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Jack

por Marilynne Robinson

Séries: Gilead (4)

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8733725,249 (3.67)44
Fiction. Literature. HTML:

"Robinson's slow prose is the star here, and narrator Adam Verner gives great depth of emotion to Jack's raw suffering and ethical dilemmas...Come for the love story; stay for a couple who learn to find the beauty in broken humanity, and what grace can look like for those who love each other." Booklist

This program includes a bonus conversation with the author.
Marilynne Robinson, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Humanities Medal, returns to the world of Gilead with Jack, the latest novel in one of the great works of contemporary American fiction

Marilynne Robinson's mythical world of Gilead, Iowathe setting of her novels Gilead, Home, and Lila, and now Jackand its beloved characters have illuminated and interrogated the complexities of American history, the power of our emotions, and the wonders of a sacred world. Jack is Robinson's fourth novel in this now-classic series. In it, Robinson tells the story of John Ames Boughton, the prodigal son of Gilead's Presbyterian minister, and his romance with Della Miles, a high school teacher who is also the child of a preacher. Their deeply felt, tormented, star-crossed interracial romance resonates with all the paradoxes of American life, then and now.
Robinson's Gilead novels, which have won one Pulitzer Prize and two National Book Critics Circle Awards, are a vital contribution to contemporary American literature and a revelation of our national character and humanity.
A Macmillan Audio production from Farrar, Straus and Giroux

.… (mais)
Adicionado recentemente porkentm241, The.story.locker, Hansford, salemsmsm, biblioteca privada, nichollinlove, mfpahlow, kaeriot, AngelaGPrudhomme
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Mostrando 1-5 de 37 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Ook dit was weer een taaie brok. Ik schreef eerder al dat Marilynne Robinson het haar lezers niet gemakkelijk maakt: haar thematieken (essentieel het goede en kwade in de mens, en hoe we daar als individu mee omgaan) zijn bijzonder zwaar op de hand, en haar meticuleuze, superieure schrijfstijl vergt voortdurende concentratie. Ook in dit vierde deel van de Gilead-serie blijft ze op bekend terrein: net als in het tweede deel (Home) staat opnieuw Jack centraal, het zwarte schaap van de Boughton-familie. En op zich leren we niet veel nieuws: uit Home wisten we al dat Jack een dronkaard en een dief is, die zich maar al te zeer bewust is van zijn ‘slechtheid’, en we wisten van zijn problematische relatie met de zwarte Della Miles. Maar in dit deel graaft Robinson nog veel dieper in zijn ‘verdoemde’ ziel. Het doet bijna pijn om geconfronteerd te worden met Jack’s voortdurende gepieker, zijn permanente onzekerheid, en zijn ziekelijk minderwaardigheidsgevoel. Robinson maakt tastbaar hoe mensen in de marge van de maatschappij telkens taxeren hoe ze door anderen (die er beter voor staan) scheef bekeken worden, en hoe machteloos ze zijn om zichzelf uit het moeras te trekken. Bijzonder bij Jack is dat hij uit die situatie een eigen levensfilosofie heeft ontwikkeld, namelijk om zo weinig mogelijk schade aan te richten. Vergeefs uiteraard.
En dan is er die romance tussen Jack en Della waar het hier om draait, een romance waar we het fundament niet helemaal goed van kunnen peilen, maar die zich zo delicaat en aandoenlijk ontwikkelt, dat je er wel door gegrepen moet worden. Het lijkt niet meer dan een zoveelste Romeo en Julia-verhaal, gedoemd al beide protagonisten zijn door hun achtergrond en door de heersende wetten (met onder andere een verrassend ontnuchterende kijk op de morele stugheid van de zwarte gemeenschap). Wat me in de dialogen tussen Jack en Della vooral opviel was hoe dikwijls het over licht en donker gaat, misschien een hier wel erg voor de hand liggende metafoor maar dan wel één die het dilemma van dit koppel treffend samenvat. Uiteindelijk snijdt Robinson in dit deel vooral de vraag aan of Jack gered kan worden door Della, of nog, of iemand die verdoemd is gered kan worden door de liefde, een vraag die eerder al bij Dostojewski centraal stond (vooral in Misdaad en Straf). Inderdaad, Robinson meet zich met de allergrootsten en ze blijft daarbij overeind. Dat zegt genoeg. ( )
  bookomaniac | Feb 23, 2024 |
I listened to this book. I don't know if it was the narrator's delivery or the writing style but I found in very slow-moving. I think that Robinson's work doesn't lend itself to audio very well.

This is a continuation of Robinson's Gilead novels. Those people who have read Gilead will remember Jack as the prodigal son who returns toward the end of the book. This book fills in the intervening years. Jack has spent time in jail and is mostly dependent on his brother, a successful doctor in St. Louis. One day he encounters a young black woman who is about to get soaked in a sudden downpour. Jack is in possession of an umbrella (which he stole) and so he offers it and himself to get the young woman home. Della is a teacher and from a well-known family. Her father is a preacher just like Jack's father. Perhaps that gives them some common ground but really, two more dsparate people could hardly be found. Nevertheless they fall in love and are discussing marriage. Except this is the 1950s and it is illegal for blacks and whites to marry. Della's family try to convince her to change her mind but she sees something in Jack that she won't give up on. So, it is up to Jack himself to protect her. He leaves St. Louis for Chicago without telling Della where he is going.

I found it hard to understand Della. Robinson uses the first person from Jack's point of view to tell the story so we never really get inside Della's head. I think I would have liked the book better if the viewpoint had been reversed. ( )
  gypsysmom | Nov 4, 2023 |
When I read Marilynne Robinson’s “Gilead” some years back, I felt it was one of the best books I had come across in a long time. Set in in 1950s Iowa, it consists of a long letter from a dying 76-year old Congregationalist minister John Ames to his little son, the unexpected blessing of his old age. As Ames sifts through his memories, the story of his family (particularly his preacher father and grandfather) and the community which they served starts to take shape. Old pains and preoccupations resurface - particularly those related to the minister's godson and namesake John Ames “Jack” Boughton. A troublemaker in childhood, youth and well into adulthood, is there the possibility of salvation for Boughton as well? Will God's grace ever touch him?

The passage of time has not dulled my admiration for this novel, which is lyrical, poetical, infused with (a Calvinist) theology yet utterly readable. Since Gilead, Robinson returned to the fictional world she created with two other volumes – Home and Lila – which are not sequels as such but, rather, “parallel narratives” featuring the same setting and characters but told from different perspectives.

Jack is the latest addition to the fold. It is, in some ways, a prequel to the “trilogy”, in that is is set in St Louis, Missouri around a decade before the “present” of the other three novels. Its protagonist is John Ames Boughton, the troublemaker who was so much on the mind of his godfather John Ames in Gilead. Jack is the troublemaker of the family, a vagrant living a down-and-out life which also featured a stint in prison. The novel is an account of his relationship with Della Miles, a black woman and daughter of a preacher. The relationship starts off as an unlikely friendship, but soon develops into a love affair, despite the strong opposition of Della’s family.

The novel is told in the third person but, very evidently, from the perspective of Jack. Jack is an interesting case study. He is a prodigal son, a flawed character, an intrinsically good man who, however, seems constantly drawn to evil. He has, however, a strong self-awareness, which leads him to admit that he has not much to offer Della, whom he raises on a pedestal as the epitome of goodness. Much of the novel shows Jack’s tentative steps towards letting himself being overcome by love – and not just any “love”, but a transformative one laced with divine grace.

If all this sounds very theological, be prepared that it is. And whilst Gilead, despite its deep and overt religious themes, was a gripping read, I must admit that I had to make an effort to read through Jack. Certain episodes, such as a passage early on in the novel featuring a long night spent by the lovers in a cemetery (debating theology, I hasten to clarify, rather than indulging in some Goth hanky-panky), became simply too tedious for my liking.

Obviously, the problem might have been that I was not in the mood for heavy stuff. Indeed, there have been several rave reviews of the novel, including one by Sarah Perry in the Guardian. Perry herself writes novels infused with theology of a Calvinist bent (Melmoth comes to mind) and is probably much better-placed than I am to appreciate Robinson’s “Calvinist romance”. I wish, though, that Jack were as exciting as Perry’s theological Gothic. Or, for that matter, as gripping as Robinson’s own Gilead.

https://endsoftheword.blogspot.com/2020/10/jack-by-marilynne-robinson.html ( )
  JosephCamilleri | Feb 21, 2023 |
I may have just read this too quickly, which doesn't work for Robinson books, but I didn't enjoy it quite as much as I have her previous ones. I'll have to try it again and probably will feel differently. ( )
  JBD1 | Nov 26, 2022 |
I don’t know who let Robinson get away with starting her book with 80 pages of dialogue, but it was not a good decision.

I think Robinson has always struggled to write evil, and to create evil characters. Jack is the wayward son, but he’s so good natured and smart and genuinely kind in this book.

Huge fan of hers, but I did not enjoy this book. ( )
  JohnMatthewFox | Oct 17, 2022 |
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Gilead (4)
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Fiction. Literature. HTML:

"Robinson's slow prose is the star here, and narrator Adam Verner gives great depth of emotion to Jack's raw suffering and ethical dilemmas...Come for the love story; stay for a couple who learn to find the beauty in broken humanity, and what grace can look like for those who love each other." Booklist

This program includes a bonus conversation with the author.
Marilynne Robinson, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Humanities Medal, returns to the world of Gilead with Jack, the latest novel in one of the great works of contemporary American fiction

Marilynne Robinson's mythical world of Gilead, Iowathe setting of her novels Gilead, Home, and Lila, and now Jackand its beloved characters have illuminated and interrogated the complexities of American history, the power of our emotions, and the wonders of a sacred world. Jack is Robinson's fourth novel in this now-classic series. In it, Robinson tells the story of John Ames Boughton, the prodigal son of Gilead's Presbyterian minister, and his romance with Della Miles, a high school teacher who is also the child of a preacher. Their deeply felt, tormented, star-crossed interracial romance resonates with all the paradoxes of American life, then and now.
Robinson's Gilead novels, which have won one Pulitzer Prize and two National Book Critics Circle Awards, are a vital contribution to contemporary American literature and a revelation of our national character and humanity.
A Macmillan Audio production from Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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