Wise Blood a Novel by Flannery O’Connor

When it occurred to me I’d never read Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor, I felt I’d be missing something if I didn’t. I’d read a book of her short stories and saw the movie of Wise Blood long ago so perhaps I imagined I’d read it. I’d never knowingly substitute the movie for the book. It is an amazing book. A minor annoyance is wading through the dialect-spellings she uses, but beyond that the book is a marvelous mix of clear writing and language with its impenetrable yet vivid characters.

Well, the characters are impenetrable at first, but also beautifully whole and unique. Mostly, though, they are as mesmerizing in themselves as mysteries which need solving. She does not supply easy answers for that. Through all this she creates a world both of this world and apart from it. I cannot put it down (except to write this review). The story has so taken root in my head, I couldn’t think of another book to mention from the past year.

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