#2015ReadingChallenge – A Book By An Author You’ve Never Read – Winesburg, Ohio

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The next book on my list was something that was completely out of my comfort zone:

I thought it was going to be a collection of short stories…then I read the blurb

Portraying the characters and events of a small Midwestern town at the end of the 19th century, Winesburg, Ohio is a cycle of stories which reads like an episodic novel.  Centring on George Willard, a young local reporter with big city aspirations and his interactions with fellow inhabitants, the book gives voice to a disparate cast of figures and lays bare the constraints and struggles of life in a smalll community.

“A landmark work of american naturalism and a priceless chronicle of rural life”

Winesburg, Ohio is a completely fictional town (not to be confused with the actual Winesburg), which is based loosely on the author’s childhood memories of Clyde, Ohio, that oozes realisism and is so transcendental. Winesburg, and it populants could be anywhere, anytime.

The work is structured around the life of protagonist George Willard, from the time he was a child to his growing independence and ultimate abandonment of Winesburg as a young man.

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Even though the characters all have some impact on the character of George Willard, each chapter can be taken as stand alone (although to get the full impact of the book as a whole, reading the book from beginning to end is quite necessary – that probably sounds quite strange but I’m sure you understand what I mean)

Call me old fashioned but my favorite chapters were the ones that revoked around relations of the heart. The LURVE chapters. Anderson wrote stellar chapters about passion and though the characters and situations weren’t always likeable or desirable, the feelings that he was able to put across were raw and real. When I say raw I don’t mean like in some weird 50 shades way but like – you know when your a kid and you fall and you graze yourself and the graze us really sore and disgusting and there’s a cold sensation sound the area and there’s this burning and pain but then your like, I have this really cool scar to go with that really funny time that I fell? Now, that may be just me and I’m willing tonadmit that but that’s the kind of raw I’m talking about.

Unless it’s a fantasy novel, I never really see magic in books. Until now. Literally like 2 pages in and I was struck by the language and the images and thought that there really could be magic in the real world. Maybe. Or maybe I’m just an optimist. The characters are completely real – likeable but unlikeable. Flawed. Yet, there’s a something about the characters that you don’t get in real life (or at least that I’ve never experienced in my own life). I don’t know what it is but once I figure that out I will let you know.

Winesburg ohio

So there it is. Up next is The Haunting Of Hill House

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