviews I've read, both editorial and reader reviews, fail to mention the delightful humor.
I'm even more puzzled, however, that I haven't read one review that mentions the "community" theme. That we are all connected, and that in our acknowledgment of our connectedness, and in our service to one another, we can best live a good life and thus best die, seems to me the heart of the story.
I suppose we all see in the world around us what we see in our heads, and I've just finished writing a novel in which community is a central theme, so it may be my unique perspective to see it as the heart of your book . . .
But surely Henry's conviction that humankind's hope lies not in Christianity, nor any institutionalized religion or social philosophy, Tolstoy's included, but in our Christian treatment of one another, was not an insignificant bit of character detail.
I digress.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A delightful book of "faction,"--fiction based on fact--that is at once poignant, moving and life affirming. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Big D
Enjoyed the book, read as a book club selection, much more than I expected. It is both a good description of the period, and of the sort of person who would like in that time.Published 3 months ago by Margaret Schroth
Outstandingly sensitive, instructive and personal - very moving.Published 4 months ago by Wessex House Publishing (Consignment)
A very interesting read. Wasn't a book I was anxious to read but as the story developed found it was difficult to put the book aside. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Dorothy Rowan
Read this for my book club. The group was mixed on it- Younger members could not relate to it at all. Older members thought it was very thought provokingPublished 8 months ago by Lynn McAlister
A good read. Fairhope,ala. Made all the more interesting through the story of Henry Stewart.Published 9 months ago by PEGGY HUNT
An outstanding story that is so well-written. Henry Stuart became my best friend! Have made the trip to his house in Fairhope...read it and you'll be a better person at the end!Published 9 months ago by William R. Nation, Jr.