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81 Reviews
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hogwash!
Though I'm not Canadian, I too feel great shame for those Canadians who dislike Margaret Laurence and have no apparent literary taste. However, I find this book to be absolutely stupendous and absorbing. I have read it 4 times, and it only seems to get better with each read. I am not just saying this.
Never has there been a more realistic and likeable character...
Published on April 19 2002 by Gladys Laurence (no relation t...

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a great version
I was looking for an unabridged version, this is definitely not it!!!! This is a CBC radio version. For an English class it was not very useful.
Published on June 26 2012 by Erin


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hogwash!, April 19 2002
Though I'm not Canadian, I too feel great shame for those Canadians who dislike Margaret Laurence and have no apparent literary taste. However, I find this book to be absolutely stupendous and absorbing. I have read it 4 times, and it only seems to get better with each read. I am not just saying this.
Never has there been a more realistic and likeable character than Mrs. Hagar Shipley, someone everyone should be more like. Her unabashed honesty is truly heartwarming. If this is not a feel-good story, then I simply don't know what is!! This is the feel-good book of the year.... This is no overstatement.
Yes. It is sad that people die. But if people did so with as much dignity as Hagar, the world would be a better place. And, no, I am not just saying that, again.
Why hasn't this fine novel---this vanguard story--been adapted into movie form? I see the unflappable Glenn Close playing Hagar--with courage and grace. She's divine.
Those who did not like the book likely did not understand its messages. Uninformed readers are the worst.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Beautiful Story of One Woman's Life, April 29 2002
By 
The Stone Angel is a book that I felt compelled to read--it is one of the most prestigious titles in the CanLit canon. Unlike many of the "great works of literature" I've read lately, this one didn't disappoint.
The Stone Angel is the story of Hagar Shipley's life, told in her own voice. Hagar is a ninety year old woman living with her son and daughter-in-law. She is rampant with memory. Her struggles for independence are interspliced with vivid recollections of her past.
The narrative voice of The Stone Angel is astounding. Laurence is a master of the simile and provides the reader with beautiful descriptions on nearly every page. At the same time, the narration, from Hagar's lips, constantly provides insight into Hagar and the people that surround her. At times, Laurence is able to tell you more about characters by their grammar than many writers are able to tell you in entire novels. Laurence has a particularly keen sense of diction. Her dialogue reveals mountains of insight about generations gaps, economic divides, and the walls that pride builds.
Overall, this is technically one of the best books I've ever read, and one of the most pleasing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Once proud at arm's length, I became riveted!, March 30 2014
By 
Carolyn (Manitoba) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Stone Angel (Mass Market Paperback)
Many of us bristle over ‘school textbook’ and ‘award-winner’. If you imagined “<b>The Stone Angel</b>” would make a good show of refinement but isn’t a five-star page-turner: it is! I’m a gothic mystery, paranormal fan; seldom enthusiastic without a ghost. My marvel at this impressively-crafted book is absolute. It became a 2007 film. I didn’t care for it as a pupil. At 14, we find no adventure in hardship nor corporal punishment; though minor. This time, my eye caught stunningly astute, absorbing emotions.

The course I followed is that of a well-bred lady marrying a crass widower; angering her Dad. She is no shrinking violet, trapped or bossed around. We enjoy <i>‘Hagar Currie Shipley’s’</i> gumption; keeping a situation calm, or snapping back. In the early 1900s, here is a woman not steered by wagging tongues. For several chapters a compelling heroine, exquisite literary mettle, and Manitoba nature drive interest. <i>‘Manawaka’</i> is code for <i>‘Neepawa’</i>, my fiancé’s hometown and we laughed together at <i>‘Galloping Mountain’</i>. It obviously doubled for <i>‘Riding Mountain’</i>! A shift occurred by the time <i>Hagar</i> takes her youngest son to a city. Not only do the memoirs reach their peak. The page time of the elderly storyteller outweighs it. The 95 year-old version of our narrator is undeniably riveting.

As present day <i>Hagar</i> dominates, sympathy skyrockets. We are outraged her daughter-in-law <i>‘Doris’</i>, misreads <i>Hagar’s</i> competency so flimsily. We become champions against underestimating the elderly. Then an astonishing, fast-paced adventure takes place, that rises to a fever pitch! This local classic, of which I’ve been proud at arm’s length, became a novel I lapped up in two days. I’m awe-stricken by an author capable of weaving two vividly memorable threads, that culminate in the sharpest understanding. It’s a loss that <b>Margaret</b> killed herself upon a diagnosis of terminal cancer.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Writing., Jan. 9 2008
By 
Veronica "vs World" (Prescott, ON Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Stone Angel (Paperback)
I, too, was "forced" to read The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence for my 12U English credit. Perhaps not a book I would have discovered on my own this early in my life, I was pleased with the perspective it offered. It is a warning all young people should heed: You get only one chance at this life, make sure you don't spend it like Hagar Shipley did.

The writing style did not get boring. Laurence is a master of the segue.

What compelled me to write a review is not so much the book itself, but some of the other reviewers. One person wrote they were ashamed to be Canadian because they did not like this book and the author is Canadian. What nonsense! A piece of literature being good or bad is objective- it is not a statement on the validity of a nation. Give your head a shake! We should be proud to live in a country where people have the freedom to write and publish whatever they want- rubbish or not.

Read The Stone Angel. It made sense to me.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hagar Shipley Rocks, Feb. 27 2014
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This review is from: The Stone Angel (Mass Market Paperback)
I read this piece of beautiful canadiana literature when I was in high school. The story is even more poignant for me now considering the fact I have aged significantly. This is definitely a recommended read. For me, it is one of Margaret Laurence's best pieces of literature.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not a great version, June 26 2012
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This review is from: The Stone Angel (Audio CD)
I was looking for an unabridged version, this is definitely not it!!!! This is a CBC radio version. For an English class it was not very useful.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Every man will cry, Jan. 11 2012
By 
David Sabine (Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is a powerful story. I read it in my early 20s and it helped me to comprehend the complexity of human relationships.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Stunning, Sept. 17 2007
This review is from: The Stone Angel (Mass Market Paperback)
I picked up this novel and read it by choice, so my experience was a pleasurable one unlike some poor saps who were coerced into reading it. In my opinion, Laurence is one of the finest readers this country has ever produced. I find her work compelling, intelligent and always accessible. Her prose style is so effortless and simple that it seems we are reading her thoughts.

Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stone Angel, Aug. 2 2010
This review is from: The Stone Angel (Paperback)
One of the best books I've ever read! I'm sorry I waited so long to read her books.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Canadian Classic, July 3 2008
By 
B. Keith (Kingston, Ontario) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Stone Angel (Paperback)
The string of poor reviews motivated my review; makes one wonder whether this type of rating system has much validity...

This book widely regarded is a Canadian Classic, and I heartily agree. Deceptively simple language and story-telling through a wonderful character -- Ms. Hagar Shirpley -- results in extraordinary literature! While Ms. Laurence's other books in the series are also great, this one book is likely her best, as it is the most character-driven.

Perhaps the fact that so many Canadian children are forced to read this book in high school (perhaps not the best time to read a book about aging and decline), can explain a lot of these REACTIVE (i.e., emotion-based - NOT BASED ON MERIT) review.

Again, one of the Classic Canadian novels; to be re-read and savoured, like fine Canadian wine and whiskey and beautiful Canadian lanscapes...

Cheers.
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The Stone Angel
The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence (Mass Market Paperback - Oct. 1 1988)
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