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Posted November 8, 2003
Worth the effort
After finishing this book I offered it to my mother, who works with families in similar circumstances as a mental health therapist, and she couldn't get past the first fifty pages. It is utterly painful reading at times, not for the prose but for the slow, inevitable march toward doom you can see escalating throughout the book, culminating in Peyton's seering monologue. Driven to tears to laughter to tears again, this is not a book of light reading, nor is it a book designed to deflate one's faith in mankind. I would describe Lie Down in Darkness as a novel probing human fallibility, pain, and loss--things that all of us have to deal with in our lives. It's worthwile if for only that reason. That Styron should elevate the story through marvelous use of the language suggests, in some sense, the seriousness with which he takes this story. I recommend this book for anyone looking to see people as they often are: weak, tired, sad, despondent.
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Posted August 21, 2014
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