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So Long, See You Tomorrow (Vintage Classics) (original 1980; edition 2012)

by William Maxwell

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907339,716 (3.9)59
Member:regrettable
Title:So Long, See You Tomorrow (Vintage Classics)
Authors:William Maxwell
Info:Vintage Classics (2012), Paperback, 176 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
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So Long, See You Tomorrow by William Maxwell (1980)

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English (26)  Spanish (4)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  All languages (33)
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
Mid way and only reading as I fall asleep and the book drops from my dead hand. The book circles its subject and is clearly post modern. All in all I am getting into it but I can see why I fall asleep sometimes sooner than I ought.
There is a core story which reminds me of The Great Gatsby in the kind of inevitability of the shabby love affair ending in tragedy. And then there is the back story of a narrator who feels he did a dis-service to the son of the man who murdered the mother's lover. But somehow for me the two did not connect and furthermore it served to disconnect the reader from the tragic love affair too. So a kind of double whammy which meant that the novel was less than satisfactory. Very well written and compact - you can tell he must have written short stories. ( )
  adrianburke | Aug 7, 2014 |
William Maxwell is a master and this is considered to be one of his finest works. I can't judge because this in the only novel of his that I have read, but it certainly makes me want to read more of his work. he is an excellent writer. The prose flies along and the story is terrific. Well worth a detour. ( )
  SigmundFraud | Aug 4, 2014 |
One has to carefully read every single word. But it's worth it! I loved this book. ( )
  annwieland | Jul 19, 2014 |
After slogging through two 700+ page novels in the past couple of months, I have to say, reading this sparse but sad and beautiful book was a true pleasure. Now this is a story. In my opinion, it takes more talent to tell such a detailed, concise and emotional tale than to simply keep on typing to fill pages. I just happened upon this short novel by Maxwell but plan on reading more of his work in the future. ( )
  viviennestrauss | Mar 22, 2014 |
Such a beautifully constructed little book. Maxwell does a wonderful job painting a picture of grief from an adolescent point of view, which is to say an inability to actually engage it head-on -- so it swoops in from different angles, POVs, narratives, echoing the narrator's reluctance to lay his hands directly on his own pain. Really effective, and something I'll probably go back to in order to look more closely at its workings. And in general just a wonderful, human novel. ( )
1 vote lisapeet | Jan 4, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
Told from the viewpoint of an old man who feels guilt about his broken connection to a high-school friend after the friend suffers a terrible trauma, the story is sad, primal, deeply American. The writing is as clear and sharp as grain alcohol.
 
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The gravel pit was about a mile east of town, and the size of a small lake, and so deep that boys under sixteen were forbidden by their parents to swim there.
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What we, or at any rate what I, refer to confidently as memory - meaning a moment, a scene, a fact that has been subjected to a fixative and thereby rescued from oblivion - is really a form of storytelling that goes on continually in the mind and often changes with the telling. Too many conflicting emotional interests are involved for life ever to be wholly acceptable, and possibly it is the work of the storyteller to rearrange things so that they conform to this end. In any case, in talking about the past we lie with every breath we draw.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679767207, Paperback)

In this magically evocative novel, William Maxwell explores the enigmatic gravity of the past, which compels us to keep explaining it even as it makes liars out of us every time we try. On a winter morning in the 1920s, a shot rings out on a farm in rural Illinois. A man named Lloyd Wilson has been killed. And the tenuous friendship between two lonely teenagers—one privileged yet neglected, the other a troubled farm boy—has been shattered.Fifty years later, one of those boys—now a grown man—tries to reconstruct the events that led up to the murder. In doing so, he is inevitably drawn back to his lost friend Cletus, who has the misfortune of being the son of Wilson's killer and who in the months before witnessed things that Maxwell's narrator can only guess at. Out of memory and imagination, the surmises of children and the destructive passions of their parents, Maxwell creates a luminous American classic of youth and loss.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:25:27 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

[In this book, the author] explores the enigmatic gravity of the past, which compels us to keep explaining it even as it makes liars out of us every time we try. On a winter morning in the 1920s, a shot rings out on a farm in rural Illinois. A man named Lloyd Wilson has been killed. And the tenuous friendship between two lonely teenagers - one privileged yet neglected, the other a troubled farm boy - has been shattered. Fifty years later, one of those boys - now a grown man - tries to reconstruct the events that led up to the murder. In doing so, he is inevitably drawn back to his lost friend Cletus, who had the misfortune of being the son of Wilson's killer and who in the months before witnessed things that Maxwell's narrator can only guess at. Out of memory and imagination, the surmises of children and the destructive passions of their parents, [the author] creates a [story] of youth and loss.-Back cover.… (more)

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