The Eighth Day

The Eighth Day Thornton Wilder s renowned National Book Award winning novel features a foreword by John Updike and an afterword by Tappan Wilder who draws on such unique sources as Wilder s unpublished letters

Thornton Wilder s renowned 1967 National Book Award winning novel features a foreword by John Updike and an afterword by Tappan Wilder, who draws on such unique sources as Wilder s unpublished letters, handwritten annotations in the margins of the book, and other illuminating documentary material.In 1962 and 1963, Thornton Wilder spent twenty months in hibernation, away frThornton Wilder s renowned 1967 National Book Award winning novel features a foreword by John Updike and an afterword by Tappan Wilder, who draws on such unique sources as Wilder s unpublished letters, handwritten annotations in the margins of the book, and other illuminating documentary material.In 1962 and 1963, Thornton Wilder spent twenty months in hibernation, away from family and friends, in the town of Douglas, Arizona While there, he launched The Eighth Day, a tale set in a mining town in southern Illinois about two families blasted apart by the apparent murder of one father by the other The miraculous escape of the accused killer, John Ashley, on the eve of his execution and his flight to freedom triggers a powerful story tracing the fate of his and the victim s wife and children.At once a murder mystery and a philosophical story, The Eighth Day is a suspenseful and deeply moving New York Times work of classic stature that has been hailed as a great American epic.

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The Eighth Day

  1. Thornton Niven Wilder was an American playwright and novelist He received three Pulitzer Prizes, one for his novel The Bridge of San Luis Rey and two for his plays Our Town and The Skin of Our Teeth, and a National Book Award for his novel The Eighth Day.For see enpedia wiki Thornton

745 Reply to “The Eighth Day”

  1. In the film Stop Making Sense, David Byrne interviews himself He asks himself why he doesn t write songs about love He replies that he likes to write songs about little things, like houses or chairs Love s kinda big I wrote a love song once in this film I sing it to a lamp What does that have to do with The Eighth Day The Eighth Day is kind of big It s a story that spans three continents and fifty years It s not really about love I guess, fuck It s about this one little slice of the human experi [...]

  2. I don t often respond emotionally to fiction, but it s been a long time since I ve read a novel that was simultaneously so wrenching and so pleasurable.Thorton Wilder s last novel, the Eighth Day 1967 , reflects many of the same themes as his much earlier 1927 Bridge of San Luis Rey the unpredictability of human fate the desperate instinct many of us feel to find providences in our lives and losses the gap between the way others see us and our actual thoughts and emotional commitments From the n [...]

  3. This is the story of two American families, living part by a murder of one father committed by the other.The escape of John Ashley, the accused killer, on the eve of his execution, will show the distress suffered by both families On the other hand, the author explores the American society by that time in the 1960 s , showing all cultural and moral aspects of the main characters.I should confess this was not an easy reading since for me it was a dry reading perhaps due the book s structure The mu [...]

  4. A book I have read than once, although not recently, and which I think of fondly It s hard to classify and some of the negative reviews may come from people expecting a specific kind of book that this is not It introduces a mystery, but the events of the mystery are only catalyst for the bigger story, so the mystery is not presented in the classic way nor is it very hard to solve The purpose of the book is bigger, investigating how people do behave and how they should Wilder is better known for [...]

  5. Few have even heard of this under appreciated, hard to find Wilder novel, and though it s not perfect, it s on my short list for the Great American Novel.

  6. THE EIGHTH DAY 1967 Thornton Wilder Wilder often said that this was his favorite among all his books It was his only real novel That form of reality may have been in vogue forty five years ago, but the style has gone out of vogue for today s readers at least for this reader The eighth day of the title was the day after the day after the Lord rested It was the day probably millions of years long that would lead to a new type of mankind, one driven by natural selection that would ultimately elimin [...]

  7. This is one of my favorite books Wilder wrote The Bridge of San Luis Rey when he was 29, exploring whether God plays a role in human society 40 years later, he comes back in The Eighth Day to the same theme to ponder what it is to be part of the human drama The eighth day, of course, is the day following the seven days of creation in the Bible, and is the time when Man must shape his destiny All this discussion is tucked inside a murder mystery and a generational treatment of a fascinating famil [...]

  8. I started The Eighth Day with high hopes of a 4 star or even 5 star read The novel introduces 1 1 2 families worth of unusual but believable characters, all of whom are treated kindly by Wilder But the book never really goes anywhere Eventually we are forced to admit uncle that this isn t a novel at all it s a tract The title refers to the period of secular creation and the characters tiresomely demonstrate how family life freed from conventional religious and moral strictures creates secular sa [...]

  9. I guess I understand now why critics were for the most part so hard on Eighth Day The book just doesn t seem to work, to come together in any meaningful way The machinations of the story are just too contrived, to false to function as readable fiction Wilder s philosophizing I do find rather enjoyable, unlike the professional critics who mostly hate it I do love Wilder s works, and I wanted so very much to enjoy this book, but whatever Wilder was trying to achieve, I couldn t grasp I ll come ba [...]

  10. I slogged through this book because so many people had such nice things to say about it As it turns out, I liked it better than I thought I would First off, this is no fast paced mystery, although in the end a mystery is solved Most of what happens in this book happens inside the heads of the four protagonists The author goes to great lengths to explain the peculiarities in each character Some action happens but mostly it is about things happening and why they happen at least why the author beli [...]

  11. There was a lot of good stuff in here, but overall, it was too much, too ambitious, I thought This reminded me of East of Eden a great writer in his waning years trying to write that one last masterpiece Like East of Eden, I found it longwinded in many places, ponderous, self important, too much Although there were many parts of this I like and admired, I eventually got tired of it, and it was getting tedious to read near the end.

  12. An interesting character study with a tangential storyline Mr Wilder gets too caught up in the sound of his ponderous prose style for this to be an easy or pleasurable read He should have listened to himself when he wrote in this novel The few serious books he had looked into seemed windy, slow moving, filled with paddingThis story could have been a quarter of the size and made a better novel.

  13. The story is great, however the writing style is not very engaging, it keeps you distracted, and skipping pages because it goes on and on and on There is some great thoughts in it, but you keep continue reading it out of obligation.

  14. there s such a thing as too epic in scope I m afraid Interesting conceit but iffy execution Lots of half baked pseudo losophy as well.

  15. There s so much to say about this long, wide ranging and ambitious novel by Wilder it was the longest novel he wrote, and it won the National Book Award for 1967 the problem is that to say too much would ruin much of the appeal of reading the book by potentially revealing too much of the pattern and the detail of the history that Wilder presents the reader with The central focus is the strife caused in the lives of two families from a small mining community in Illinois in 1902 by the apparent mu [...]

  16. Di Thornton Wilder avevo letto diversi anni fa Il ponte di San Luis Rey e mi aveva colpito per l originalit della trama e l introspezione psicologica dei personaggi ma il libro che ho terminato di leggere ora un bellissimo romanzo di ampio respiro che, ambientato negli anni a cavallo tra fine XIX e inizi del XX secolo, ha per protagonisti i figli dell ottavo giorno , quelli creati nella seconda settimana della creazione, per dirla alla maniera del dottor Gillies che, nel romanzo, pronuncia il 31 [...]

  17. The story about a man falsely accused of murdering his friend and his escape from the law as he was being transported to his execution The story was very compelling with a good amount of mystery regarding the murder and escape but the true reason this is five stars is the writing itself Told in beautifully crafted sentences every word perfect , each chapter told the story of the seperate members of both families and wove the tale to its ultimate ending One of the best books I ve ever read.

  18. Engaging, with flowing prose and interesting characters Wilder definitely aimed high, with a mystical sort of novel across generations I dont think he pulled it off The ending is rushed and forced, and almost all of the plot ends are left to tumble on without resolution In addition, apart from Ashley and his wife, his characters are like symbols, than fully realized souls Still, an excellent and very worthwhile read.

  19. Hope is nothing if it is not courageous it is nothing if it is not ridiculous The defeat of hope leads not to despair, but resignation p.68 This was certainly a great way to spend my birthday After reading technical and theoretical works for the past month, I had managed to stumble into one of the best works of fragmented chronology in the 20th century, only third to The Sound and the Fury and Absalom, Absalom I honestly think the only reason this didn t make it in the list of Great American Nov [...]

  20. I ve just finished and, although the narrative seemed occasionally difficult to piece together, it finally comes together in a beautiful rumination on life s scale, both grand and minute The Eighth Day is quite reminiscent of Our Town and The Bridge of San Luis Rey This one is worth a second read.Murder mystery and philosophical commentary.

  21. An epic family saga with many twists and turns, a little bit too preachy Like many books written by white men, this author is completely oblivious to his own sexist and racist attitudes At the end the deus ex machina involves a religious cult Despite all this, very readable, rolls right along without losing interest.

  22. It is July 1902 in Coaltown, Ill and John Ashley is convicted of murdering his friend and boss Breckinridge Lansing Years later, he is exonerated, but long before that, while Ashley is on the train to Joliet where he will be executed, six men disguised as porters overcome his guards and set him free, providing him with a horse and supplies for his escape.This is the starting point of Thornton Wilder s The Eighth Day What comes after is a series of what could be called interconnected novellas Fir [...]

  23. I don t know if I am getting less discriminating or if I am getting better at selecting books that I like this book was another 5 star read for me Thornton Wilder is an author whom I am really starting to appreciate He writes exceptionally well Wilder s writing style is typical of Modernism roughly 1914 1945 which was characterized by a break from traditional literary aesthetic forms Eighth Day is written with a nonlinear time and plot It s open ended and enigmatic with use of lots of symbolism, [...]

  24. While this is a saga of two families and in terms of plot could be considered a murder mystery, it bears no resemblance to any ordinary mystery of that sort Themes first explored by Wilder in his youth in The Bridge of San Luis Rey especially how random events impact human lives and how courageously foolishly creatively selfishly each of us copes with fortune or adversity are here revisited in his last novel One of Wilder s greatest gifts was his patience and deft skill in developing characters [...]

  25. The Eighth Day by Thornton Wilder I know Wilder from his plays not his fiction, so this novel was a pleasant surprise for me I find his plays to be formulaic, pared down to memorable phrases, and because of this somewhat contrived The narrator says of the character Eustacia Lansing in The Eighth Day, She loved the theater and despised it It calculated its effects I wonder if this is an admission from the author I read this book because I was fascinated by the idea that a celebrated playwright an [...]

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