Sophie's Choice Paperback – Mar 3 1992
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"Students preparing research papers and students boning up for class will reach eagerly for these well-designed additions to accessible literary criticism for high school students." --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
About the Author
Born at Newport News, Virginia, in 1925, William Styron was educated at Duke University. He served in the Marine Corps during the last war, and was recalled to service during the Korean War. After 1952, he lived mainly in Europe, before settling in a rural part of Connecticut. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Being the southern gentleman that he is, I was surprised and impressed by the skill with which Styron wrote of male lust; it preoccupied the narrator to a frenzied yet comic extent and any writer who can write of male lust well will get a tip of the hat from me.
I've been reading a lot of contemporary fiction lately and Styron has a refreshing moral seriousness (and not at the expence of intelligence or art) that many writers now do not attempt. The antithesis of this type of writing would be someone like John Barth, who in his own plodding adademic way seems to think that he himself is very clever and funny. Styron seems to have the weight of the world on his poor shoulders, and in this respect, and in the clarity of his descriptions, he reminds me of Tolstoy.
However I am wary of writers who often take on humungous subjects which they have no intimate, personal experience with. And this is the main thing that bothered me about Sophie's Choice. I of course understand that writers must tackle things they have no experience of (unless they are alarmingly solipsistic and self-absorbed, like Updike) but when a writer living in the comforts of America goes on and on about Auschwitz for some reason it really bothers me. Some things should not be spoken. Also the catalog of cruelty often came off the same way that sensationalistic journalism comes off; it almost makes light of the cruelty by attempting to understand it.
Must also recommend any book by Elmore Leonard or Thomas Wolfe
Sophie's Choice was my first awakening to the concept of style. The long, windswept passage, for which I may have developed an unhealthy predeliction; the vigorous attention to the right word - there is even a passage in the novel describing Stingo's, that is, the narrator's, almost masturbatory pleasure in words, pacing madly about his extravagantly pink apartment and chanting words aloud, struggling over whether to use "undoubtedly" or "indubitably"; the use of an innocent, fish-out-of-water, first-person narrator, viewing an exotic milieu completely afresh ("a place as strange as Brooklyn," says Stingo), who, by entering into another character's confidence, permits the author an omniscience he might not otherwise believably have been able to enjoy.
It is a long book, but I finished it quickly, reading it, largely on the strength of my father's not-ignorant recommendation as one of the two best books he'd read in the last ten years, whenever I could: at school, at home, walking, in the car, on the toilet, anywhere. There were parts I found a little tedious, a fact indicative, probably, of the mentality that results my generation's constant inundation with (admittedly very important) WWII information and literature and movies and etc.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
It is a big book in every way....I loved the writing and the story....and the flawed characters...
Finished it last Saturday, then watched the movie starring Meryl Streep and... Read more
I realize that this book was well read in its time and most people I've spoke too love it, but I find it a difficult read in places. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Jamie Villeneuve
fantastic book just very heavy and serious. Superbly written with incredible details. A must read book followed by the movie.Published on Feb. 6 2014 by Jason Leizer
What a book! What a movie! How could anyone NOT like anything Styron wrote, especially this masterpiece? Read morePublished on March 19 2007 by Billy Pilgrim
Although Styron is obviously influenced by such dubious writers as Thomas Wolfe and Faulkner, he nonetheless avoids the delusional granduer of the former and the pervasive... Read morePublished on Jan. 6 2007 by Garrick O.
I've only read one other book that was as jaw-dropping and mind blowing as this one, and that was THE BARK OF THE DOGWOOD with its themes of child abuse, southernisms, and... Read morePublished on Feb. 11 2005 by J.Jones
My mom recommended this book to me (having only seen the movie herself), and I thought it was wonderful. Styron tells a great story and keeps the reader interested throughout. Read morePublished on July 8 2004
What a book! What a movie! How could anyone NOT like anything Styron wrote, especially this masterpiece? Read morePublished on Feb. 6 2004
I was recommended to read this book. I did. And I was awfully disappointed. The language was very coarse ~~ it doesn't do any justice to the English language at all. Read morePublished on Nov. 13 2003