I have read all of his other books. I believe this book has a unique quality -- it lacks the urgency of the other stories, at the same time it invites you to consider why you like the things that make up your life. There is a subtle suggestion that you may be too serious or too structured. You may have been patterned to think you like the pleasures in your life. The Italian option will no doubt inspire many who read about Parma and the Panthers. This felt to me me like another trip to Italy. I have been to many of the places in the story and hearing about them again makes me want to see them in person again. Thank you for the vacation. Thanks also for the visit to the world of those who truly love football. I hope there are more of these stories to come...
I was interested in this book to see if the author could really treat history properly in a fiction set around the time of the birth of the new American republic. I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of the characters, plot surprises, and sensible treatment of known history and historical figures. There are many characters, but a good number of them are based upon real persons. The story is believable and keeps a good pace. The descriptions of the frontier days in Pittsburgh were entertaining. This is a fine piece of writing. I recommend it for those who like history and a good story.
Stephen has done it again. I hoped this would match up to his earlier works and I was not disappointed. One of his talents is looking into the souls of his characters - good and bad. He gives them quirks and makes them people we have known. This is a good story and it encourages examination of what we think about small towns, crisis situations, and what we think about as we decide how, or sometimes if, we stand up, or wait for someone else to act first. I didn't feel that he was putting a negative slant on religion. My impression was that he portrayed religion as a tool that was used in negative and corrupt ways by some, and in encouraging and supporting ways by others. Overall, I did not feel this story was really about religion at all. Religion was just a part of this small town and many of the people who live there.
I was entertained and amused. Another great piece of writing. I highly recommend it.
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