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Angle of Repose (Penguin Modern Classics) [Paperback]

Wallace Stegner , Jackson J. Benson
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
RRP: 15.00
Price: 10.11 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

30 Mar 2006 Penguin Modern Classics
The novel tells the story of Lyman Ward, a retired professor of history and author of books about the Western frontier, who returns to his ancestral home in the Sierra Nevada. Wheelchair-bound with a crippling bone disease, Ward embarks nonetheless on a search to rediscover his grandmother, no long dead, who made her own journey to Grass Valley nearly a hundred years earlier.

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Angle of Repose (Penguin Modern Classics) + Crossing to Safety
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Product details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (30 Mar 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141188006
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141188003
  • Product Dimensions: 2.6 x 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 334,659 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


"Two stories, past and present, merge to produce what important fiction must: a sense of the enhancement of life". -- Los Angeles Times

About the Author

Wallace Stegner (1909-1993) was the author of, among other novels, Remembering Laughter, 1937; A Shooting Star, 1961; Angle of Repose (Pulitzer Prize), 1971; The Spectator Bird (National Book award), 1977; Recapitulation, 1979. Three of his short stories have won O.Henry prizes, and in 1980 he received the Robert Kirsch award from the Los Angeles Time for his lifetime literary achievements. His collected stories were published in 1990.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Now I believe they will leave me alone. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Angle of Repose was my first Stegner book. Chosen by my bookclub, half the members loved it, the other half found it frustrating, but we all agreed it would have made a great movie with Gary Cooper and ____? (choices for the female lead ranged from a young Barbara Stanwyck to Maureen O'Hara)...funny, we couldn't imagine it made with anyone in the current star circuit, it was definately an Old West story. Film version aside, Angle of Repose has held a place in my heart as a good read: images of Susan's art,her journals, the struggle up the rugged mountain road, the journeys to impossible places (not like travelling in this day and age), their house. I loved it. The only thing that my bookclub agreed on was that the ending of Angle of Repose kind of wimped out. It made more sense when we heard a recording of an interview shortly before his death when the interviewer mentioned that the ending was somewhat abrupt, and Stegner commented that he was in a hurry to get the book to his publisher, before he (Stegner)went on his way to Europe, so he kind of hurried the ending. What?! That aside, Wallace Stegner had a way of getting inside relationships, showing the love and/or the antagonism, like the couples in Crossing to Safety and the writer and the guy camping on his property in All the Little Live Things. Just a guess, but from the three Stegner books I've read, I would bet their author was a pretty feisty guy. There is a seduction to the antagonism, I wouldn't want it in my life, but I enjoy peeking at it in the lives of his characters.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, meditative novel 25 Aug 1999
By A Customer
As a child of the rural american west, including some of the places in this book, I was drawn to how stegner touches on our strange and sometimes masochistic desire to follow an american dream in this vast and sometimes empty land. The novel has a quiet, meditative quality that gets into your head, if you let it, and for me set off a long period of self-contemplation. The many subtle facets of this tale of wandering and identity make it one to read more than once, at different stages in life.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Confession 12 Sep 1997
By A Customer
How is it that a person can go his or her whole life (however short or long that may be) and be completely oblivious to the surrounding world and all that is in it? That is how I felt after reading Angle of Repose. Until that fateful day, during a casual browse at my favorite bookstore, I had never even heard of Wallace Stegner (and me, with a Bachelor's Degree in English Literature...humph!). I am guilty of not fully and consciously acknowledging that with every moment that goes by, I am losing valuable time from reading beautiful, magnificently written books. And if, until recently, I had never heard of Wallace Stegner, who else haven't I heard of? This is a troubling question indeed........
I will not say that Angle of Repose is the best book I have ever read (I am not sure I believe in such a concept), nor will I go into a boring and subjective analysis of Stegner's work, but I just want to say that months after reading this book my heart is still racing with the excitement of having discovered an author whose writing is still new and refreshing years after it was penned.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Years ago in Sun Valley, ID it was on a recommended shelf in a bookstore. Needed a book and I bought it.
Started reading it ages later and was half through it by the time my parents and I went to Italy for vacation. I was already hooked and enjoying it. They'd happened to also get a copy of the book for the trip. Amidst the green hills, warm sea, and artistic bliss we parallel read the book. By the end of that trip we three had finished: raving and discussing the finer points, rich characters, and fascinating historical view of the area in California where my grandparents live.
Took the book to my Irish friends. All three cruised through it and more discussions ensued. I've been recommending this book to people when they ask for a "good book." Yet, it's better than good. (Not that I'm suggesting you should read it - I'd never go and do THAT!)
Five years later: I just went back to Europe and remembered the book with my Irish friends. One of them has been searching for it and can't find a copy and is having me send her one in France.
My point? Cross culturally, discussably, intergenerationally this is a good book. Just see the Pulitzer prize on the front if you doubt that.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An American Epic 5 Mar 1998
By A Customer
I read a critique of Stegner's style after I had read this book and The Spectator Bird. The writer claimed that Stegner minimized the role of women in his writings...wrong! The women in Stegner's novels have courage, intelligence, and heart ...he obviously respects his female characters. Angle of Repose was the first Stegner novel I read and it remains, in my view, the best.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book I've read this decade 30 July 1999
By A Customer
As with all of the (rare)great things I've read or seen, once i finished Angle of Repose, I wished I had never read it so that I could read it again. I usually am bored by history but Stegner lured me into knowing about the development of the American West by writing about people who I cared about, related to. Love, lust, forgiveness presented through three generations were, as subjective as those emotions are, presented almost as historical facts which the reader could look at, weigh and, with the help of this brilliant writer, see as the same deeply important choice for each generation. I liked the story when I began, started turning down invitations as I read further, and by the end (the last sentence especially) needed to see the conclusions that these people as instruction for my own life. This is an incredibly well-written, profound masterpiece.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great read
Published 5 days ago by Mrs. Margaret Pickup
5.0 out of 5 stars A great western writer
A beautiful book of human feelings, well written with sensitivity and intelligence. One gets a feeling about tha western american life.
Published 2 months ago by Jilko
2.0 out of 5 stars no
I found it irritating - both style and content. I know I should have admires her resilience - but I despised her.
Published 12 months ago by rowan
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, haunting, desolate - and somehow disappointing too...
I had never heard of Wallace Stegner before, which I am duly ashamed of, considering I'm an English Literature and American Studies graduate. Read more
Published on 17 Jan 2012 by C. Ball
5.0 out of 5 stars "For lack of a keystone...,
...the false arch may be as much as one can expect in this life." Stegner summation of his novel's themes contains this essential sentence. Read more
Published on 16 Dec 2010 by John P. Jones III
4.0 out of 5 stars Memorable and rewarding writing.
Quite a memorable read, although it did feel like a bit of a slog where it lagged in some of the middle chapters. Read more
Published on 5 Dec 2010 by Paul Harris
5.0 out of 5 stars Potent Language of Landscape
Stegner weaves together two basic narrative lines: that of a 58-year-old man with a degenerative bone disease and the narrative line of his grandmother who grew up in the... Read more
Published on 24 April 2008 by Mr. S. D. Halliday
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellently written book that touches the heart of every
Stegner is a master at bringing the essence of the important qualities of the well-lived life to the forefront. Read more
Published on 19 Aug 1999
3.0 out of 5 stars Good story, but something's missing
The most interesting part of the book for me was Lyman Ward. I did not feel pity for him, but found his thoughts on "contemporary" 1970 society vs. Read more
Published on 12 Aug 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars We have rarely read a more thought provoking novel.
This was one of the most thought provoking novels that we have ever read. Stegner captured the thoughts and emotions of his characters with an economy of words that is the mark of... Read more
Published on 30 July 1999
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