The Brunist Day of Wrath

The Brunist Day of Wrath

by Robert Coover
     
 

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West Condon, small-town USA, five years later: the Brunists are back, loonies and “cretins” aplenty in tow, wanting it all—sainthood and salvation, vanity and vacuity, God’s fury and a good laugh—for the end is at hand.

The Brunist Day of Wrath, the long-awaited sequel to the award-winning The Origin of the Brunists,

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Overview


West Condon, small-town USA, five years later: the Brunists are back, loonies and “cretins” aplenty in tow, wanting it all—sainthood and salvation, vanity and vacuity, God’s fury and a good laugh—for the end is at hand.

The Brunist Day of Wrath, the long-awaited sequel to the award-winning The Origin of the Brunists, is both a scathing indictment of fundamentalism and a careful examination of a world where religion competes with money, common sense, despair, and reason.

Robert Coover has published fourteen novels, three books of short fiction, and a collection of plays since The Origin of the Brunists received the William Faulkner Foundation First Novel Award in 1966. His short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, and Playboy, amongst many other publications. A long-time professor at Brown University, he makes his home Providence, Rhode Island.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Stephen Burn
…tells largely the same story as its predecessor and with largely the same approach…Yet the sequel isn't simply an echo, or a what-happens-next. The Coover of the 21st century writes with considerably more flair than his 1960s counterpart. Now Coover's sentences are more inventive, elastically shifting registers…More expansively, Coover's growth can be measured through his characters. In The Origin of the Brunists, the Presbyterian minister Wesley Edwards and a young woman named Sally Elliott are essentially stock personalities. In The Brunist Day of Wrath, Edwards has been remade with a manic comic energy and personal richness that drive a hilarious subplot…[Sally] plays a vital role, not simply as an acerbic critic of both cult and town…but also as a committed writer. A stand-in for Coover…Sally presses the novel's intellectual horizons toward the history of language, writing technologies, fairy tales, politics and historiography. Yet despite this vast range of reference and the novel's historical setting, The Brunist Day of Wrath, is, at heart, an indictment of America's current marriage of religion and politics.
Publishers Weekly
03/17/2014
The writing itself is the main attraction of Coover's beastly new novel–vivid, specific, evocative, and fiercely intelligent. Coover can sweep the reader up in the vitality of his prose, plot notwithstanding. And there is plot, albeit a shaggy, tangled overabundance of it. The fervent religious cult called the Brunists returns to the rural coal town of West Condon, five years after a tragic exile and nearly half a century since Coover first wrote about them in his debut novel, The Origin of the Brunists (1966). Condemned cult member Abner Baxter returns to town with militant religious rigor, determined to weed out all but the true believers. Meanwhile West Condon's mayor and his cronies, a motorcycle gang, and an undercover reporter named Sally all spell trouble for the Followers. Abner is arguably the protagonist, but the story unfurls like a tapestry rather than a story with a conventional (or even unconventional) arc. Open the book anywhere and find another vivid portrait of a cultist or resident, woven into the subplot of a previously introduced character, inching forward. Questions of religion, faith, humanity and society are raised. Challenging and impressive, a virtuoso work, though not to all tastes. (Apr.)
From the Publisher

Praise for The Brunist Day of Wrath:

"The Coover of the 21st century writes with considerably more flair than his 1960s counterpart." —The New York Times

"The Brunist Day of Wrath is the best, most impressive novel I've read in years." —The Wall Street Journal

"Open the book anywhere and find another vivid portrait of a cultist or resident, woven into the subplot of a previously introduced character, inching forward. Questions of religion, faith, humanity and society are raised. Challenging and impressive, a virtuoso work..." —Publishers Weekly

"What is really so lovely about the Brunist books is that, in spite of Coover's signature distance in his writing, the extraordinary breadth and depth of detail, the pitch perfect naturalism, the rigorous adherence to narrative structure, the endless development of characters and voices, all firmly establish the doubt, in the face of overwhelming Writerly evidence, that Myth and Tale have in fact stolen the show.?" —James Tierney, Golden Handcuffs Review

"Thus Coover’s second epic telling of the many stories of the Brunists and West Condon shows that stories can be, all at once, nutty apocalyptic imaginings, sprawling gigantic entertainments, terribly powerful lies, and redemptive and compassionate bridges between disparate selves. And, really, wicked fun." —The Rumpus

“There is no such thing as the Great American Novel, but this surely is one of them in its scope, sharp-eyed compassion and stripping away of hypocritical posturing. It is massive, mesmerizing, and riveting page by fulsome page, a triumph for Coover and a venomous, virulent, heartfelt vision for all of us." —Providence Journal

"“Many of Coover’s postmodernist contemporaries address similar narrative concerns, but few are so legitimately funny. His off the wall dialogue and deadpan character sketches will provoke laughter at the most apparently inappropriate situations. Whatever the key to this brand of dark, off-the-wall humour, Coover has it. He had it in 1966, and he still has it now.” —TN2

Praise for Robert Coover:

"Coover is still a brilliant mythmaker, a potty-mouthed Svengali, and an evil technician of metaphors. He is among our language's most important inventors." —Ben Marcus, author of The Flame Alphabet

“Of all the postmodern writers, Robert Coover is probably the funniest and most malicious, mixing up broad social and political satire with vaudeville turns, lewd pratfalls, and clever word plays that make us rethink both the mechanics of the world and our relationship to it.” —Michiko Kakutani

"Coover seems seriously concerned about an animal (his own kind) strung out for life between creation and destruction, two longings which twist and marry however we try to untangle them." —Ann Gottlieb, The Village Voice

"Robert Coover is one of our masters now. The tumultuous, Babylonian exuberance of his mind is fueled and directed by his equally passionate craftsmanship. He seems to be able to do anything." —Robert Kelly, The New York Times Book Review

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781938604386
Publisher:
Dzanc Books
Publication date:
04/01/2014
Pages:
1100
Sales rank:
760,270
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 2.40(d)

Meet the Author


Robert Coover has published fourteen novels, three short story collections, and a collection of plays since The Origin of the Brunists received the The William Faulkner Foundation First Novel Award in 1966. At Brown University, where he has taught for over thirty years, he established the International Writers Project, a program that provides an annual fellowship and safe haven to endangered international writers who face harassment, imprisonment, and suppression of their work in their home countries. In 1990-91, he launched the world's first hypertext fiction workshop, was one of the founders in 1999 of the Electronic Literature Organization, and in 2002 created CaveWriting, the first writing workshop in immersive virtual reality. Michiko Kakutani of The New York Times has said “Of all the postmodern writers, Robert Coover is probably the funniest and most malicious, mixing up broad social and political satire with vaudeville turns, lewd pratfalls, and clever word plays that make us rethink both the mechanics of the world and our relationship to it.” Coover has also received awards from the Lannan Foundation, American Academy of Arts and Letters, National Endowment of the Arts, and the Rea Lifetime Short Story Award.

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