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You Can't Go Home Again Paperback – Jul 23 1998

3.3 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Paperback, Jul 23 1998
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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 720 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (July 23 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060930055
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060930059
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13.5 x 4.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #712,397 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

"If there still lingers any doubt as to Wolfe's right to a place among the immortals of American letters, this work should dispel it."

-- Cleveland News

"If there still lingers any doubt as to Wolfe's right to a place among the immortals of American letters, this work should dispel it."-- "Cleveland News""Wolfe wrote as one inspired. No one of his generations has his command of lanuage, his passion, his energy."-- "The New Yorker"""You Can't Go Home Again" will stand apart from everything else that he wrote because this is the book of a man who had come to terms with himself, who was on his way to mastery of his art, who had something porfoundly important to say."-- "New York Times Book Review"

""You Can't Go Home Again" will stand apart from everthing else that [Wolfe] wrote because this is the book of a man who had come to terms with himself, who was on his wa to mastery of his art, who had something profoundly important to say." -"New York Times Book Review"

"Wolfe wrote as one inspired. No one in his generation had his command of language, his passion, his energy." --Clifton Fadiman, "The New Yorker" --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From the Back Cover

George Webber has written a successful novel about his family and hometown. When he returns to that town he is shaken by the force of the outrage and hatred that greets him. Family and friends feel naked and exposed by the truths they have seen in his book, and their fury drives him from his home. He begins a search for his own identity that takes him to New York and a hectic social whirl; to Paris with an uninhibited group of expatriates; to Berlin, lying cold and sinister under Hitler's shadow. At last Webber returns to America and rediscovers it with love, sorrow, and hope. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
So as far as I'm concerned, the book is fantastic. It's both engaging and humorous in all the right placed. What I fail to understand is why this particular book has so many glaring mistakes - as though someone typed it up without a word processor. I'm giving this two stars because I suspect that this is akin to the original manuscript, mistakes and all, and while perhaps I read the product description wrong, I see no reason for these to be published. And I quote, "...although published posthumously and heavily edited from Wolfe's surviving manuscripts..." is in the description. But I found several instances of 'be' instead of 'he'.

I'd tell everyone to go out and buy this, but do yourselves a favour and make sure you get the one that actually has the mistakes corrected. I won't be sending it back, but I'll definitely buy from some other maker (on amazon) next time.
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Format: Hardcover
Thomas Wolfe's book "You Can't Go Home Again" is undeniably an immortal American classic. What is truly impressive and unique about Wolfe's writing is not only the intuitive incisiveness with which he articulates human thought and emotion; but just as astonishing, is his ability to articulate these things with utter and precise clarity.
There is not one sentence in his book that does not make total sense upon first reading. If it seems not to, it is only because the reader has skipped a line. With a vocabulary that is vast, but which he uses with unique precision, Wolfe tells the story of George Webber, a writer, who is in essence, Thomas Wolfe, the writer. Wolfe ultimately sees himself as an artist that is an observer of human thought and action. But in addition, one that has an obligation to do what one can, to stamp out ugliness, violence, injustice, inhumanity, and so many other wrongs that rear their heads in society from time to time.
Yet, even with this extraordinary brilliance, clarity, and understanding of the human condition, like all great writers and great artists, he leaves the reader with a question. If clearly, it is his understanding of his personal duty, his personal philosophy to work to do what one can do, to end injustice, then why, is he, personally, always running away? As the book is a picture of one always on the move, always observing people, always changing venue, but wisely with great proficiency and efficacy, storing these experiences away as he seeks his understanding of the human condition; he is constantly yet on the move. And so, how does one work to stamp out injustice, if one is always running from the place he is at, and believes "He can't go home again?" This then becomes the challenge to the reader as well.
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Format: Paperback
There's little doubt that Thomas Wolfe was a good writer, but he wasn't a good storyteller, a fact made abundantly clear through the long, winding, often pointless tangents he embarks upon in You Can't Go Home Again. There are times when Wolfe covers years in a couple of pages and others where he spends six chapters describing one evening in New York, which gives the whole story the jarring motion of riding in a car with someone who's never driven before. Some of the tangents, like detailing the lives of Esther Jack's servants or describing the mythical C. Green who jumps off a building, have little meaning to the story and could have been left out entirely without damaging the piece.
This is what I mean by Wolfe is a good writer, but not a good storyteller. There's no technical fault with his writing, but it lacks the focus, the cohesion of a good story; it attempts to tackle everything instead of focusing on one or two key issues. I suppose part of this problem was that by the time the book was published, Wolfe was dead from TB--the book was assembled by his editor from tons of notebooks--and the editor did the best he could to create a unifying thread by trying to make it about George Webber's journey to enlightenment. Although the problem is that the story ends up being a gigantic "come to realize story" because it isn't clear what, if anything, Webber is going to do now that he's unlocked the secrets of the universe.
The learning and changing occurs within Wolfe's own mind, spewed out in the last 5 chapters as a letter to his former editor. As I said, though, what action he plans to take is unclear.
There were parts of this book that were interesting, flashes of brilliance.
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Format: Paperback
"You Can't Go Home, Again" is really not so much a work of fiction as an autobiography in which the names of characters have been changed. Wolfe seemed unapologetic about the baldly autobiographical nature of his work. However, some may perceive his autobiography as evidence of a certain lack of creative reach and an aversion to creative risk-taking on his part. Wolfe's life was so deeply and richly lived in a relatively short period and so lyrically written that his autobiography reads as vibrantly as fiction. There are moments when Wolfe is brilliant and dazzling in describing moments of almost biblical epiphany. I suppose it's a good thing for Wolfe that he dove so deeply into his own life as it was tragically brief but intensely experienced and elegantly articulated: he managed to cram a great deal into his short lifespan. Wolfe reads quite a bit like Proust and in this novel the sentences in some places are nearly as long as the syntax of Proust. Wolfe could well be considered the Proust of the American South. Writers will especially value this work and it pays to read to the end as Wolfe's last novel is particularly revealing in its power and optimism and lyricism at its close: "What befalls man is a tragic lot. There is no denying this in the final end. But we must deny it all along the way. Mankind was fashioned for eternity." In the end Wolfe finds a comfortable home upon a promontory point in America's literary landscape. To understand the life of the writer in America at the outset of the 20th century during a Golden Age for the novel I recommend this worthy and enduring gem of that era.
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