|Title||:||Mary & O'Neil (Narratori stranieri Bompiani)|
|Publisher||:||Bompiani 1 Januar 2002|
|Number of Pages||:||275 Pages|
|File Size||:||969 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Mary & O'Neil (Narratori stranieri Bompiani) Reviews
This was a good story, however his other books are masterpieces, so it pales a bit in comparison. Nonetheless, a worthwhile read.
This was one of the most amazing and spectacular books I've read from a first time author in a long time. The prose was beautiful, the story was engaging, and the characters were perfectly crafted. I fell in love with Justin Cronin's work during the passage trilogy (which I've re read twice) and then after going to his book signing for City of Mirrors last summer, I decided to give Summer Guest (which is also spectacular BTW) and Mary and O'Neil a try. Both books are quite outside my normal preferred genre of suspense and thrillers, but I couldn't put either of them down.This story is essentially the story of O'Neil going from a young adult into an adult and the struggles that go along with your interpersonal growth. It dealt with difficult real world subjects that happen to lots of people like death, major illnesses, marriage, abortion, childbirth, and dealing with a special needs child. While those subject are far from entertaining, the way they are used to move the character along felt genuine and I was able to see reflections of my own life and growth in the stories. The story is told in approximately 8 separate stories with a different primary character all which tie back together.
Most books I finish because I can't wait to keep reading them, but not so with this one; I basically finished it because I had paid for it, and because it was downloaded onto my Kindle for desktop so I could access it without an Internet connection. :-) Also, because it's a set of stories rather than a true novel, the author refers, throughout the book, back to major events in the plot as if the reader were unaware of them. This is a flaw in the editing, and could/should have been corrected as it really undermines the "novel" form. Although I wouldn't recommend this book (novel? story collection?) to friends, I am intrigued enough by the writing to check out a later novel by the same author: The Passage. Based on its reviews (and the book's popularity) it sounds like he managed something special with that one, and I'm looking forward to reading it.I can make one positive point about Mary and O'Neil -- the descriptions of cancer treatments are quite realistic, including the camaraderie one can experience in the chemotherapy rooms and the cumulative nature of the fatigue / side effects. While I have not had to endure this myself, someone very close to me has, and the cancer treatment scenes in this novel more or less accurately reflect his experiences.Back to negatives, however, I found the book's discussions of abortion to be a unrealistically over-the-top -- the author makes it sound like every woman who has ever had an abortion is later traumatized by it, which in fact is far from true. Also, I wondered if Mary was heading toward psychosis at some point -- based on things she experienced and saw in the book (I won't give details here) -- but I suppose you'll just have to read it if you want to know what I'm talking about, since I don't want to give spoilers....Also, the descriptions of physical locations in this book lacked important detail. For example, I'm from the St. Louis area, and when one of the characters is trying to tell a child about St. Louis he doesn't even mention Busch Stadium, or the Mississippi River / the Riverfront, or the ARCH, for goodness sake. To me this shows a lack of research or at least a lack of observation about important aspects of the book's settings.And finally, character development -- there were a lot of inconsistencies. Kay is first depicted as quite cold and "mysterious", but then turns out to be this heroic, always loving and always supportive sister to O'Neil -- that's weird. The mom (I have already forgotten her name) is portrayed as suffering from a reverse Oedipal complex toward her son, but then reverses that when she meets her son's very Renaissance-woman girlfriend -- who is possibly the most likable character in the book, though she only appears on a few pages. O'Neil's mother also seems shrewish toward Jack, Kay's husband, and comes off as pretty unappealing as a result of all that, and then her husband (O'Neil's dad) comes off as a cold fish who wants to cheat on his wife, but perhaps doesn't have the courage (or something like that?). The plot device involving them seems unrealistically dramatic too (again, I won't give details). The total effect is that it's hard to embrace these characters, as it's difficult to really know them. I also don't feel like I know much about Mary at all, even though her name appears in the title of the book.... and so on.That said, I admire anyone who can pen a readable first novel, and Mr. Cronin has accomplished that -- it just seems that, with more thorough editing and plot/character/form/setting development, this could have been a much better book.
Cronin's first published novel, I went after it after being mesmerized by his Passage trilogy and was not disappointed. Memorable characters, pithy writing, a book for quite moments when one can patiently let the lovely flow of language spin the tale.
Justin Cronin is indeed a writer with staying power. The first book of his I read, "The Summer Guest," moved me deeply. He writes in prose that dances across the page, offering luminous and often breathtaking sentences. His understanding of the human heart seems well beyond his years. Now I've read this work and know he's a writer who seems to write for me. His epiphanies come in surprisingly subtle ways, like jewels just discovered. I am not going to summarize any of the book because others have done it better than I can. All I can say is get any of his books and settle in for a journey that's full of life as we live it, and full of what makes life meaningful. He stands beside some of the wonderful discoveries I've made in my reading life, the ones who still awe me with their writing and understanding: Herman Hesse, J.D. Salinger, Kurt Vonnegut, Saul Bellow, Tolkien, and John Updike's short stories. Yes, I think he's that good.
I had never heard of Justin Cronin until I came across The Passage a few years ago. I really enjoyed The Passage and The Twelve after it. Cronin's writing style is amazing, and I find myself staring at the screen at the end of many chapters stunned by what I just read. I decided to read Mary and O'Neil, because I enjoyed his writing so much, and it did not disappoint. If you are like me and are coming across this book after reading The Passage trilogy, be warned that Mary and O'Neil is nothing like the apocalyptic setting found in that trilogy. What is there is the perfect prose and great storytelling I have found in all three of the Cronin books I've read so far. I'll be moving on to The Summer Guest next and can't wait for book three of The Passage trilogy. Bravo!