Gilead

Gilead❴PDF / Epub❵ ☁ Gilead Author Marilynne Robinson – Heartforum.co.uk Gilead Sciences — Wikipdia Gilead Sciences a t cre en juin — sous le nom initial de Oligogen — par Michael L Riordan alors g de ans En novembre Gilead Sciences acuiert Pharmasset spcialise dans Gilead Sciences — Wikipdia Gilead Sciences a t cre en juin — sous le nom initial de Oligogen — par Michael L Riordan alors g de ans En novembre Gilead Sciences acuiert Pharmasset spcialise dans le traitement de l'hpatite C pour milliards de dollars Gilead — Wikipdia Le Gilead balm en franais Baume de Galaad un mdicament mentionn dans la Bible ui a inspir le nom du laboratoire Gilead Le pays de Gilead est le titre d'un ouvrage du dput britanniue Laurence Oliphant dans leuel il prconise l'installation de Juifs l'Est du Jourdain sous la suzerainet ottomane et la protection britanniue Gilead Sciences Inc Gilead Sciences Inc is a research based biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery development and commercialization 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Marilynne Summers Robinson born November is an American novelist and essayist Across her writing career Robinson has received numerous awards including the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in National Humanities Medal in and the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction In Robinson was named in Time magazine's list of most influential people Robinson be.

Paperback  ´ Gilead PDF Ä
  • Paperback
  • 247 pages
  • Gilead
  • Marilynne Robinson
  • English
  • 10 November 2014
  • 9780312424404

10 thoughts on “Gilead

  1. Greg says:

    It often feels as if the contemporary literary scene has internalized Anna Karenina’s dictum on the nature of happiness—that it is not idiosyncratic with the implication that it is not worth the kind of careful attention that literature applies to its subjects We need look no further than our own lives to recognize the problem we’ll encounter if we preoccupy ourselves with the Tolstoyan “unhappy family” at the expense of the happy ones Asked about our defining or most enlightening moments most of us are as likely to recount happy memories as we are moments of despair Yet too often contemporary literature ignores this Authors able to give the lie to Tolstoy by rendering joy as a complex substance are few and far between think Ron Carlson Laurie Colwin Ellen Gilchrist Richard RussoIn this context Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead comes not just as a breath of fresh air but as a ray of light uietly penetrating to the heart of mysteries regarding joy and love life and death Because it’s written as a series of missives from the aged narrator to his young son meant not to be read until long after the narrator’s death Gilead is largely plotless—a conflict of sorts between the narrator and a friend’s child does eventually develop but it is a uiet conflict and one that doesn’t become clear until nearly halfway through the novel The narrative is never as important as the meditations that surround itThis is a novel that celebrates life that variegated communion between inner and outer worlds between ego and experience But Robinson is also concerned with death not only as the inevitable end of that communion but also as its thematic counterpoint If Robinson’s territory here is the spiritual life of one man in particular her thematic concern is how we in general can face the ends of our lives without despair or resort to existential reframings of the problem—how we can face the prospect of death in fact with uiet gratitude and even joy Robinson’s portrayal of religion is especially deft; instead of opiate or panacea her narrator’s Christianity serves as a lens providing a stasis and a vocabulary through which the novel can wrestle with its concernsUltimately the uiet conclusions that Gilead seems to favor—that the experience of existence is one that we should treasure as a gift that we too often lose sight of the immense beauty of the world amidst our uotidian bustle that love and charity have the power to remake lives—are neither religious nor secular Rather they are humanist; they all concern a belief in the fundamental dignity of human lives Is it melodramatic to say that these are the kind of uiet encouragements that we could usefully carry in our minds into the shadows of our own personal Gethsemanes? Regardless Gilead offers us in its portrait of a long life reflected upon with some degree of contentment a reminder of just how deep enthralling and abidingly strange happiness can bePerhaps the problem is not that happiness is not idiosyncratic enough to be worth investigating The problem may be instead that happiness is simply too big for most writers to write convincingly about that perhaps joy like God is too capacious to fully describe Yet here is the rare novel that suggests insights into the natures of both

  2. Jessica says:

    This book is amazing I can't believe those frikkin twits didn't give Marilynne Robinson the Pulitzer for this oh wait they did Well I can't believe they didn't give her twoSeriously you are probably thinking I've heard this book takes the form of an elderly angina stricken preacher in Iowa's long Lord laden letter to his young son about how beautiful the world is I'm sure it's all very nice for some people but I am way too big of a jerk to enjoy something like thatWell let me tell you something friend I am a pretty big jerk myself and I loved it This is one of the better books I have read If this novel doesn't make you weep at some point there is probably something seriously wrong with youI'll admit that like Valley of the Dolls this book is probably not for everyone But I really do recommend it to people who like me are not religious and find others' faith difficult to understand If you're able to respond empathically to characters in extremely well written literature this might be the best chance you get at entering this kind of experience That was the way I felt about it anyway You only need to suspend some judgment you hold about religion and take the protagonist's faith the way you would another belief or experience a fictional character might have that's diffferent from your own I don't want to get carried away characterizing what the result of that was like for me but I do recommend giving this book a try

  3. WILLIAM2 says:

    This novel reminds me—with its beautifully spare prose and the bleak stoicism of its characters—of three books Per Petterson's Out Stealing Horses Willa Cather's My Ántonia and Martin Amis's House of Meetings This is not meant as a statement of influence but simply one of kinship The writing in all of these novels is conversational in tone and beautifully compressed which is enormously hard to do though it appears easy Gilead is the story of a Protestant pastor the Reverent Ames who in the midwestern town of Gilead of about 1950 or so writes to his then seven year old son The pastor is dying and the letter is intended to be read when his son has reached adulthood In it the pastor speaks of his grandfather and his father and the long tradition of Christian ministry in the family that the writer assumes will not continue with the recipient of the document which we a little guiltily perhaps hold in our hands For the sense is very strong here of the reader as interloper gazing at personal documents not meant for his eyes And just as we surely know that what we read can only resolve itself in death and dissolution and we brace ourselves for that end we've been given fair warning yet despite this we find that there is no way to steel ourselves for the conclusion We know vaguely the shape it may take and yet it still moves us indescribably This to my mind is great writing and no merely clever metafictional trickery can ever supplant itChristianity is not entirely the point of the story Though the pastor has been driven by it the whole of his life and it's integral to his concern for family and flock and the natural world which he sees as pervaded by spirit at every level Faith here is the means by which Marilynne Robinson shows us her characters' humanity the tenuousness of their existence their lives of suffering and loss impermanence and fleetingness It has been wonderful for this agnostic to see how the old school middle American Christianity used to work in a good man That is to say how it drives him to ecstasis to open heartedness and love and an almost unbearable joy It's pretty heady stuff No doubt those so inclined will find the novel a powerful affirmation of faith which is a fine thing My point is that it would be a mistake to read it solely as a Christian novel Masters like Naguib Mahfouz and Isaac Bashevis Singer have produced similarly powerful fictions using far different religious contexts And Ms Robinson's excellent work like theirs transcends its religiosity to bring us something deeply universalVS Naipaul wrote in one of his books on Islam that the great gift of religious people is their confidence How lovely I've always felt to be able to take solace in such belief The Reverend Ames never wavers in his faith but it is only by constant self uestioning that he's able to sustain it Life is suffering I have been wrong when I've thought of faith as an opiate For the thinking person it is as challenging as any other form of mindful living

  4. Elyse Walters says:

    Utterly absorbingjust finished it Unbearably moving At the beginning I fantasized such a letter from my own father As a child I use to look up at the sky and wonder where he was and yes talk to him and imagine him talking to me There are sentences that I read several times the ones I thought about when walking between reading sessions I saw a full moon rising just as the sun was going down Each of them standing on its edge with the most wonderful light between them It seemed as if you could touch it as if there were palatable currents of light passing back and forth or as if there were great taut skeins of light suspended between them For me writing has always felt like praying even when I wasn't writing prayers as I was often enough You feel as if you are with someone I feel I am with you now LUMINOUS BEAUTY and a darn good story to the very last page

  5. Michael Finocchiaro says:

    A beautiful book of great wisdom and tenderness Melancholy but hopeful It well deserved the Pulitzer for Fiction in 2005 and surprisingly Marilynne's second book written 24 years after her first Housekeeping which I have also reviewed here on GR In Gilead Iowa Rev John Ames is a 76yo preacher married to a much younger woman with whom he has a 7yo son The time is the 50s and Rev writes this book to his son regretting that he will soon be dead while his son is still a child so he wanted to leave something concrete about himself for his son to read when he is older So the book talks about Rev Ames relationships to his own father and grandfather both also parsons who are both long since passed away as well as other anecdotes about how he met his wife and some of the philosophical and spiritual uestions with which he strugglesIn these musings he speaks of his grandfather who lost an eye in the Civil War and fled Iowa at one point across the border into Kansas When Ames is a boy he and his father seek out the tomb of the grandfather and this adventure marks the boy forever They find the grave and tidy it up and and as they finish they saw a full moon rising just as the sun was going down Each of them was standing on its edge with the most wonderful light between them It seemed as if you could touch it as if there were palpable currents of light passing back and forth or as if there were great taut skeins of light suspended between them P 16 Ames memories of his grandfather are like a man everlastingly struck by lightning so that there was an ashiness about his clothes and his hair never settled and his eye had a look of tragic alarm when he wasn't actually sleeping P 57 This symbol of ash also appears when the original church of Ames' father burns down and the folks of the village are rummaging through the remains as rain breaks out Times being uite poor due to the Depression his father shelters himself with Ames under a wagon and they share an ash flavored biscuit that the father had in his jacket pocket it was truly the bread of affliction because everyone wad poor then P 117Ames loves his son and dotes on him but feels an immense gulf of age between them His descriptions of the boy and his mother playing are priceless like this one There's a shimmer on a child's hair in the sunlight There are rainbow colors in it tiny beams of just the same colors you can see in the dew sometimes P 60 Or You appear to be altogether happy I remember those first experiments with fundamental things gravity and light and what an absolute pleasure they were And there is your mother 'Don't go so high' she says You'll mind You're a good fellow P127On of the themes that the latter part of the book focuses on increasingly towards the end is the rather ambiguous character John Ames Jack Boughton the son of Ames' best friend Rev Boughton who Ames had baptized as a baby Jack spends a lot of time with Ames's wife and son and has some theological arguments with Ames For a while he is portrayed kind of like Ivan Karamazov the eternal doubter and manipulator and I even thought he might have aims on the Rev's family should he pass away Without giving away any spoilers let us just say that Robison masterfully portrays this character as astonishingly humanIn summary it is an extraordinary book and deserves to be read again and again I'll close with this beautiful passage from towards the end of the book which I think sums up what Ames really is saying throughoutThough I must say all this has given me a new glimpse of the ongoingness of the world We fly forgotten as a dream certainly leaving the forgetful world behind us to trample and mar and misplace everything we ever cared for That is just the way of it and it is remarkable P 218

  6. Julie says:

    Reading Road Trip 2020Current location IowaMy reread of Marilynne Robinson's Gilead had me suirming the past two weeks like a child in church enduring a boring sermonBoring? No not boring Deep profound and at the time very unwantedI've been feeling edgy and petulant these last two weeks I actually pulled my mask off in a grocery store the other day panting with claustrophobia I've been agitated; and I certainly haven't been in the mood to listen to some dying man drone on and on about the good and bad old daysI wanted to be shipwrecked on an island where the only residents are Viggo Mortensen clones I've wanted sweaty cave sex I've wanted Tarzan Treasure Island The Blue LagoonBut instead I got a dying old man the Reverend Ames and his painfully slow storyMy reading experience of these past two weeks has reminded me that sometimes a good book lands in the right hands at the wrong timeI tripped all over this read and I could only chew forlornly at it for 10 pages at a time I wanted to shout at the Reverend Ames THIS JACK BOUGHTON GUY WANTS TO BONE YOUR WOMAN OLD MAN STOP TALKING ABOUT FUCKING FORGIVENESS AND MAKE A TESTOSTERONE SMOOTHIEI wanted to corner his much younger wife in the hallways of their little home and whisper you know you want to fuck this Jack Boughton guy so just take the shitty old Buick and drive out of town to the cemetery and ride him like it's your last will and testament It won't be long before you can't drive stick anyIt was almost like the the old minister talked about purification through fire and water the darker my thoughts became I wanted to burn all of our face masks in a bonfire skinny dip in the frigid waters of our white trash pandemic plastic pool and savagely swat every damned devilish mosuito to death in our yardI was so relieved when I arrived at this particular passage of the minister's incessant rantIf the Lord chooses to make nothing of our transgressions then they are nothing Or whatever reality they have is trivial and conditional beside the exuisite primary fact of existence Of course the Lord would wipe them away just as I wipe dirt from your face or tears After all why should the Lord bother much over these smirches that are no part of His Creation?Whew Okay he's saying God understands that this pandemic is making me lose my mindThe truth is Marilynne Robinson's writing is so damned inspired my entire copy is filled with post it notes now in addition to all of the original pages I dog eared back in 2004 when I read it the first timeIt's a five star novel that deserved the Pulitzer but I don't recommend reading it during a pandemic

  7. Kj says:

    Dear SonThe Too Little Too Late Dilemma of Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead It’s deceptively tempting to approach a book like Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead and see only the main character’s theological musings After all in a novel about an old man reminiscing about faith and family there’s a plethora of weighty spiritual content; everything from careful exegesis of Genesis 22 to references to Karl Barth’s Epistle to the Romans Needless to say this is no simple “I remember when” fable of love and loss Issues are being grappled with weighed and eschewed However to review the novel from a theological stance cannot merely mean discussing old John Ames’ opinions on war forgiveness or predestination That job belongs primarily to his congregants and family within the narrative The uestion I the reader encountered was of the theology of a book wherein the entire premise is of a man wishing to leave a testament of his “better self” p 202 for his seven year old but spends his final days journaling instead of spending time with his son This is the battle I fought with John Ames and Marilynne Robinson throughout my reading It began when I realized that about every four pages I found myelf drowsing off to sleep or thinking of topics far beyond the narrator’s journal entries As I had approached the novel with great enthusiasm fiction at last I wondered what could be sending my mind off into orbit Why the dissociation? From the frustration with not being able to stay focused from page to page paragraph to paragraph soon emerged actual anger I found myself choosing to put the book down and find other activities almost as if to spite the narrator Something was wrong I was refusing to sit passively and listen With a little reflection this is what I discovered I was incredibly angry that John Ames was writing on and on about how much he loved his son and his wife and how he wished he wasn't about to die and there he was “reflecting” instead of living Enter the transference I realized how little tolerance I had for the “nobility” of a strong silent type preacher man finally unloading the deepest parts of his heart and soul onto paper instead of through interaction The drowsiness coming over me was of not wanting to listen to this man write I wanted to see him take action I didn’t want to honor him by reading his last testament because I do not respect the idea that somehow as long as you say what you feel before you die it doesn’t matter how little you expressed to those around you until that point The book brought up anger with my father his father and the generations of uiet long suffering missionary type men I am descended from Though I am not a man nor very uiet I know about long suffering and I could not suffer the boredom or veiled anger that lay between the lines of John Ames’ memoirs I wanted to rip the journal from his hands and essentially tell Marilynne Robinson that I refuse to applaud her character’s poetry theology or self reflection when he is in essence taking the easy way out of sharing himself I’ll admit there are plenty of passages in the novel that show Ames’ growth and interaction with others Even the fact that he married late in life reveals that he was unsatisfied persisting in the loneliness of listening to baseball games on the radio writing sermons and hiding from neighbors when they knocked on his door However all his loving descriptions of sunsets children’s laughter and the smell of raindrops appear hollow the moment he starts describing his son playing outside as he writes In that the entire purpose of the novel is for this aging father to express his heart to his son for all the descriptions of moments of communion p 103 I gained no sense whatsoever of how this father related to his son Every human interaction Ames Robinson writes is marked by constraint weariness and shy civility The aching lack of intimacy in this novel made every page a grueling ordeal to wade through “Take action” I shouted “Stop writing” I’m left to wonder what Robinson feels about her main character I sense that she adores his humble though never naïve faith and the grace he tries to offer others But the portrait she paints or at least the format she has chosen to use counteracts any message I might derive from the old preacher’s wisdom and experience By writing the story as a last testament in progress Robinson has created an utterly passive character a true bystander of the life he is narrating I don’t believe this was her goal We are clearly supposed to revel in the homely and kindly spiritual reflections of a faithful old coot that is continually surprised by beauty But for this passive bystander I felt mostly pity and uite a bit of anger Another perspective however is that Robinson has rightly captured the unfortunate experience of so many pastors especially of Ames’ and my grandfather’s generation that of distance and objectivity My grandfather once spoke of a minister he served under who believed it was un Christian for a minister to befriend his congregants because it would cloud his ability to pastor Can we even imagine a pastor who would not eat supper at a parishioner’s home? Does Ames’ loner uality his reticence to become entangled simply reflect the expectations put on a country preacher? This was the time and the concept persists in some realms where the pastor was expected to run every aspect of the church Ames’ statement that everyday felt essentially like Sunday because once one sermon was over it was already time to work on the next p 232 233 reflects the overburdened lifestyle of one who is expected to shepherd whole congregations by sheer determination and will power with no rest or support system other than other local pastors Boughton This symptomatic lone wolf uality made it difficult for me to believe Ames’ speculations on relationships because I could hear his strained resentment trying to come out It finally emerges somewhat in regards to being given a godson without his consent and over Jack Boughton’s flagrant disrespect for others I have not written much of Ames and Jack Boughton mostly because the character was introduced far too late in the novel to bear the climactic significance it was clearly supposed to have The real story should have been how Ames chooses to reveal himself and be present with his young son not his struggle to give grace to his black sheep of a godson That is indeed significant but is again un served by the journal format of the book The developing story of Jack Boughton’s struggles have no place in Ames’ letters to his son Confined by Robinson’s poorly chosen device the last fourth of the book despite being the most readable breaks the rules set in the beginning of Ames writing to his son Instead the reader encounters Robinson’s clunky exposition about the life of a character we have not been effectively convinced to care about Overall this is my greatest criticism for the novel both artistically and theologically it’s nearly impossible to care for these characters when they are introduced as part of an avoidant old man’s journal entry The richer story to be told here is that of an old man opening his heart through action and engagement with his community after a long life of loneliness In order to experience this part of the story Robinson needed to give us voices other than Ames to listen to Ames’ emotional distance in interpersonal relationships makes his spiritual and poetic ruminations fall short of the impact Robinson so clearly intended This novel made my heart ache; wanting the silent men in my life to get up from their journals and actually say what they’re thinking And this perhaps is too much to reuire of a novel Is it too much to reuire of these old men as well? Isn’t the real point of a last testament the admittance that too much has gone unsaid? Should we celebrate a theology that waits too long to speak?

  8. J says:

    This is not a review I wrote something that aspired to be a review but fell short In the end all you really need to know is that I loved it I finished it standing in line at the grocery with tears running down my face because it was that beautiful It’s the ruminations of a man at the end of his life it’s confession it’s revelation it’s a parable in a parable It’s hopeful Read itI found this uote written on a scrap of something in my purse I know than I know and must learn it from myself

  9. Jason says:

    My 4 year old son is going to diesometime in the future like me wishfully long after me and we'll have no time to talk We should hopefully grow old together but we'll grow old together as men Yes we'll always be father and son but for the most part when we talk and share he will be a man What should I tell him now as a boy? He's too young to remember but I have so many things I want to say to teach to protect There are things I want to tell him that are important now that are things he will need to know when he becomes a manWhat if I die unexpectedly and soon What will I tell my son then? Nothing He'll only have short gauzy incomplete memories of me doing something random with him Teaching him to brush his teeth buckling his car seat throwing him into the air comforting him when the thunder cracks; a dreamlike seuence of me passing through his thoughts being present during an action laughing at something he's done somewhere That's not enough If that had happened with my father I would have the slimmest perception of who he was and from what human stock I was beget I wouldn't know my fatherIt's like this with my maternal grandfather He and I were never men together I was a boy he was a man and then he died My memories of him are far too narrow Christmas vacation in out county Kentucky a family reunion in a church basement him sitting with unknown relatives under a tree drinking lemonade during a summer so humid I remember perspiration under his arms and old man breasts and him calling black people 'the colored' Whenever he left the house he wore a wool hat respectable perfunctory polished like men in the 1950s and a cane was hooked over his knee when he sat under that shade tree calling people 'the colored' I so desperately want to know that man my grandfatherI still have my father I knew him when I was young; I knew him as my superhero father; I know him as a man Thank God I hope it pans out this way with my son But again if it doesn't then what do I tell him now that will guide and foster him into adulthood?The answer is a journal Capture my thoughts now so that he can read them as a man whenever he's ready Pass my wisdom to him now my thoughts my lessons my umbrage Exactly that is the story of GileadThe father is in his mid 70s in poor health nearing the end His son is 7 The father is a minister like his father and grandfather before The time is 1956 Kansas The entire book is a journal entry for his son not to be read until he grows up and becomes a man and maybe not even then if the son decides against reading it That's his prerogative But at least the father makes it available to the son The entire book is a beautiful confessional of short thoughts on life entries almost like one of his thousands of hand written sermons bundled up with twine in the attic He uses the written space to reveal family history personal passions his philosophy his love the guiding influences of his life The book starts I told you last night that I might be gone sometime and you said Where and I said To be with the Good Lord and you said Why and I said Because I'm old and you said I don't think you're old And you put your hand in my hand and you said You aren't very old as if that settled it I told you you might have a very different life from mine and from the life you've had with me and that would be a wonderful thing there are many ways to live a good lifeIt seems ridiculous to suppose the dead miss anything If you're a grown man when you read this it is my intention for this letter that you will read it then I'll have been gone a long time I'll know most of what there is to know about being dead but I'll probably keep it to myselfp 3What a beautiful idea Thoughtful responsible loving timeless My son will be a man longer than he will be a child Childhood and adolescence are critical for human development and building basic personality traits but reason judgment and wisdom wait to arrive until adulthood That's when I need to talk to my son So unless I can promise my son I'll always be there I need to sit down collect my thoughts and start writing a long letter to him It will tell him how I grew up and learned about myself; it will tell him my joys and my strengths and my fears; it will tell him how I would do it all over again exactly the same way and not to be so hard on himself; I'll tell him how I met his mother and how our lives turned out so differently from the plans we made but still so wonderfully; I'll tell him how I watched him grow up and rolled his ghostly thin and white belly skin between my fingers; I'll tell him how carefully he tottered over uneven ground; tell him how he always woke up with the same crazy bed hair no matter the season or the length of hair or where he slept always splayed out in the back and ruffled on the left; I'll tell him how I loved him in so many ways and know he'll be a great man and brother and father; I'll tell him people are mean but not always; I'll tell him I loved rain to any other kind of weather; tell him to read often; tell him to write to his kids And when I write my journal I'll have moments like this I'm sure I have been looking through these pages and I realize that for some time I have mainly been worrying to myself when my intention from the beginning was to speak to you I meant to leave you a reasonably candid testament to my better self and it seems to me now that what you must see here is just an old man struggling with the difficulty of understanding what it is he's struggling with p 202 Gilead is uniue because of the subtle power of its narrative It's a short book with simple writing yet the father wrestles with the complexities of his faith the enormity of life and the profundity of culture and social values Hidden beneath the plangent chords of his testimonial are approaches to deep chambers of religious philosophy and human nature Marilynne Robinson achieves an awkward but successful balance in the book between on one hand a laser focus on spirituality and on the other a broad comprehensive account of one family's history and nature It works and it won the Pulitzer However for me the book would have been better if the father wasn't a minister and instead something general like a farmer entrepreneur or laborer Why? Because a minister lives his profession always unable to filter his thoughts and experiences through any other than a spiritual sieve Everything a minister does is guided by religious precedent biblical law and morality and Godly intent This minister the father was a good Christian so there was only minor human infraction to reveal and never scandal or salaciousness to confess Instead that kind of debauch was revealed in the confessions of a few members of his congregation The minister led a life that was both very human but also very sterile Compassionate but not very intriguing Every man sins yet there was very little confession from the minister When I write to my son I will reveal from my life the embarrassments the pejoratives the vice and the shortcomings that make me whole I think that's realisticAnother great comment Why do I love the thought of you old? That first twinge of arthritis in your knee is a thing I imagine with all the tenderness I felt when you showed my your loose tooth Be diligent in your prayers old man I hope you will have seen of the world than I ever got around to seeing only myself to blame And I hope you will have read some of my books And God bless your eyes and your hearing also and of course your heart I wish I could help you carry the weight of many years But the Lord will have that fatherly satisfaction p 210 And so 4 year old son of mine if this review happens to be one of the written items you use to piece together a picture of your father let me tell you this I love you I love your smell when you cry the color on your cheeks in the summer your early sense of humor the spitting laugh you hold back when I tickle you and the lines on the bottoms of your soft pink feet You don't necessarily have to be religious but I think the secret to the world is to is to love one another Be nice Always take care of your siblings even if they take a wrong turn here or there That happens Take your time find the right spouse and please have kids Your dad gave Gilead 4 stars; give it a try Maybe therein you'll see something of meNew words susurrus lour fungo mutatis mutandis irrefragable swain miscegenation

  10. brian says:

    paul schrader called his book on the films of bresson ozu and dreyer transcendental style in film sorry mr schrader for reducing your book and theory to a one liner but the transcendental style goes something like this the intentional evenness and flatness both visually and dramatically of these films work to create a ‘lifting’ or revelation at the end such as one may receive after hours of intense prayer study or meditation as much as a book can fit within this category i think Gilead does traditional narrative is replaced by the writings of one John Ames a dying 77 yr old congregationalist minister – future readings intended for his young son in the form of warnings anecdotes memories lessons and personal thoughts mostly on god existence belief morality and family not nearly as heavy as it sounds the tone's actually mellow and melancholy and conversationali have the same problems that other atheistsagnosticsskeptics have with religion and its adherents but unlike many of them i see no inherent problem in belief without proof in fact i see something beautiful almost in deeply held religious belief a confession remember when that tom cruise scientology video was leaked a while back? the one in which he was universally ridiculed and parodied by all non scientologists? well a part of me was envious of him envious of the focus and intensity and aggression and passion he felt for this thing that seems so wildly ridiculous to me belief is something we all crave we crave it so bad it hurts and it makes us crazy it turns us into self righteous assholes or hateful fundamentalist evangelicals or bitter fundamental atheists or suicide bombers or pacifists etc but i can’t believe not in that sense anyway i’m just not built that way i’m scared shitless of an indifferent universe and a lack of absolute morality and the certainty that i will die and that every single person i know and love will die and that all of us me and you and martin luther king and hitler every one of us are just slabs of meat in a casket after we’re gone but even that can’t make me believe without proof and i waver between priding myself on adhering to the sad noble truth rather than the feel good lie and between desperately wishing i could lighten the horrible burden of existence with the belief that we're all part of something larger than any of us can even fathomand Gilead offers the best understanding i’ve ever read concerning all of this stuff from the POV of one who holds a deep unwavering belief in god and prescribed morality totally unexpected from a contemporary author in the days of falwell robertson warren vs hitchens dennet dawkins Gilead is a gift for the lover of literature and for the religious person and perhaps than anyone for the open minded skepticJohn Ames writes I have always wondered what relationship this present reality bears to an ultimate reality Our dream of life will end as dreams do end abruptly and completely when the sun rises when the light comes And we will think All that fear and all that grief were about nothing But that cannot be true I can’t believe we will forget our sorrows altogether That would mean forgetting that we had lived humanly speaking Sorrow seems to me to be a great part of the substance of human lifeif that last line doesn't do something to you you ain't human

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