First published in 1960, The Violent Bear It Away is now a landmark in American literature. It is a dark and absorbing example of the gothic sensibility and bracing satirical voice that are united in Flannery O'Conner's work. In it, the orphaned Francis Marion Tarwater and his cousin, Rayber, defy the prophecy of their dead uncle - that Tarwater will become a prophet and will baptize Rayber's young son, Bishop. A series of struggles ensue, as Tarwater fights an internal battle against his innate faith and the voices calling him to be a prophet, while Rayber tries to draw Tarwater into a more “reasonable” modern world. Both wrestle with the legacy of their dead relatives and lay claim to Bishop's soul.
O'Connor observes all this with an astonishing combination of irony and compassion, humor and pathos. The result is a novel whose range and depth reveal a brilliant and innovative writer acutely alert to where the sacred lives and where it does not.
©1960 Flannery O'Connor (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“There is very little contemporary fiction which touches the level of Flannery O’Connor at her best.” (New York Herald Tribune)
“I am sure her books will live on and on in American literature.” (Elizabeth Bishop, American poet laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner)
I enjoy the works of Flannery O' Connor though I do prefer her shorter stories. The Violent Bear It Away is a bit all over the map at the beginning - past to present to even further in the past, etc - and can make for a confusing listen, but when this novel hits it stride somewhere in the middle the story flares. The narrator does a decent job bringing the story to life. I would suggest using your credit on A Good Man is Hard To Find or Everything That Rises Must Converge first.
An accomplished retiree ready for the entertainment I missed during all my years of hard work. Period mysteries or witty anything are a joy.
Flannery Conner uncovers some of the ugly culture as a consequence of the unrooted, superstitious people of the American post-war era. The vulnerable bear the brunt of each man 's interpretation what he believes is being freed from perceived evils.
This is an extraordinary period and place work with vivid characters and descriptive narrative. The reading is authentic and a positive contribution to the experience of the book. High praise.
A bleak book with sustained religious imagery, that's what you're in for. O'Connor is such a powerful writer, though, that you occasionally get lost in the poetic beauty of her phrasing and forget how depressing the story is. But the story always jerks you back to reality.
the realism in the telling of the story
the almost expected outcome of this freight train coming at full throttle
excellent characterizations - outstanding performance
The Violent Bear It Away
A good reading adds great value to the story - it is truly a performance
The story telling was quite good but the story itself was more complicated or more symbolic than my attention span allowed me to follow while listening.
This was the first book by Flannery O'Connor that I have listened to. I have not read any of Flannery O'Connor's work.
None of the characters qualified as "favorites." The description and performance of each made them equally problematic to like.
Among the best.
The narration really helped to capture the grotesque nature of the characters.
The manner in which he made the different characters come to life.
Beautifully written book. Really makes you think. Has a lot of personality. The narrator is top-notch as well. I'll be reading/listening-to more Flannery O'Connor.
Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.
I downloadred this book on sale because O'Connor is an author I feel I should know better, even though I have struggled with her writings in the past. What convinced me to try again was that Mark Bramhall is the narrator, and I have admired his reading in previous downloads. Bramhall did not disappoint, but I think I'm going to give up on O'Connor.
I get that Southern Gothic writing generally contains characters who are "grotesque" in the sense of being misfits with sympathetic characteristics. I just had a hard time with the unrelenting miserable natures of the main characters, finding it hard to detect the sympathetic parts. Ironically, because O'Connor writes so beautifully, the ugliness comes through with enhanced power. Perhaps that was her point, but it did not make the experience any more pleasant. Having the book read by Bramhall made it easier to consume - as in the past, I would have had a mighty struggle to read it in print.
"Resist destiny at your peril!"
Francis Tarwater was raised by his preacher great-uncle – destined to be a prophet. He resists his destiny; he does not bury his great-uncle, he goes to live with his uncle, he does not want to baptise his cousin, he does much worse! He is in the thrall of his ancestors, his nature and his destiny. Powerful, sensitive and moving with fantastic Southern States voice.
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