- Wise Blood: A Novel © 1962
- Farrar, Straus and Giroux
- 236 pages
This book is overwhelming. O’Connor has a knack for placing her vividly imagined characters in bizarre (yet somehow appropriate) situations.
I’ve often thought that “classic” novels should be read for the beauty of their prose–the plot is often irrelevant. For example, you can read any random chapter of War and Peace and be impressed by the writing without understanding the plot at all. O’Connor’s writing certainly has that quality, but the plot is compelling as well. It’s a one-two punch that makes the book irresistible.
Here are some of the things I loved about this book:
- The worldview is thoroughly Christian without being trite.
- The characters suffer from various mental problems, which make them real.
- The elements of the plot are often bizarre, yet are perfectly suitable for the story.
- The symbolism is deep and is woven throughout the entire story.
It’s sad that O’Connor only wrote two novels. I would love to hear from anyone who has read her novels and could recommend another novelist I would enjoy reading. For now, I’m going to pick up her short stories.