The Bridge of San Luis Rey

The Bridge of San Luis Rey

Book - 1990-1999?
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"The Bridge of San Luis Rey," Thornton Wilder's second novel, won him the first of his three Pulitzer Prizes. The novel opens in the aftermath of an inexplicable tragedy--a tiny footbridge in Peru breaks, and five travelers hurtle to their deaths. Most townspeople think to themselves with secret joy, "Within 10 minutes myself...." But for Brother Juniper, a humble Franciscan friar who witnesses the catastrophe, the question is inescapable: Why those five? Suddenly, Brother Juniper is committed to discover what manner of lives these five disparate people led--and whether it was divine intervention that took their lives, or a capricious fate. Wilder maintained in his works that true meaning and beauty are found in ordinary experience. This is especially true of "The Bridge of San Luis Rey." From the very beginning to the stunning conclusion, the listener is absorbed into the individual stories of the five victims, and how their destinies intertwine.
Publisher: Cutchogue, N.Y. :, Buccaneer Books,, [between 1990-1999?]
Copyright Date: ©1927
ISBN: 9780899668536
0899668534
Branch Call Number: FIC WIL
Characteristics: 148 pages ; 21 cm

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m
m0mmyl00
Apr 19, 2018

I chose to read this as a precursor to my trip to Peru. It was something of a chore to read, but I did plod through to the very end. It posed the question about why those particular people were on the bridge when it collapsed. Was it divine retribution? Random? It didn’t captivate me, perhaps because the question doesn’t captivate me. Since it’s a “famous” book, I can’t help but feel that the shortcoming was in me rather than in it. I’ll not likely read it again, though, and won’t recommend it.

ArapahoeAndrew Aug 02, 2016

One of those books where you wonder "what's the point of this?" while reading, and once you finish you realize that's exactly the point. Descriptive language with a meaningful, reassuring message.

TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 05, 2016

Given the beauty of the language and the mere 140 pages of the story, there is no reason not to read The Bridge of San Luis Rey. Unfortunately, in such a short space, there isn't time to really connect with the characters.

very odd writing style with which I am not comfortable. None of the characters matter as they tumble over the bridge into oblivian and the surprise burning of the author as a heritic has little appeal to human interest nor does it struggle to take its place as an interesting sidebar to the history of the inquisition.

ParkRidgeRS Nov 09, 2011

Overall our evening book discussion found Wilder's novel to have a unique style, it was impactful, and spoke of universal truths. The theme resonates today with its message of love, our mission in life, and our purpose. The majority of our group found it excellent, but all agreed that it was a interesting, creative, and enjoyable read.

g
GummiGirl
Oct 18, 2011

Dated, but well written with some memorable characters.

l
ladyparasol
Nov 18, 2010

This book is brilliant. Writing is so good it almost makes you cry.

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