Angle of Repose

Angle of Repose

by Wallace Stegner, Jackson J. Benson
4.0 66

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Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner

Stegner’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of personal, historical, and geographic discovery
Confined to a wheelchair, retired historian Lyman Ward sets out to write his grandparents' remarkable story, chronicling their days spent carving civilization into the surface of America's western frontier. But his research reveals even more about his own life than he's willing to admit. What emerges is an enthralling portrait of four generations in the life of an American family.
"Cause for celebration . . . A superb novel with an amplitude of scale and richness of detail altogether uncommon in contemporary fiction." —The Atlantic Monthly

"Brilliant . . . Two stories, past and present, merge to produce what important fiction must: a sense of the enchantment of life." —Los Angeles Times
This Penguin Classics edition features an introduction by Jackson J. Benson.

For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101075821
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/01/2000
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 592
Sales rank: 44,282
File size: 860 KB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Among the other novels of Wallace Stegner (1909--1993) are The Big Rock Candy Mountain (1943), Joe Hill (1950), All the Little Live Things (1967), The Spectator Bird (1976); Recapitulation (1979), and Crossing to Safety (1987). From 1945 to 1971 Stegner taught at Stanford University, where the writing program is named after him.

Date of Birth:

February 18, 1909

Date of Death:

April 13, 1993

Place of Birth:

Lake Mills, Iowa

Place of Death:

Santa Fe, New Mexico


B.A., University of Utah, 1930; attended University of California, 1932-33; Ph. D., State University of Iowa, 1935

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Angle of Repose 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 66 reviews.
gettin_picky More than 1 year ago
My mom got me started on Wallace Stegner with The Big Rock Candy Mountain. I went on to read almost all of his novels. This is my favorite by far. He does tend to go on and on about the landscape, I skimmed over alot of those parts. The story itself though is worth it. I thought about this book for probably a good month after I finished it. I will read it again someday.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This novel can't be over-praised. It's courageous, lacks cant, is packed with human sensitivity without compromising its literary integrity to political correctness. AND it's simply tremendous art -- something of which there's too little in contemporary literature. Treat yourself to this one folks, you'll be reading a work they'll be teaching as a literary classic in 100 years.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this novel after having enjoyed one of his other works, 'Crossing to Safety'. I enjoyed this novel and am awed by Stegner's abilities to paint a picture of 2 very different eras in time and the people who lived in them. Both eras are historical to a modern reader as the narrator is a retired professor dealing with the radical changes in the 1970s. I do however believe that I enjoyed 'Crossing to Safety' more as this book was very long and it seems that the same themes were hammered away at too frequently.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book pulled me up and down, and ultimately entranced me with its interwoven tales of love, history and family relationships. I had expected a happy ending (hence, the 'Angle of Repose' which I thougth this was leading to), but ended up developing a new understanding of love, expectations, and forgiveness. I couldn't help thinking about these characters and their situations long after I finished, and had to go back and re-read many parts to appreciate how fiinely crafted this book is.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book mainly because of the development of the characters.The narrator's life has become limited by his physical condition and he explores his world through the lives of others. He struggles for independence in a dependent body. He begins to live the story he is researching and writing from his grandparents letters. He draws us into their lives as they leave a cultured life in the East to find a life in the West. The reader becomes involved with their struggles to survive and to love each other. At the same time we become involved with the narrator and his personal demons of pain, limitation and isolation. The story flows back and forward through time and relationships and all the while feels real and solid-like the title of the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I do agree that Stegner has the ability to describe an era wholly and beautifully such that the reader can actually 'be' there. But, there were times when I thought the narrative would never end. It became tedious to read at times and I had to force myself to finish it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Read this book if you savor fine description of an environent and characters that live and breath.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved it but I did not love it as much as Crossing to Safety. Too much description of the desolate desert and extremely long-winded on the difference between Oliver and his wife - I get the point.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Angle of Repose' has the ingredients of great fiction -- precise depiction of scenery and states of mind without being overbearing about it (Stegner writes primarily as a historian, not as a psychological novelist) and a concentration on dramatic incident and decision. The book is flawed by being a bit too long, but the length is necessary in order to establish the background for Susan's fateful decision. The parallel stories also add to the novel's sense of illumination, although it is unbalanced too much in favor of the past. Still, Stegner does a good job of tying them together so as to give the novel closure, something which many contemporary writers are too craven to do.
PeggyBrooks More than 1 year ago
I feel so inadequate to critique anything written by Wallace Stegner. It is my opinion that his literary skills are unequaled amoung American writers, and should be required reading at least at the college level, if not by late high school scholars. Without revealing any of the final details of his story, Stegner forwarns, only through his writing style, of a tragedy surely to be revealed before the story ends. The reader sensing this, wants to reach out to each character who will be affected to forwarn them of impending danger. A rescue could only be obtained through the author. A magnifient read. As soon as I finished reading this book I immediately began to read it again.
mglundgren More than 1 year ago
Stegner pens a masterwork of fiction, an epic story that earned him a Pulitzer. The writing and storytelling are superb.
Dreamer22 More than 1 year ago
Through book club & personal choices, I read alot and have not been captivated by a book in a while. This maybe starts slower but picks up & keeps getting stronger until the end of the story. I turned down many pages (didn't have a highlighter) and read aloud several sentences/paragraphs to a friend I was traveling with. Many statements are extremely thought provoking. Don't know why I hadn't heard about this book until recently. I'm recommending to my book club and will offer to lead discussion!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a remarkable piece of art. I started it on a friend's request and had trouble getting into it. After pushing through the first 80 pages I was hooked. All throughout the novel I marveled at the brilliant writer Stegner is. He captures his characters so completely and paints the early west in such vibrant colors the book jumps to life. What's more is the way he wraps you in, I ached, groaned, and felt joyus for each character in turn. The message, the 'angle of repose', rings all too clear. A fabulous read, I'd recommend it to any mature reader.
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of the best books I've read in a very long time, harking back to a pre-minimalist style, with rich prose, strongly developed characters, and a most compelling story. Some of the writing is so clear and true that you really do feel it in your bones. Much better than his also- good but somewhat self-indulgent 'Crossing to Safety,' whose characters were not nearly as sympathetic or well- developed, and whose story faded in the second half of the book. Read them both, but 'Angle of Repose' is the superior achievement of this wonderful writer.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wallace Stegner's ability to graphically describe both settings within this book brings each character to life. The reader, male or female, is completely drawn into the story. I didn't want this one to end.
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cocobelle More than 1 year ago
The book is fascinating because it covers an important period in US history and one that few of us know much about. Stegner does this through sensitively drawn characters and fantastic descriptions of the West before there were settlers there. He employs a novel structure in building his novel...he creates an author who is looking at the scenes through his grandmother's letters and brings her story to life. We read it in our book club and it led to a very lively discussion of the characters, their motives, their flaws and their strengths.
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