Gilead

Gilead

by Marilynne Robinson
3.6 110

Paperback(Reprint)

$10.07 $16.00 Save 37% Current price is $10.07, Original price is $16. You Save 37%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Eligible for FREE SHIPPING
  • Use Standard Shipping ,  For guaranteed delivery by Dec. 24.
    Same Day delivery in Manhattan. 
    Details

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Gilead 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 110 reviews.
MarcusBrody More than 1 year ago
Marilynne Robinson is at times a beautiful writer, but this novel is not a showcase for her talents. Many other readers have commented on the absence of plot, which in and of itself is not a mortal literary sin. But when enveloped in a series of platitudes that rarely, if ever, manage to transcend the mundane nature of the narrator (a surprisingly self-absorbed Congregationalist preacher named John Ames) it becomes virtually intolerable. It might have worked as a series of loosely-connected meditations, but like the good Rev. Ames himself they remain stubbornly humdrum, almost banal. There's a sense throughout the book that Robinson could not quite figure out what kind of person she wanted Rev. Ames to be - he is, at various turns in the narrative, defiant, judgmental, contrite, and resigned. Alas, these oscillations do not make for a complex character, just an inconsistent one. There are many, many passages where the Rev. Ames's voice (which is otherwise one of the few unifying elements) drops away completely, so that it feels as though you're reading a theological lecture by Robinson herself. And yet there's a surprisingly noncommittal nature to those ruminations - everything boils down to "maybe, maybe not" (at one point Rev. Ames muses that, "My point here is that you never do know the actual nature even of your own experience. Or perhaps it has no fixed and certain nature."). I heard many similar comments over bong hits in college, and they were not more penetrating that Robinson's. I say this all out of a profound sense of disappointment, as Robinson is clearly a gifted writer. And she isn't afraid to delve into history or religion. This effort, unfortunately, comes up short. With more discipline, and a bit of attention to storytelling fundamentals, this might have been a remarkable, even transcendent book. I would not recommend this book, except possibly as an effective sleep balm.
Baochi More than 1 year ago
A few years ago, I bought a used copy of Marilynne Robinson's Gilead because it won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2005 and I aim to read most - if not all - Pulitzer Prize Fiction winners through the ages. However, I was in no hurry to read Gilead based on its synopsis. The combination of a seventy-something protagonist, an obscure town setting, and a religious theme just didn't sound like the page-turning story that I confess I'm always looking to read. Eventually, I had the good sense (or dumb luck) to pack Gilead alongside several other books for a solo vacation a couple of years ago. I love when my negative assumptions are completely upended, and the object of my assumption is revealed in beautiful truth. That's exactly what happened with Gilead. What I thought would be a boring novel turned out to be a profoundly transforming one. The story is narrated by minister John Ames, who is seventy-six and dying. As a gift to his seven year-old son, John shares his meditations on life, love, family, friendship and forgiveness. He describes three generations of Ames men, the misunderstandings between them, their love. Whether John is pondering a moment or a lifetime, he is never far from its spiritual significance. Those soulful musings - rather than coming off as preachy or unwelcome or scriptural - are delivered gently, simply. The prose is spare yet arresting and beautiful. Gilead is an experience.and yes, a spiritual one I am grateful for.
JS-in-KS More than 1 year ago
An impatient, cursory reading of this book may not yield its treasures. (Bookwormiam seems to have given such a reading. The pastor most certainly does forgive his wayward namesake. And he proves that he is not too old to see his wrong assumptions and change his mind and heart.) But for those willing to settle in and let the details seep in, there is quiet wisdom and unassuming beauty. One of the few books I've ever read which, as soon as I'd completed it, turned back and began to read it through again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gilead's premise is a letter from an elderly father to his young son. A batchelor until he married late in life, and a new father in his 70s, the father writes to his son, in lieu of being present when the son grows up. Robinson gradually reveals the father's deep gratitude for becoming a father and tender love for his son and wife. As a long-time minister, the son and grandson of ministers, the father naturally writes to the boy of faith, his insights into pastoring a small town flock and Christianity. In addition, the plot very slowly unfolds (but it's worth waiting for) detailing the lives of his lifelong friends and neighbors, their family's history, and how the two families have become so intertwined. Be sure and read the companion book, Home.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I usually love pulitzer prize winners. I enjoy reading books where the literary perfection inspires me. Even more, I love reading books where I am left afterwards feeling moved. After I finished this book I felt nothing. However, this book is beautiful in the way it's written, but that wasn't enough for me. I found it boring. I really struggled through it and found I had to force myself to read every page. I hate starting books and not finishing them and the goal of simply getting to the last page is about the only reason I continued reading. There is no plot, no development of characters, and I found myself skeptical of most of the historical references. All around, I just was disappointed with this pulitzer prize winner. I didn't feel it deserved the honor.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read many books in my lifetime, but rarely have I become so completely immersed in a work of prose that I literally had to take time to breathe. Gilead is one of the best-written, most poignant journeys into the human heart and mind that I have ever read. If it is indeed rare to find a book that leaves a permanent etch upon our minds and lives and changes how we live, then Gilead is the rarest of jewels, multifaceted and deep, and unshakeable in both its permanence and its humanity.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of my favoriets
Guest More than 1 year ago
i read this book on a sunny sunday in one go. i couldnt put it down. it reminded me a lot of my own father, an evangelical minister, and his love for me.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Totally not what I expected. It is very captivating and you get involved with the story. It shows and reveals the heart of a father and the love he has for his son. A great story!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Reveals the complexity of trying to live a Christ-like life daily in a real world. Pam Rivers, Marriage & Family Therapist and Christian for 56 years.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved Lila but this is not interesting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
nausetsunriseKR More than 1 year ago
I'm not sure what I was expecting. However, this reads like a journal that is written with the intention of being read by someone else. Since it is supposed to be a letter, I guess the reading by someone else isn't surprising. The book is slow. It doesn't tell the whole of any particular story. It is a guy dying and just kind of coming to terms with that. There are a few lines that are great writing. I read this for a book group, and otherwise wouldn't have finished it. And, it doesn't really end, per se.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Boring, pointless and repetitive
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
UntomyLordDavid More than 1 year ago
You will not waste your time reading this book. It's a beautiful and lovely hymn to life from the perspective of a man whose life's work was to proclaim the Lord of Life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't tell what this book wanted to be.  It was beautifully written, but spent so much (well, all) of its time in the narrator's head, it became difficult to follow at times.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
kcjones More than 1 year ago
Robinson's Gilead is one of the most beautifully written books I have ever read. One can find a memorable passage on each page. The book is not fast-paced, but it is filled with wisdom and an understanding of the human spirit. As the main character faces his own mortality, he also struggles to understand and be honest about his own shortcomings. This is a story about family, love, forgiveness, and the vast chasms that can occur between fathers and sons. It was a book club selection for our group, and we had a lively discussion about betrayal, predestination, faith, and forgiveness.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago