Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sticking It to the Victorians

The Way of All Flesh (Giant Thrifts) The Way of All Flesh by Samuel Butler

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book was amazing, and I had a hard time putting it down, even when I was being sort of rude. I took it with me when I visited friends in Florida and kept picking it up whenever I could. It's about a child's emergence from a childhood with abusive and controlling parents into a confused early adulthood and ultimately rational manhood. Apparently, the author meant the book as a condemnation of certain Victorian views, especially about religion. The main character's father is a deeply flawed clergyman who takes his bad moods out on his son.

I really enjoyed the progress the main character makes and the sort of emotional puzzles he has to solve, like figuring out that the path that's been set for him is one he hates, and how hard it is sometimes to discover the things you really like to do. Or how unpleasant or hateful people sometimes don't get their comeuppance. I dearly love books like this that are all about the observation of human behavior and relationships. And moralizing. I can tell I'm going to be re-reading this one several times.

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B said...

I'm intrigued. May be my next selection. I'm anxious to know what you think of Edgar Sawtel. I read it about a year ago. I wasn't loving it like Oprah.

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