Friday, January 30, 2009

Golden Gilead

So I had to read Gilead again because Robinson's new book arrived from Amazon a few weeks ago. I read through Gilead twice four years ago (has it been that long?), but since her new book Home is something of prequel (so I hear, anyway) I figured I needed to reacquaint myself with the story of John Ames first.

Well, once again I am amazed at how good Gilead is. I'm afraid Home is not going to measure up. I haven't read any reviews yet, so I'll just wait and see.

Last night I remembered this gem from Pastor Ames (writing in the 50's). He's talking about a Bible study at the church that he was leading.
Two or three of the ladies had pronounced views on points of doctrine, particularly sin and damnation, which they never learned from me. I blame the radio for sowing a good deal of confusion where theology is concerned. And television is worse. You can spend forty years teaching people to be awake to the fact of mystery and then some fellow with no more theological sense than a jackrabbit gets himself a radio ministry and all of your work is forgotten. I do wonder where it will end.
It will never end. Some things never change.

8 comments:

Ben said...

I bought and reread Gilead in the last few months, and I really need to get my hands on Home.

I have read at least one review, that one indicating that Home is at the very least a worthy companion piece, certainly close to Gilead in quality, if not equal. So there's hope.

shookfoil said...

Dude,

Home is most certainly equal to Gilead, though in very different ways. Giving nothing away, Gilead is meditative journal entries from an old sage, where Home is straightforward narrative. But it's one powerful story with lots of resonance. Every man I've spoken to that's read the book--all much more tough-guy and manly-man than am I--has cried at the end. Let's see if you're tough enough to escape that fate...

Jeff Meyers said...

Thanks, Jamison. Sounds interesting. I should begin Home tomorrow. But I don't cry. I make women cry.

Tom Clark said...

Jeff,

You will like Home - totally different view, but just as challenging - it amazes me how much she understands about the burdens of pastoral work - especially the challenges a pastor faces ministering to his own family.

Tom Clark

mozart said...

"Gilead" is an absolutely perfect book. "Home" is different, so comparisons don't make much sense here, but Robinson's story-telling abilities are second to none. I'm a little miffed she has not gotten the attention she deserves from the Christian world. I vividly remember "World" magazine devoting a cover spread to Ann Rice while Robinson's works got buried somewhere in the middle of the magazine. Arrrgghhhh!!

Jeff Meyers said...

Oh, Mozart, don't get me started. You haven't even mentioned all the hype over that idiotic, ridiculous book _The Shack_. It is dreadful, sophomoric literature and heretical theology, but my kids get devotionals based on it in their Christian school! I'll just stop now before I get into trouble.

mozart said...

"The Shack"! I left a copy of it somewhere in the bathroom! I couldn't finish it even in there. Good grief, there are devotionals in a Christian school based on this crap? Man, oh, man.

Matthew said...

"I left a copy of it somewhere in the bathroom"

It's like the letter Samuel Johnson is alleged to have written. "Sir, I am in the privy. Your book is in front of me. Soon it will be behind me."