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Wallace Stegner ↠ 6 Read

Ation in established itself as one of the greatest and most cherished American novels of the twentieth century Tracing the lives loves and aspirations of two The narrator of this novel Larry Morgan at one point says to his wife But if I m going to set the literary world on fire the only way to do it is to rub one word against the other Not only did Wallace Stegner likely set the literary world on fire with this book he set me on fire Can you imagine reading an entire book about the long friendship between two couples and being left gasping at the end longing for The characters in this book primarily Larry and his wife Sally and their friends Sid and Charity Lang have personalities that are indelibly etched in my heart I know these people not just from the outside but because parts of each one are or have been parts of me too at one point or another in my life At the very least I was definitely them and they were me during the course of reading this bookThe places I have never been that are described in this book are places as familiar to me now as they would be had I grown up there The trees the smells the weather changes the variants in the sky I know them all intimately from reading this bookWallace Stegner does not need plot devices at all to draw his readers in close enough to live in the book I don t know how he does it but he does with wit with compassion with understanding and with careI definitely want to read of Mr Stegner s writing this year This book was a lovely gift to myself and I plan to repeat the action over the coming months I also highly recommend that everyone gift themselves with at least a couple of Wallace Stegner s novels this year if at all possible

Read ë PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB ↠ Wallace Stegner

Crossing to Safety

Called a magnificently crafted story brimming with wisdom by Howard Frank Mosher in The Washington Post Book World Crossing to Safety has since its public Books like this are why I read Despite some dark passages it s a delight to read and I m adding it as one of my all time favoritesThe story follows two couples through life It s an academic novel in a sense both men start out as English professors at the University of Wisconsin in the difficult years of the late 1930 s the end of the Depression heading into WW II The hunt for the Holy Grail of tenure and discussions of suitable academic work that will get tenure is one theme poetry novels literary criticism Each year the two couples get together at a summer family compound in Vermont owned by the wealthier coupleThe introduction tells us that Crossing to Safety is a love storyin the sense that it explores private lives No outsider ever knows the interior landscape of a marriage It is one of the great secrets kept between couplesThe hunt for love is always on and in some tragic truthful stunning way it forever eludes us One family is much wealthier than the other and helps the former out with a loan that they pay off over time In chapters that alternate between their present older age 60 s and their younger years we learn about their romances and their struggles view spoilerBoth families have children and their ups and downs and health issues one woman spends time in a mental institution the other gets polio she s in an iron lung for a while and for the rest of her life has crutches and eventually metal braces on her legs hide spoiler

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Couples who move between Vermont and Wisconsin it is a work of uiet majesty deep compassion and powerful insight into the alchemy of friendship and marriage Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed if we permit the last virgin forests to be turned into comic books and plastic cigarette cases Wallace StegnerAs with A Gentleman in Moscow and The Heart s Invisible Furies the inescapable popularity of this book on Goodreads was the white flash of a rabbit s tail that first caught my eye Then as I dipped into the lavish reviews it became the godlike voice that boomed at me through thunder clouds Do thyself a favour mortal and REEEAD THIS BOOOOK it resoundedSo that s exactly what I didI would just like to add at this stage that a plethora of five star reviews isn t always a reliable indicator of a book s calibreThe story spans several decades and is told by genial culture vulture Larry Morgan a writer who marries during the Great Depression a man prepared to suffer for his art so long as he has his wonderful wife Sally by his side He remarks that it was beautiful to be young and hard up if you had the right wifeThere is a let s get it all out in the open honesty to Stegner s writing His direction though is steered by optimism This is an urbane version of Steinbeck An erudite glass half full Steinbeck He is highbrow yet humble scholarly yet folksy And as if his elegant no nonsense prose wasn t enough he proceeds to tick almost all my literary boxes by gilding it with some wonderful imagery cattle grazing in the distance are described as being tiny as aphids on a leaf Brilliant Back of the net Stegner In a scene reminiscent of an episode of Frasier Larry and his wife are beguiled by like minded aesthetes the Langs who invite them to their fancy schmantzy dinner party The foursome become lifetime friends and the thrust of the story is as much about them as it is the MorgansTheir very human dynamics will ring many readers bells because this semi autobiographical tale gives us the sense of being allowed to pry into the highs and lows of people s personal lives over a period of several decades Despite his literary success Larry is often embarrassed at being able to enjoy a comparatively comfortable lifestyle without ever needing to roll up his sleeves and commit to a proper job his father was a farmer He also recognises that there is to life than the tinsel of literary praise so true This was my first read by this astonishingly gifted author and it shan t be my last Stegner was clearly at one with nature and a charming aside about Achilles the Tortoise immediately reminded me of dear old Gerald Durrell Oh and the women in this book are given eual billing to the men which is always a good thing in my view Because this human story was capably written and wonderfully realised it didn t need any flash bang wallop or bells and whistles It s ostensibly a book where a seasoned author has taken his time and allowed his love of words to drive the narrative


10 thoughts on “Crossing to Safety

  1. says:

    Books like this are why I read Despite some dark passages it’s a delight to read and I’m adding it as one of my all time favoritesThe story follows two couples through life It’s an academic novel in a sense – both men start out as English professors at the University of Wisconsin in the difficult years of the late 1930’s – the end of the Depression heading into WW II The hunt for the Holy Grail of tenure and discussio

  2. says:

    Does it seem ironic that a book I’ve awarded a full pentad of stars is also the cause of great frustration Not when I tell you that my problem has nothing to do with the novel itself but rather in conjuring the right words to do it justice You see every account I run through my head makes it sound boring than it is I guess I should just

  3. says:

    There are some books that seem to have tiny leaks in their spines and covers and pages and release almost unnoticeable misty smoky particles of their story – well not so much their story but the mood that is created by the story – out into the “real” world And when reading these books you find – or at l

  4. says:

    Seen in geological perspective we are fossils in the making to be buried and eventually exposed again for the puzzlement of creatures of later eras Welcome to Wally World No not the one with Chevy Chase and a stiff relation on the car roof the one that is a place of real literary wonder Wallace Stegner is one of our great national treasures and Crossing to Safety is a very rich read a surprising look at the friendship b

  5. says:

    A Lost WorldOnce upon a time there was an American Republican President named Eisenhower Ike wasn’t a very smart man but he was not an evil man He didn’t like the way the world was run not even in his own country But he remained calm in his

  6. says:

    The narrator of this novel Larry Morgan at one point says to his wife “But if I’m going to set the literary world on fire the only way to do it is to rub one word against the other” Not only did Wallace Stegner likely set the literary world on fire with this book he set me on fire Can you imagine reading an entire book about the long friendship between two couples and being left gasping at the end longin

  7. says:

    How do you make a book that anyone will read out of lives as uiet as theseStegner did it We follow two married couples from their brig

  8. says:

    How STRANGE I assumed based on the endless 5 star ratings out there for this book that it was going to be a slam dunk for meBut this book which is the story of two couples Larry and his wife Sally and their friends Sid and Charity bugged the heck out of meI'm SORRY This is may be the seuel to my controversial Prince of Tides experience in which I just couldn't find the love for a beloved classicI'll start off by sayin

  9. says:

    Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed; if we permit the last virgin forests to be turned into comic books and plastic cigarette cases —Wallace StegnerAs with A Gentleman in Moscow and The Heart's Invisible Furies the inescapable popularity of this

  10. says:

    The warm shudders I experienced as I sank into each night with this book on my lap the stunning imagery of diminished time against an unchanging landscape and the uiet story of academic couples faced with tragedy makes me certain that Stegner will be an author I grow with this year This year I made a pact with

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