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Everything That Rises Must Converge | [Flannery O’Connor]

Everything That Rises Must Converge

This collection of nine short stories by Flannery O'Connor was published posthumously in 1965. The flawed characters of each story are fully revealed in apocalyptic moments of conflict and violence that are presented with comic detachment.
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Publisher's Summary

This collection of nine short stories by Flannery O'Connor was published posthumously in 1965. The flawed characters of each story are fully revealed in apocalyptic moments of conflict and violence that are presented with comic detachment.

The title story is a tragicomedy about social pride, racial bigotry, generational conflict, false liberalism, and filial dependence. The protagonist, Julian Chestny, is hypocritically disdainful of his mother's prejudices, but his smug selfishness is replaced with childish fear when she suffers a fatal stroke after being struck by a black woman she has insulted out of oblivious ignorance rather than malice.

Similarly, “The Comforts of Home” is about an intellectual son with an Oedipus complex. Driven by the voice of his dead father, the son accidentally kills his sentimental mother in an attempt to murder a harlot.

The other stories are “A View of the Woods”, “Parker's Back”, “The Enduring Chill”, “Greenleaf”, “The Lame Shall Enter First”, “Revelation”, and “Judgment Day”.

Flannery O'Connor was working on Everything That Rises Must Converge at the time of her death. This collection is an exquisite legacy from a genius of the American short story, in which she scrutinizes territory familiar to her readers: race, faith, and morality. The stories encompass the comic and the tragic, the beautiful and the grotesque; each carries her highly individual stamp and could have been written by no one else.

©1956 1957, 1958, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1965; renewed 1993 by the Estate of Mary Flannery O’Connor (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“The current volume of posthumous stories is the work of a master, a writer's writer—but a reader's too—an incomparable craftsman who wrote, let it be said, some of the finest stories in our language." (Newsweek)

“All in all they comprise the best collection of shorter fiction to have been published in America during the past twenty years.” (Book Week)

“When I read Flannery O'Connor, I do not think of Hemingway, or Katherine Anne Porter, or Sartre, but rather of someone like Sophocles. What more can you say for a writer? I write her name with honor, for all the truth and all the craft with which she shows man's fall and his dishonor.” (Thomas Merton)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (339 )
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4.3 (254 )
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Performance
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  •  
    West Coast Reader 06-10-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Stories Amazing; Readers Worthy of the Material"
    Any additional comments?

    This was possibly the best audiobook experience I've ever had with fiction. Each of the readers did a wonderful job with voices and with the "voice" of these stories, which are among the greatest (and funniest) in the American canon. As soon as I finished, I started over at the beginning and started listening to the first stories again.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Pensacola, FL, United States 03-04-13
    John Pensacola, FL, United States 03-04-13 Member Since 2011

    razorjohn

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    "One ripping good yarn after another"

    I enjoyed Ms O'Connor's short stories as much or more than I've ever enjoyed any short stories. This is a challenging read because there is so much symbolism and depth to her writing. I advise using online resources such as cliffs and sparknotes so the reader doesn't miss anything. Be aware that Ms O'Connor's pen is cruel and prose is very biting. Her stories have quite a bit of "kick" to them. I'll definitely be reading more from her.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    carmen OFallon, MO, United States 02-25-13
    carmen OFallon, MO, United States 02-25-13 Member Since 2011

    Favorite author: Alexander McCall Smith Favorite narrator: Gerard Doyle Favorite listen : Burton and Swinburne Trilogy

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "spoiler alert"
    Would you listen to Everything That Rises Must Converge again? Why?

    yes I would, although these stories were very relevent at the time There is also underlying truths that are relevant today. this is why Flannery O connor is one of the greatest authors of all time.


    What other book might you compare Everything That Rises Must Converge to and why?

    It is a collection of Flannery O connor stories there is no comparison


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

    To be honest I did not like any of the characters. That is what is so great about the story telling. If we're honest though we di not like these people we all can relate some how.


    If you could take any character from Everything That Rises Must Converge out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Like I said I did't like any of these characters.


    Any additional comments?

    Is it just me or do they all die in the end.Which I guess is also timeless and universal, no one makes it out alive.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. D. Portnoy Sarasota, FL USA 12-19-12
    J. D. Portnoy Sarasota, FL USA 12-19-12 Member Since 2012

    Bookman Old Style

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    "Brilliant Writing"

    Flannnery O'Connor is probably the best writer the South has ever produced. In this collection she draws unforgettable characters, with her masterful use of language and an ingenious ear for dialogue. The performances are wonderful, some of the best I've heard. This is not just entertainment, although it certainly entertains, but literature. Very much worth the listen.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adrienne Bridgeport, West Virginia, United States 01-01-12
    Adrienne Bridgeport, West Virginia, United States 01-01-12 Member Since 2010

    Something New

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    "Intensive and Introspective"
    What did you love best about Everything That Rises Must Converge?

    I enjoyed the characterizations. I have attempted to read Flannery O'Conner and I have to say it can be tough. However, when it is dramatized, I get a better understanding. I don't hear everything in my voice, but a multitude of characters. The stories are very dark and foreboding but will keep you listening until the end.


    What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    As stated earlier, the characterization make these stories so interesting. Each narrator placed their own spin on the characters and made them come to life. Without their characterization, reading independently would have been tough and I probably would not have finished it. As a matter of fact, I purchased the audio version of Wise Blood because I could not get through the novel.


    Any additional comments?

    My only word of caution is the

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R.J. BALTIMORE, MD, United States 12-18-12
    R.J. BALTIMORE, MD, United States 12-18-12
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    "Must Have!"
    What made the experience of listening to Everything That Rises Must Converge the most enjoyable?

    Listening to a Flannery O'Connor story is as enjoyable as reading one.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The Mother. She was strong-willed in her determination, even if her view of society was wrong and outdated.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When the mother had her stroke, totally unpredictable and shocking.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edward Brooklyn, NY, USA 12-18-12
    Edward Brooklyn, NY, USA 12-18-12 Member Since 2009

    I write on economics, history and politics. I read/listen to feed my pen. I enjoy great narration more than music,, movies or tv.

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    "Are these all the same story?"
    What did you love best about Everything That Rises Must Converge?

    Everyone's right. Oconnor is a great writer. She peers into the details of her characters with such detail and plausiblity you can't stay uninvolved. And her use of language is great.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    It's an anthology and I don't remember the titles. There was a story that takes place in a doctor's office and it was an amazing contrast of characters.


    Any additional comments?

    She falls back on killing those characters with traditional values, be they flawed values or not. You know who's getting snuffed by the end of the first paragraph.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill Fayetteville, PA, United States 10-01-12
    Bill Fayetteville, PA, United States 10-01-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Short Stores with a Tragic Ending"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes if the friend liked unhappy southern tales with a tragic twist.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Characterizations in each of the short stories.


    Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Very well done.


    Who was the most memorable character of Everything That Rises Must Converge and why?

    The historian son who is full of himself but unable to deal with sexual issues.


    Any additional comments?

    The various narrators really enhanced the stories.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Y. Madison, MS, United States 10-29-14
    Y. Madison, MS, United States 10-29-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Depressingly dark"

    Ok, I read the reviews on this before purchased and thought it would be a good listen. Nine short stories, well to say the least, I was utterly sadden by the bleakness of this book. It probably would have lifted my spirit if there were one story that the word nigger was not maligned excessively. I cannot in good conscience give this book a good rating, it was utterly depressing, insulting and degrading.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nathan Missoula, Montana, United States 09-03-14
    Nathan Missoula, Montana, United States 09-03-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Great book. Bad narration."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Everything That Rises Must Converge to be better than the print version?

    The print version is better. The narration is really bad, especially when conveying dialogue. The male voice actors are annoying, even offensive when they attempt southern accents.


    How could the performance have been better?

    I think the voice actors are great when reading most things. Their attempts at conveying the dialect of these characters fell way short. My recommendation for a better performance would be to have someone with more compassion for Southern characters read O'Connor's work.


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
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