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The Bridge of San Luis Rey (1927)

by Thornton Wilder

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,0661012,180 (3.78)195
This beautiful new edition features unpublished notes for the novel and other illuminating documentary mate- rial, all of which is included in a new Afterword by Tappan Wilder.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)
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» See also 195 mentions

English (98)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  All languages (101)
Showing 1-5 of 98 (next | show all)
Felt kind of weird about this one - really enjoyed the beginning and ending but everything in the middle I could haven taken or left. ( )
  skolastic | Feb 2, 2021 |
A thoughtful little book, very moving. ( )
  helenar238 | Oct 31, 2020 |
I read [b:Our Town|205476|Our Town|Thornton Wilder|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1442891231l/205476._SY75_.jpg|3119231] in high school, many, many years ago, and remember enjoying it. This is the first since that I have read of Thornton Wilder. The story is about a bridge, a rope bridge. A bridge is all about architecture (and engineering: can’t force an analogy to fit), and I was amazed at the architecture of this novel. Four stories, each of which could stand on its own, interwoven not only by the overarching story of the failed bridge but also by the characters’ lives. Each story beautifully written and told with the complete composition beautiful on an entirely different level.

Who cares about beauty and architecture if the story is not compelling? But it is. The characters are odd, but very memorable. You feel something for each of them. Some you want to help. Some you want to shake some sense into. The Marquesa de Montemayor is certainly my favorite, followed closely by Manuel, Esteban and Captain Alvarado. Such an odd collection of characters I have not met since The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. My only regret is that I don’t know Spanish and therefore could not appreciate the passages in that language. ( )
  afkendrick | Oct 24, 2020 |
When the ancient woven bridge collapses in Peru, 5 lives are lost.
This tells a brief story of those people and how their lives had intersected before the accident. It also tells of the people who loved them. ( )
1 vote LindaLeeJacobs | Feb 15, 2020 |
strangely moving. a masterclass in characterisation, summary, and an interesting structure that breeds pathos and bittersweet irony ( )
  boredgames | Feb 2, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 98 (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 (28 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Wilder, ThorntonAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Abrahams-van Raalte, J.H.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Baeza Villena, RicardoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Banks, RussellForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Banks, RussellForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bartocci, MaurizioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bergsma, PeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Boyle, KayIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bozic, MilanCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Buhofer, InesNachwortsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Butcher, LawrenceIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Charlot, JeanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cohen, MarkCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Colan, LauraCover Photographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Costa Clos, MercèTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Costain, Thomas BEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
De Bosis, L.Traduttoresecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Drevenstedt, AmyIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Filep Sándor,Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fuentecilla, EricCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grimm, GerdCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Groenendaal jr, M.H.cvrsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Herlitschka, Herberth EgonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hicks, GranvilleIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jakobeit, BrigitteÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Janez GradišnikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Johansons, AndrejsTulk.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jong jr, Maarten deIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kent, RockwellIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kobayashi, Shoshichisecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Koene, SimonIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kosztolányi, DezsőTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Le Bihan, Samuelsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leighton, ClareIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lejarraga de Martínez Sierra, MaríaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lez de Ayala, Pilarsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lobato, MonteiroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martin, FrankIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maugham, WilliamIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McNeill, J. M.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Neis, Edgarsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nix, RobertCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Oldenburg, PeterDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Perlstein-van Raalte, A. vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rémon, MauriceTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reed, DanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Settimanali, Collana Gli OscarIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Soosaar, EnnTÕlkija.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Teixidor, DídacTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vatain, JulieTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Waterson, SamNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilder, TappanAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Калашников… Е.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Голышев В.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Голышева Е.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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.
…the Conde delighted in her letters, but he thought that when he had enjoyed the style he had extracted all their richness and intention, missing (as most readers do) the whole purport of literature, which is the notation of the heart. Style is but the faintly contemptible vessel in which the bitter liquid is recommended to the world.
Some days he regarded his bulk ruefully; but the distress of remorse was less poignant that the distress of fasting.
His favourite notions: that the poor, never having known happiness, are insensible to misfortune.... that only the widely read could be said to KNOW that they were unhappy.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

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.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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HighBridge Audio

An edition of this book was published by HighBridge Audio.

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HighBridge

An edition of this book was published by HighBridge.

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