Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Reviews - Modern Library 100 +

Angle of ReposeAngle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A beautiful book, full of beautiful questions.

The narrative is two stories.  One is the story of a grumpy, frumpy old man who is limited to his wheel chair.   The other is the narrative that the grumpy, frumpy old man attempts to construct about his grandmother.   The narrator in retelling the life of his grandmother hopes to freeze time.   Freezing time allows an author to record a snap shot of time.   The book is a discussion about books deadened on library shelves.   The narrator uses American History as a personal fetish.

The narrator in the story hopes to nail history to the time of 1890.  He can't get past the human flaws that intersect to tell a story.   The fault lines make up the flawed man.  The author hopes to bend these fault lines into a particular shape of his choosing, and liking.      The shaping of truth is what an author does, but all truth is limited to the scope of what the writer keeps and what he edits.

Angle of Repose, also shows that American Democracy is never simple but a complex system run by men who are screwed up, and do the best out of their circumstances, with the weak and strong cards they hold.

 A great discussion on truth telling in a particular time.  I enjoyed this book a lot.

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