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The Bridge of San Luis Rey: A Novel by…
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The Bridge of San Luis Rey: A Novel (original 1927; edition 2004)

by Thornton Wilder

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,723582,151 (3.78)91
Member:deborahk
Title:The Bridge of San Luis Rey: A Novel
Authors:Thornton Wilder
Info:Harper (2004), Edition: 1st pr of this, Hardcover, 160 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:audio; lima peru, bridge collapse, accident, death, history, orphan, actress, priest

Work details

The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder (1927)

18th century (16) 20th century (42) accidents (20) American (52) American fiction (17) American literature (100) bridges (17) classic (74) classics (61) death (22) fate (18) fiction (532) Heritage Press (14) historical fiction (51) Latin America (13) literature (107) novel (121) own (14) Peru (124) Pulitzer (46) Pulitzer Prize (78) read (35) religion (20) South America (40) Thornton Wilder (15) to-read (34) tragedy (15) unread (23) USA (16) Wilder (13)
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» See also 91 mentions

English (57)  Spanish (1)  All languages (58)
Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
Read in a break from Bleak House.

As an aside I had never known of the Marquise de Sevigne before reading the end notes of this edition. I had imagined Wilder had invented the character of the Marquesa entirely, and was amazed.

She grew to love them so, that she would catch herself gazing deep into their black and frowning eyes, looking for those traists that would appear when they grew to be men, all that ugliness, all that soullessness that made hideous the world she worked in. ( )
  ben_a | Mar 25, 2014 |
This wonderfully descriptive short novel is one that you can easily read in an afternoon. As I continue my quest to read the books on the MLA Top 100 Novels list, this was one of the ones I had not read previously. I must say I am sad that this was my first exposure to the book. It is one I will likely return to from time to time.

Wilder paints a vivid picture for the reader, and the book is so richly descriptive that I had trouble putting it down once I started. Wilder has the gift of transporting the reader to a different place at a different time and letting the reader experience this tragic event first-hand. He also brilliantly weaves together a storyline from several different perspectives describing the impact of a single situation on several lives. ( )
  Drmeghollis | Dec 19, 2013 |
In Thornton Wilder’s classic novel a disaster is the catalyst for an examination of the lives lost. “On Friday noon, July the twentieth, 1714, the finest bridge in all Peru broke and precipitated five travelers into the gulf below.”

Thornton goes on to create rich and insightful histories and stories for the victims. He writes about love, jealousy, hate and a large range of emotions and circumstances. The Bridge of San Luis Rey is still very relevant and readable. ( )
  Hagelstein | Nov 15, 2013 |
In 1714 an ancient bridge in Peru collapses killing five people. This book gives insight into each of their lives and a monk's attempt to determine why they died. It is an exploration of concepts such as God, fate or happenstance. In the end we realize that the main force that connects us mere mortals to each other is love. I give this Pulitzer Prize winning novel just 4 stars because I had difficulty following the language and logic. ( )
  jwood652 | Sep 28, 2013 |
This was a fantastic book. I love books that pose big questions, and the question posed in this book is one of the biggest. Having lost friends to accidents and to suicide, it's a question that has gone through my mind repeatedly - why them? What does it mean? While Wilder does not exactly answer the question (he leaves it for the reader to decide), he poses it brilliantly and beautifully. This is a book that really gets you thinking, which is how all great books should be. ( )
  Anniik | Sep 7, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
It is no exaggeration to say that on second reading I was completely blown away, not so much by Wilder's sensitive treatment of his central theme as by the richness and power of his prose.

It is an entirely remarkable book, it has lost none of its pertinence in the eight decades since its publication, and I'm very glad indeed that my old friend sent me back to it.
 

» Add other authors (25 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Thornton Wilderprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Abrahams-van Raalte, J.H.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bergsma, PeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Charlot, JeanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Drevenstedt, AmyIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hicks, GranvilleIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hicks, GranvilleIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kent, RockwellIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leighton, ClareIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Perlstein-van Raalte, A. vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To My Mother
First words
On Friday noon, July the twentieth, 1714, the finest bridge in all Peru broke and precipitated five travellers into the gulf below.
Foreword

Thornton Wilder's Bridge of San Luis Rey is as close to perfect a moral fable as we are ever likely to get in American literature.
Quotations
Either we live by accident and die by accident, or we live by plan and die by plan. And on that instant Brother Juniper made the resolve to inquire into the secret lives of those five persons, that moment falling through the air, and to surprise the reason of their taking off.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060088877, Paperback)

This beautiful new edition features unpublished notes for the novel and other illuminating documentary material, all of which is included in a new Afterword by Tappan Wilder.

"On Friday noon, July the twentieth, 1714, the finest bridge in all Peru broke and precipitated five travelers into the gulf below." With this celebrated sentence Thornton Wilder begins The Bridge of San Luis Rey, one of the towering achievements in American fiction and a novel read throughout the world.

By chance, a monk witnesses the tragedy. Brother Juniper then embarks on a quest to prove that it was divine intervention rather than chance that led to the deaths of those who perished in the tragedy. His search leads to his own death -- and to the author's timeless investigation into the nature of love and the meaning of the human condition.

This new edition of Wilder’s 1928 Pulitzer Prize winning novel contains a new foreword by Russell Banks.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:32:57 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

This beautiful new edition features unpublished notes for the novel and other illuminating documentary mate- rial, all of which is included in a new Afterword by Tappan Wilder. "On Friday noon, July the twentieth, 1714,the finest bridge in all Peru broke and precipitated five travelers into the gulf below." With this celebrated sentence Thornton Wilder begins The Bridge of San Luis Rey, one of the towering achievements in American fiction and a novel read throughout the world. By chance, a monk witnesses the tragedy. Brother Juniper then embarks on a quest to prove that it was divine intervention rather than chance that led to the deaths of those who perished in the tragedy. His search leads to his own death -- and to the author's timeless investigation into the nature of love and the meaning of the human condition.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 9 descriptions

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