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Angle of Repose (1971)

de Wallace Stegner

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
4,7701611,693 (4.26)490
Wallace Stegner's uniquely American classic centers on Lyman Ward, a noted historian, who relates a fictionalized biography of his pioneer grandparents at a time when he has become estranged from his own family. Through a combination of research, memory, and exaggeration, Ward voices ideas concerning the relationship between history and the present, art and life, parents and children, husbands and wives. Like other great quests in literature, Lyman Ward's investigation leads him deep into the dark shadows of his own life.… (més)
  1. 31
    Gilead de Marilynne Robinson (quartzite)
    quartzite: The books both feature an elderly narrator looking back at family dynamics in the past and using those reminiscences to frame their own story. They also share beautiful use of language.
  2. 10
    Cançó de la plana de Kent Haruf (sturlington)
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    The Eighth Day de Thornton Wilder (charlie68)
    charlie68: Similar themes
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    Lonesome Dove de Larry McMurtry (sturlington)
  5. 11
    How Green Was My Valley de Richard Llewellyn (charlie68)
    charlie68: Similar themes
  6. 00
    A Victorian Gentlewoman in the Far West de Mary Hallock Foote (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: The novel Angle of Repose is based on the life of Mary Hallock Foote.
  7. 00
    Winter Wheat de Mildred Walker (fountainoverflows)
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    A Sudden Country: A Novel de Karen Fisher (amelielyle)
    amelielyle: Both are novels of the American West. Both are the story of intelligent women constrained by the role of 19th century wife and mother. Part of the pathos of each story is the dissolution of those marriages. Lyrical and image-provoking writing style.
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    Penguin Book of the American West de David Lavender (Polaris-)
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Es mostren 1-5 de 161 (següent | mostra-les totes)
I don’t know, maybe it’s the pandemic...I don’t know, the premise intrigued me but the book just felt stodgy and humorless. I did love “Crossing to Safety” and “The Spectator Bird” but this one just seemed so overly self-aware all along. ( )
  giovannaz63 | Jan 18, 2021 |
Although I skimmed some of the descriptive detail I cannot give this anything but 5 stars. ( )
  FurbyKirby | Jan 5, 2021 |
Wallace Stegner is one of my favorite authors. I fell in love with his writing and storytelling when I first read [b:The Spectator Bird|11045|The Spectator Bird|Wallace Stegner|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1385095780l/11045._SY75_.jpg|949595] and was amazed when I found I enjoyed a much longer novel, [b:The Big Rock Candy Mountain|10801|The Big Rock Candy Mountain|Wallace Stegner|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1389231736l/10801._SY75_.jpg|1105171], every bit as much. So it is fair to say that I have anticipated reading [b:Angle of Repose|292408|Angle of Repose|Wallace Stegner|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1329151576l/292408._SY75_.jpg|283706] as much as anything else and more than most. Of course, with that much anticipation you would almost expect some level of disappointment. There was none. The novel is majestic. As I worked my way into it, I felt no desire to rush the experience. I wanted to savor it. If I was tired, I put it aside willingly as I did not want to miss out on any of the experience. Ultimately, though, I did not enjoy it as much as the other two novels. The characters were just as rich in detail and layered in complexity. The story was simple, and yet worthy of every one of the 531 pages. I liked and respected Oliver Ward, and I respected and admired Susan Burling Ward, but I never felt as close to them, as if they were breathing the same air I breath, as I did with the other two novels. The story did not pull me along with the urgency that I might hope for. I thought the structure of the novel was wonderfully designed and beautifully executed. I very much appreciate when an author uses a structure that blends with and enhances the story; Wallace Stegner does that very well here.

It is an incredible story, well told, that I will be thinking about for a long time. ( )
  afkendrick | Oct 24, 2020 |
I read Angle of Repose. Stegner is a completely new author for me. I loved the prose in this novel. His writing is highly evocative: I grew up in Arizona and there were pieces of the novel where he would describe the great expanses of the North American West that made me feel like I was back there with the landscape developing before my eyes.

In terms of the novel itself, I thought it was ok. The prose was really the highlight. I don't know if it's because of all the upheaval of 2020, but something about Lyman's storytelling rubbed me the wrong way in places. I'm not really in a headspace to appreciate a tale about a man discovering, due to his old age and physical pain, that women are also people with complex inner lives and small heroic acts. Perhaps another time I would have liked it more. I did enjoy reading the historical accounts and read in the foreword that many of the letters Stegner used were authentic. (He did change names, but she was a real person!) ( )
  sparemethecensor | Sep 19, 2020 |
This is a work of art. The writing is splendid, the characters compelling, and the background of the untamed American West, seen through the eyes East Coast civility, as rough as it is magnificent. Stegner offers the reader no glamorous tale of cowboys or lode-finders. Rather, he delivers a perfectly conceived story of honest people in search of the American dream and the harsh reality of shattered dreams in Western mines and canyons. This is a metaphor of American expansion and a five-star read. It made me want to go back through all of my other ratings of threes and fours here on Goodreads and lower them in comparison. Highly recommended. ( )
1 vota MMKY | Jul 3, 2020 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 161 (següent | mostra-les totes)
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When frontier historians theorize about the uprooted, the lawless, the purseless, and the socially cut-off who settled the West, they are not talking about people like my grandmother. So much that was cherished and loved, women like her had to give up; and the more they gave it up, the more they carried it helplessly with them. It was a process like ionization: what was subtracted from one pole was added to the other. For that sort of pioneer, the West was not a new country being created, but an old one being reproduced...
...the “angle of repose,” which means the angle at which dirt and pebbles stop rolling.
What interests me in all these papers is not Susan Burling Ward the novelist and illustrator, and not Oliver Ward the engineer, and not the West they spent their lives in. What really interests me is how two such unlike particles clung together, and under what strains, rolling downhill into their future until they reached the angle of repose where I knew them. That’s where the interest is. That's where the meaning will be if I find any.
Remember the one who wanted to know where you learned to handle so casually a technical term like “angle of repose”. I suppose you replied, “By living with an engineer,” but you were too alert to the figurative possibilities of words not to see the phrase as descriptive of human as well as detrital rest. As you said, it was too good for mere dirt; you tried to apply it to your own wandering and uneasy life. ... I wonder if you ever reached it. There was a time up there in Idaho when everything was wrong; your husband's career, your marriage, your sense of yourself, your confidence, all came unglued together. Did you come down out of that into some restful 30 degree angle and live happily ever after? … We shared this house all the years of my childhood, and a good many summers afterward. Was the quiet I always felt in you really repose?
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Wallace Stegner's uniquely American classic centers on Lyman Ward, a noted historian, who relates a fictionalized biography of his pioneer grandparents at a time when he has become estranged from his own family. Through a combination of research, memory, and exaggeration, Ward voices ideas concerning the relationship between history and the present, art and life, parents and children, husbands and wives. Like other great quests in literature, Lyman Ward's investigation leads him deep into the dark shadows of his own life.

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