[Free Prime] October LightAuthor John Gardner – Memovende.co

Winner Of The National Book Critics Circle Award New Directions Is Excited To Reissue The Gardner Classics, Beginning With October Light, A Complex Relationship Rendered In A Down To Earth Narrative October Light Is One Of John Gardner S Masterworks The Penniless Widow Of A Once Wealthy Dentist, Sally Abbot Now Lives In The Vermont Farmhouse Of Her Older Brother, Year Old James Page Polar Opposites In Nearly Every Way, Their Clash Of Values Turns A Bitter Corner When The Exacting And Resolute James Takes A Shotgun To His Sister S Color Television Set After He Locks Sally Up In Her Room With The Trashy Blockbuster Novel That Has Consumed Her And Only Apples To Eat , The Novel Within The Novel Becomes An Echo Chamber Providing Glimpses Into The History Of The Family That Spawned These Bizarre, Sad, And Stubborn People Gardner Uses The Turbulent Siblings As A Stepping Off Point From Which He Expands Upon The Lives Of Their Extended Families, And The Rural Community That Surrounds Them He Also Engages Larger Issues Of How Liberals And Conservatives Define Themselves, And Considers Those Moments When Life Transcends All Their Arguments


10 thoughts on “October Light

  1. says:

    Wheels within wheels Stories within stories Now that the television has been shot down dead by her brother, the heroine has nothing to do but to read indignantly a trashy thriller in isolation They might be a little like characters in movies a good deal in her paperback reminded her of movies than of life, and perhaps that was why, as she d known from the beginning, it was trash, really, or at least not the kind of book Horace would read but there was something, even in a novel like this one, that was like life than any movie could be You saw things from inside You understood exactly why everyone did everything or imagined you did so that when something went false it seemed not merely silly but what A kind of cheat, a broken confidence.Caught between inanity of the farcical pulp fiction and the foolishness of the obstinate as a couple of mules aged siblings, I felt as if I ve been caught between a rock and a hard place so I couldn t connect with the novel quite for a while In fact I stayed unplugged almost throughout the entire text regardless of the good readability of October Light.A stupid man, perhaps, and a vile toad even among stupid men, but nevertheless, well read He has discovered beyond any shadow of a doubt that all life is mechanics, that faith, hope, and charity are the desperate stratagems of people who would blind themselves to truth All men, he has come to understand, are victims, objects in fact no rational than planets good men, he s discovered by his books, are as much the victims of random concussions in the universe as are bad.How often man is a master of his own troubles the wayward one becomes the deeper one sinks in bitterness.


  2. says:

    Brother versus sister James is in his 70s in the 1970s have I ever shared my theory about guys who were hot in the 70s The theory is that they are not hot any longer D oh I m trying to be a sane goodreader now Sally has run out of money in her eighties she d be rich again in the 80s if she took the drug dealing tips from her trash novel and is forced to move in with her miserly, life hating brother His hole forces her into her own hole inside his hole er, house Partly out of fear and anger, partly because she enjoys feeling put upon It s back and forth between victim and victimizer It s that cliche about women who hold onto every little thing until years later when they bring it back out to slap you in the face with how awful you are to them James is just as bitchy of a woman as his sister Both of them are mean little fuckers where it counts The stewing is what makes them tick Old America versus new America I don t think it was probably ever the old America that old man James Page holds festering in his angry heart America with anyone but white people No one wanted money and everyone worked hard Ha It was something to get angry about His bitterments work well as door closers against his family and countrymen Sally is the kind of bigot that is okay with everyone else so long as she knows that she is still better than they are This is what comes from talking to yourself too much There is to James and Sally both in lives past than all of their versus mind games BUT, the mind games sure get in the way of most everything else Get ready for a lot of reading between the lines And waaaaay too many commerical breaks that would be the trash novel Mariel versus satire I read on that John Gardner s the first one wife dared Gardner to write one of those quasi philosophical 1970s novels like the wives of Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner put them up to writing good versions of popular works they enjoyed reading don t know how that worked out for them Okay Sally s trash novel became a chore to read Too much I really felt that way about all of October Light because the interuptions became the whole program for much of the book I was relieved to finish it It wasn t a slow burn or a quick burn of rivalry between the sibling s countries as much as it was a skipped record I did appreciate how Sally and James would go back to certain thoughts Sally s husband Horace possibly having a crush on James s wife Ariah James s guilt about his son s suicide as if they couldn t quite admit to things, and would attempt to justify the harder truths Truth versus the not whole truths I really liked this passage Whether or not he could have said what he was feeling, and whether or not it would have mattered to the world or the company that runs it, the old man was right about the meaning of that doll It was there to undo him, both him and his ghosts Whether it was true, as he imagined, that once in his childhood he d heard angels sing, and had seen them moving in the aurora borealis, it was undoubtedly true that the Muzak made certain he would hear them if in fact they were still up there singing no I felt the most then that James s resistance to television and mass consumerism could replace what was pure in his life But then he despised the Snoopy doll held by his daughter s adopted son in his sleep I remember being a kid and making company out of toys of Snoopy and the like He can take his indignation and stuff it It isn t all about him Her heart churned and for an instant she remembered how everywhere she d looked, just after her nephew had taken his own life, the world had seemed inert, like a half fallen, long abandoned barn on a still, cold day To them, it is all about them The world stopped after the bad shit This is from Sally s trash book It was one of life s mortally discouraging facts that if a psychiatrist understood you, he could beat you Nooooo Why do I keep reading books like this This is Of Human Bondage all over again Sally Books have no effect at all, no value whatsoever It s like the Snoopy doll It isn t the psychiatrist beating you If one truth has to be the entire truth, one person has to be the fucking be all to everything But that s wrong Where have we gone wrong According to this book that was Tolstoy s question Sally asks herself this often Weeeell I don t know shit I m thinking the difference between being a TOTAL asshole, and only being as much of an asshole as you can t help being, is thinking one thing the answer to everything else Keep on dancing your little Snoopy dance, Snoopy Lucy can try and puzzle it out from her advice stand, if she s lucky if she s lucky from Schroeder s piano bench Sally s dead husband, Horace Yes, sir, it s the last frontier You d think we d all get together and try to speak one language, wouldn t you It would improve understanding, advance the cause of peace Well, we never will, he d said, shaking his head, still grinning that private, insufferable grin that wasn t mean to be understood Fuck psychiatrists pinning you down Anyone pinning anyone down Horace grew quieter, stopped speaking to Sally Sally began not being able to speak enough, to anyone James resented her talkity talk, as if she were trying to beat him verbally with what he beat her with literally sticks and guns would break her bones and words also hurt So Sally accepts that it is natural to be watchful and suspicious Books are the letting down the walls because they are not asking anything in return OF COURSE they are good for something Their whole problem was this pinning shit My heart can t take this Too much time in here I need a vacation And NOT with drug smugglers I m going to rate this three stars because I was so very relieved to finish it Have you ever had an uncomfortable conversation with a family member who drags up shit you don t want to relive And you KNOW full well what they are saying but they go over and over again beating the same thing to death anyway October Light is a whole lot of that Yeah, they aren t my family But I still felt that queasy feeling in my stomach It s not that I d like something less for making me feel bad at least it hasn t stopped me in the past The partial truths are too much truths Too much philosophical stuff Too much side taking in all of their heads I feel like turning Horace and going quiet on Sally and James I m glad I was only alive for a little under three months of the 1970s P.s October Light reminded me a lot of Sam Shepard s play True West Two brothers fight it out about true life, true to life stories, changing scapes, dead family history They pretty much try to kill each other P.s.s I ll like this when the relentlessness falls away to reveal the hideaway and restless truthy times.


  3. says:

    This book was absolutely painful to read There is simply too much truth in in for me to take in at one time I had to put it down for days at a time while i digested and processed my feelings Alongside Sunlight Dialogues and Grendal it is one of the most amazing and affecting novels I have ever read The metadrama is absolutley central to the story It stands alone as fiction and gives us a searing look into the subconscious of the two protagonists Gardner is a literary genius, so completely underated even by so called Book People that I feel like an evangelist spreading the word READ THESE BOOKS The only book that I have read recently that is of comparable quality is Ford s The Sportswriter good readingmarc g


  4. says:

    The opening scene justifies every book I ve ever read.


  5. says:

    I am trying to read through all the winners of the Pulitzer Prize Despite their literary acclaim, some of these leave me less than wowed October Light is a story within a story, one of which worked for me and one did not James and Sally, elderly widowed siblings, have recently moved in together in their childhood farmhouse An argument over lifestyles, in particular the presence of the television, results in Sally locked in her bedroom and James threatening her with a shotgun The secondary story is a strange paperback novel which is missing pages about drug smugglers, flying saucers and sex which Sally reads while locked in her room The story of James and Sally and its impact on the larger community, is well rendered The enfolded paperback felt like a distraction that would never end Googling commentary on this book, I learned that the family feud was a microcosm of the Revolutionary War and that the paperback novel and the tension over the television was an exploration of the connection between art and morality Even knowing to look for these themes, I was unable to tease them out Sally and James gets 4 stars The smugglers and flying saucer gets 1 star.


  6. says:

    From the start this is clearly the novel of a man actively striving after masterpieces Each word is so perfectly chosen, it s unbelievable, and despite its length, the writing is so full of integrity that the reader can t possibly question or wonder if this could have been anything shorter than a 440 page book.But it s a daunting read, like Paradise Lost was, and like most college classes are in the sense that the author assumes you are going to devote your whole being to participating in this novel, and have no other distracting obligations I wonder if it s that I m jealous as a writer or overwhelmed as a reader that made it so difficult to read this except in small bits.And it s so worth it in the end John Gardner is a champion of realism, and there are passages in the last 40 pages that are so full of love and wisdom that it can t not hit you hard This is something I ll have to reread as I continue growing up.


  7. says:

    A re read great to have this book back in print Gardner is ridiculously under appreciated.


  8. says:

    Was absolutely struck by this novel in my youth, rereading it now I am struck again.


  9. says:

    Three in a half would be my ideal rating for this book It had excellent insights into aging and family dysfunction However, Wallace Stegner is still the gold standard for novels about cantankerous old white men Gardner s prose is very good, but it just doesn t sing like Stegner s writing does Definitely worth reading though.


  10. says:

    Oh man, did I go through some ups and downs with this book In all honesty, it took me a month and a half to finish, rivaling The Goldfinch this year in my fickle pick up and put it down routine But October Light is not even functioning on the same plane of existence as The Goldfinch can you tell I was disappointed , or anything that I ve ever read before, except perhaps Pale Fire.Right now I have a very tenuous grasp on the mirroring from the novel within a novel Maybe right now this book is a bit too slippery for me But I will return to you, several times in my life if I m lucky Can I even recommend this book to friends I barely survived, awed and then bored disconnected to the text and then slapped on both cheeks into attention It s crazy, insane yet alluring, warm, wacky I look forward to figuring out why pages are missing where they are, why we must be constantly jarred from the narrative flow, the connections between Sally s trash novel and the primary book s characters And what of all that philosophical extolling near the trash s end Its absurdist end Is it absurdist at all, or are we to believe that hope and salvation comes in many forms We must look outside our paradigm of understanding Ugh, see, I m trying.John Gardner is my favorite author I will live up to his expectations as a reader.