“Wise Blood” by Flannery O’Connor


Wikipedia tells us that this 1952 novel is the author’s first and also that it was assembled from various stories first published in different publications.  The story concerns a returning World War II veteran who, haunted by a lifelong crisis of faith, resolves to form an anti-religious ministry in an eccentric Southern town. The novel received little critical attention when it first appeared, but has since gained greater appreciation for its blend of “low comedy and high seriousness”. In 2003, it was named in The Guardian’s list of 100 greatest novels of all time.


A few of us read this in January 2016. Feedback from the meeting is that although there were only two members were present, “a thoroughly good discussion” still took place.

Helen missed the meeting but sent in some comments:

I am sure that there will be a number of us that will read into the story in different ways as the overall message is somewhat ambiguous. I found the book obviously bleak and depressing and did not like the characters, there were lots of instances on how people twist religion to suit their individual needs, thereby turning religion into something grotesque and unholy. I was quite shocked by the ending.

After taking account of two scores sent in by email, vote the average score was 6.5, based on four readers.


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1 Comment

  1. This was a strange book for sure. I feel like it would have been interesting in a book club though. Check out my review if you’re interested: https://leviathanbound.wordpress.com/2016/08/12/wise-blood/



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