The Accident

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A controlled paroxysm of despair, doubt, shaken faith and unexpected grace, Plante's taut, incantatory novel probes a consciousness on the edge of cracking up. The nameless narrator, a Catholic college student from New England (who, like the characters in Plante's Francoeur trilogy, is of French-Canadian ancestry) spends his junior year abroad in the Belgian town of Louvain. Oscillating between murderous jealousies and a vague, free-floating love of everyone, between grandiose visions and thoughts of God as total darkness, the narrator pits his agnostic outlook against the unwavering faith of Tom Donlon, a fellow American student whose naive, good-natured manner conceals his own spiritual crisis. When the two take a trip to Spain with the troubled daughter of an American businessman and her slightly sinister boyfriend, tragedy strikes, forever altering each person's destiny and beliefs. In chaste prose, this concise story grapples with whether a state of grace is possible in a fallen world, whether Catholic faith can flourish in a seemingly indifferent universe. (May)
Library Journal
In the early 1960s, the era of Vatican II, a 19-year-old college student from New England arrives in Belgium to study at the famed Catholic University of Louvain. A self-described atheist, he has no intention of ever going to mass, or to class either, for that matter. Instead, he spends his time drinking vin chaud in dismal cafes with other American exchange students--Tom, the stalwart believer from Fordham, and Karen, who has enrolled at Louvain to punish herself for being Catholic. Plante, author of the critically acclaimed ``Francoeur'' trilogy, writes in the tradition of Bernanos, Mauriac, and the French existentialists: his spare, ascetic prose addresses the problem of faith in the modern world. Recommended mainly for larger fiction collections and libraries with strong Catholic interest.-- Edward B. St. John, Loyola Law Sch. Lib., Los Angeles
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395569252
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 5/1/1991
  • Pages: 160

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