Gilead

Paperback | January 31, 2006

byMarilynne Robinson

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Twenty-four years after her first novel, Housekeeping, Marilynne Robinson returns with an intimate tale of three generations from the Civil War to the twentieth century: a story about fathers and sons and the spiritual battles that still rage at America's heart. Writing in the tradition of Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman, Marilynne Robinson's beautiful, spare, and spiritual prose allows "even the faithless reader to feel the possibility of transcendent order" (Slate). In the luminous and unforgettable voice of Congregationalist minister John Ames, Gilead reveals the human condition and the often unbearable beauty of an ordinary life.

Gilead is the winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

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From the Publisher

Twenty-four years after her first novel, Housekeeping, Marilynne Robinson returns with an intimate tale of three generations from the Civil War to the twentieth century: a story about fathers and sons and the spiritual battles that still rage at America's heart. Writing in the tradition of Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman, Marilynne Ro...

Marilynne Robinson is the author of the modern classic Housekeeping--winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award--and two books of nonfiction, Mother Country (FSG, 1989) and The Death of Adam. She teaches at the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:247 pages, 8.18 × 5.62 × 0.66 inPublished:January 31, 2006Publisher:Picador USALanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:031242440X

ISBN - 13:9780312424404

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Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from A ponderous preachy read John Ames believes he is at the end of his life and starts to write a letter/diary to his 7 year old son. His grandfather, a preacher, had moved from Maine to Kansas and joined up with the Union side during the Civil War. His father, also a preacher, on the other hand was a pacifist and became estranged from his father. The grandfather eventually died on his own in the Wilderness. I found this book to be disjointed and maybe that is the intention as this is a series of entries in a dairy. Also the book was extremely preachy and rambling. These might have been because the writings are of a preacher and an elderly one at that. However, it made for a ponderous read
Date published: 2011-06-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I Hate When This Happens ... Gilead is a series of letters written by Reverend John Ames, for his son. Ames, who is seventy-six years old, has learned he is dying of heart disease and knows that he does not have much longer to live. And yet, he feels there are some things he wants to impart to his seven-year-old son; lessons on life, so to speak. Now, you may think it odd that a seventy-six-year-old man has a seven-year-old son; however, when my Grampa was born in 1913, his father was seventy-two years old. Could you imagine having an infant in your care at the age of seventy-two? I can barely cart around an almost-four-year-old at the age of almost-fourty-one ... In the Bible, "Gilead" means hill of testimony or mound of witness, (Genesis 31:21), which describes the very essence of this book. It is a testimony of John Ames and his thoughts and his values. Gilead is also the name of the town in which Ames has resided his entire life and it is very much at the heart of the story. Although John Ames writes the papers as a way of communicating to his young son, he uses them as makeshift confessional for himself as well. He is able to express the loneliness he experienced after his first wife died ... to reveal, and therefore relieve himself of the anger he feels toward his father ... and to declare his love for his wife and young boy ... to explore his relationship with his namesake, John ("Jack") Ames Boughton, who is his best friend's wayward son. This is the 16th book I read in a challenge to read 100 books in one year ... and I'm blogging as I go. About lots of things ... Check out all my thoughts on Gilead ... http://takenoutofcontext-jill.blogspot.com/2010/03/i-hate-when-this-happens.html
Date published: 2010-03-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! I read this after reading Home - fascinating to read a completely independent and completely related take on the same time, characters and facts. I'd recommend any reader read both.
Date published: 2009-07-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The most beautiful book I've read in years This is the most beautifully written book I've read in years. Normally I devour books in one sitting, but this one I read in short spurts in order to saviour the beauty of the writing. Granted it is demanding reading, with a lot in the way of philosophical musings, but if you are hungry for beautiful language and for deep thoughts about life and meaning, this is definitely a book to read.
Date published: 2006-06-27

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Editorial Reviews

Gilead is a refuge for readers longing for that increasingly rare work of fiction, one that explores big ideas while telling a good story. As John Ames might point out, it's a remarkable thing to consider.