Sweet Hereafter Movie Tie-in by Russell BanksSweet Hereafter Movie Tie-in by Russell Banks

Sweet Hereafter Movie Tie-in

byRussell Banks

Paperback | December 1, 1997

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In The Sweet Hereafter, Russell Banks tells a story that begins with a school bus accident. Using four different narrators, Banks creates a small-town morality play that addresses one of life's most agonizing questions: when the worst thing happens, who do you blame?

Russell Banks was raised in New Hampshire and eastern Massachusetts. The eldest of four children, he grew up in a working-class, hardscrabble world that has played a major role in shaping his writing.Banks (the first in his family to go to college) attended Colgate University "for less than a semester," and later graduated Phi Beta Ka...
Title:Sweet Hereafter Movie Tie-inFormat:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 8.04 × 5.3 × 0.68 inPublished:December 1, 1997Publisher:Harper Perennial

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0060923245

ISBN - 13:9780060923242


Rated 5 out of 5 by from CAPTIVATING AND BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN This is a great book that blew me away with its many layers of story and the credible tension that Russell Banks was able to create out of such a simple premise, it almost reads like a mystery. He writes in such a way that he opens up the small town of Sam Dent and deposits you right in the middle of it leaving you feeling like you personally know all the characters or might have once lived there yourself. It is also an interesting character study and from my experience realistic in the way each person here deals differently with grief; Some self-destruct while others find new strength, all want to lay blame somewhere and everyone in this once innocent town is irreversibly changed. Banks manages to show all sides of these ordinary characters, even the negative and because this was written from 4 different perspectives almost anyone will be able to find a piece of themselves in one of them. Ultimately it will leave you looking at yourself and those around you differently because every town has its secrets. As I said the story is simple; One snowy morning a school bus goes off the road and into the frozen waters of a small American town, 14 children are lost in the accident and its citizens are confronted with life’s most disturbing question when the worst happens who do you blame and how do you cope. We then enter surviving school bus driver Deloris Driscoll’s head as she recalls the morning of the accident and introduces us to the town and its members while making stops along the bus route. We then switch to widower and war veteran Billy Ansel who is following the bus on his way to work, his story is heartbreaking and full of secrets. The narration then turns to New York lawyer and pariah Mitchell Stevens who has come to Sam Dent like all the other lawyers and media to try and make a buck off the tragedy, surprisingly I really enjoyed his view as you can‘t always judge a book (lawyer)by its cover. We also hear form 14 year old Nicole Burnell, who before the accident was a cheerleader and the town princess and is now confined to a wheelchair, her part in the story shocked me. I highly recommend this and now hope to see if the movie can live up to this amazing book.
Date published: 2009-12-13

Editorial Reviews

"Russell Banks's fiction holds such a simple, internal authority . . . The story he tells is grave and unusually urgent, his prose as careful as a trail of stones left in the forest . . . These voices ache with a particular brand of reality [and] Banks evokes each of his characters with fluid authenticity . . . Russell Banks is a writer of extraordinary power." -- "Boston Globe""Banks posses many questions, and his canvas is far larger than any thumbnail sketch of its components can suggest." -- "San Francisco Chronicle""Without sentimentalizing them in the least, Banks has extended the themes explored in his previous novels . . . to show that wiser, possibly even better people can emerge from the ordeal: that some old American decencies still prevail, against all the odds." -- "Chicago Tribune""A novel of compelling moral suspense . . . [a] superb book . . . a remarkable book, a sardonic and compassionate account of a community and its people."-- Richard Eder, "Los Angeles Times Book Review""Mr. Banks's colorful characters are so believable they could have stepped out of the Rendez-Vous tavern across from the Bide-A-Wile motel . . . The Sweet Hereafter is rich in imagery and the detail of small-town life and haunting in its portrayal of ordinary men and women struggling to understand loss. Under Mr. Banks's restrained craftsmanship, what begins as the story of senseless tragedy is transformed into an aspiring testament to hope and human resilience." -- "Atlanta Constitution""The Sweet Hereafter . . . is a close and haunting story of a small town in distress . . . unflinching and quietly powerful." -- "Mirabella""Mr. Banks . . . does a smoothly professional job of giving the reader afinely observed portrait of small town life . . . It's as though he has cast a large stone into a quiet pond, then minutely charted the shape and size of the ripples sent out in successive waves . . . It is often gripping, consistently engaging and from time to time genuinely affecting." -- Michiko Kakutani, "New York Times""This beautifully written book's most brilliant strategy is . . . to explore the complexity of grief and hope." -- "Vogue"