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The Second Coming | [Walker Percy]

The Second Coming

Will Barrett of Linwood, North Carolina, is a depressed widower with a peculiar tendency to fall down in strange places. Allison, the girl in the greenhouse, has just escaped from a mental institution and is working hard to make a new life for herself. When their paths cross in a most unusual manner, a relationship begins that will help restore two struggling outcasts to new life. What follows is by turns touching and zany, tragic and comic, as Will undertakes his own Pascalian wager in search of proof that God exists.
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Publisher's Summary

Will Barrett of Linwood, North Carolina, is a depressed widower with a peculiar tendency to fall down in strange places. Allison, the girl in the greenhouse, has just escaped from a mental institution and is working hard to make a new life for herself. When their paths cross in a most unusual manner, a relationship begins that will help restore two struggling outcasts to new life.

What follows is by turns touching and zany, tragic and comic, as Will undertakes his own Pascalian wager in search of proof of the existence of God. Leaving his comfortable home atop a pleasant Carolina mountain and descending deep into the bowels of the long-unused Lost Cove cave, he is prepared to wait for a sign - which may, of course, be death. What he is not prepared for is what actually happens.

©1980 Walker Percy (P)2000 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“Splendid…A beautifully textured novel…A distinguished work of art…Walker Percy’s perception luminously lights up obscure depths of experience without at the same time explaining that experience away.” (The New York Times Book Review)

“Percy has a rare talent for making his people look and sound as though they were being seen and heard for the first time by anyone.” (Time)

“He is a beguiling, uniquely gifted novelist who deserves to be read in order and in full.” (Newsweek)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (21 )
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3.9 (15 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 11-27-12
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 11-27-12

    A part-time buffoon and ersatz scholar specializing in BS, pedantry, schmaltz and cultural coprophagia.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "No Easy Hothouse of Consecration"

    There is something I love about Walker Percy. I think it is the loveliness of Percy's confrontation and struggle with spiritual belief. His characters are amazing, his prose is lovely. He writes these quirky scenes, in a sometimes peculiar prose, without them seeming fussy or overwrought (an amazing balancing act right there).

    Perhaps, I am just drawn to my big Trinity of Catholic Novelists(Greene, O'Connor, Percy). They don't play in an easy hothouse of consecration. They don't write about faith, belief, or redemption as if these topics were easy loads to lift. Percy, to me, meets the Modern man where he is; trapped between light and darkness, between falling and hoisting, between Heaven and Hell. Percy greets the reader and lifts him, slaps him on the ass, and pushes him on his way.

    22 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roger 02-20-14
    Roger 02-20-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not as good as remembered"
    Would you try another book from Walker Percy and/or David Hilder?

    As a young adult, I read every Walker Percy book I could find. As a middle-aged man, I can't say that I found the book all that interesting. I found the characters less than believable, the flow of the novel was painful at times and I almost gave up on it several times.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    The ending was okay but not worth the time spent on the book.


    Would you be willing to try another one of David Hilder’s performances?

    I wouldnt rule him out, but I suspect that his performance didn't help my feelings for the book. I thought that his attempts at character voices was weak to say the least.


    Was The Second Coming worth the listening time?

    It was not worth my listening time. There are so many books that I am trying to find time to read. This one felt like a wasted credit.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cynthia Freeman Oregon 03-29-13
    Cynthia Freeman Oregon 03-29-13 Member Since 2002

    cfreeperson

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I Wished the Author Would Just Get On With It"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Probably not to most of my friends. This book is kind of an intellectual exercise. Most of my friends would probably not be thrilled by that. Not to insult my friends' intellect, it's just that this book doesn't really have a compelling plot.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    That was it!!! I was expecting a little bit more of a resolution.


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

    Not that I'm aware of.


    Do you think The Second Coming needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No, I can't see where another book would go. It seems like more of a stand-alone story to me. There's not a plot that lends itself to a sequel.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is well written but I wouldn't call it a truly compelling read. There were few places in the book where I was all that interested in finding out what was going to happen next.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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