Top positive review
3 people found this helpful
A well researched and painstakingly documented text
on June 28, 2014
This book is definitely not a page-turner, but the scholarship is outstanding and the author provides a nice encapsulation of the careers, lives, writings, and philosophies of the four individuals treated, Thomas Merton, Dorothy Day, Walker Percy, and Mary Flannery O'Connor. Personally, I would have preferred a much more closely edited version and believe rather strongly that Elie could have gotten his message across more effectively in less words. I found myself scanning over many of the pages, especially those dealing with Walker Percy, whose philosophy, writings, and life achievements appear dwarfed compared to those of, say, Merton or Day, who are far and away the towering figures in this book. Flannery O'Connor, the eccentric in the group, was well presented, and I found her to be, in many respects, more interesting than the other three individuals. That said, I think the author's best work was in his treatment of Merton. This was enough to spark my interest in the man, and I am now in the process of reading his The Seven Storey Mountain. My thanks Paul Elie for the substantial amount of research and hard work he put into this project.