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The Father: A Daughter Chronicles the Events of Her Father's Illness and Death in a Sequence of Poems Paperback – 31 Dec 1992

3.2 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Paperback, 31 Dec 1992
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Product details

  • Paperback: 79 pages
  • Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf (31 Dec. 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780679740025
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679740025
  • ASIN: 0679740023
  • Product Dimensions: 14.9 x 0.6 x 21.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,946,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"Sharon Olds's poems are pure fire in the hands - risky, on the verge of falling, and in the end leaping up. I love the roughness and humor and brag and tenderness and completion in her work as she carries the reader through rooms of passion and loss." (Michael Ondaatje)

"The elegy is one of the root-forms of poetry, but the fifty-two poems in Sharon Olds' The Father, radiating from a death, feel new. The death of the father - anticipated, witnessed, remembered - draws from Olds an extraordinary dry attentiveness... It is a wonderful book." (Adam Mars-Jones Independent on Sunday) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

'I closed this book in tears: Olds creates a profound beauty out of often ugly and deeply private emotions and situations which would sink anybody else.' Adam Thorpe, Observer --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is the fourth book I have read by Sharon Olds. I found The Father to be less enjoyable than her other collections of poetry such as Satan Says or The Dead and the Living.
In The Father, it seems that Olds has finally come to terms with her father and forgiven him for the past, but I am not sure if Olds just doesn't have anything left to say, or if I'm just not interested in hearing it. To me, The Father seems to be typical and redundant-in content and style. Don't get me completely wrong though, there were a few poems I really liked, and several metaphors here and there really caught my attention. As usual, Olds was very frank and direct about her emotions, but overall I felt very uninspired by this collection of poems. By the end I was just bored and ready to be done with the book. It is like reading someone who doesn't know what to write about but feels compelled to write anyway. If you have never read Olds, I would recommend her earlier work first.
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Format: Paperback
My father died a month ago, after four years of illness. I was with him when he died, and I went to Amazon to look for a book that would help me to interact with the extraordinary experience of the death of my father. Sharon Olds' book was far more than I had hoped to have been able to find. I have been carrying it with me for two weeks now and reading passages over and over. She has written the poems I would have written had I been a poet in the middle of the experience of my father's dying. Exceptional and moving.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Awful. Do we really need to know all the details of Olds' dying father? And I mean, ALL the details. Most unpleasant.
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By A Customer on 9 Jun. 1999
Format: Paperback
This is one of the best books I have ever read and Olds is a major talent, not just in the world of autobiographical poetry... but in the world of international literature. ---
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8e2f584c) out of 5 stars 10 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8df3ed80) out of 5 stars Uninspiring compared to earlier work. 13 May 1999
By caryb@blairgraphics.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is the fourth book I have read by Sharon Olds. I found The Father to be less enjoyable than her other collections of poetry such as Satan Says or The Dead and the Living.
In The Father, it seems that Olds has finally come to terms with her father and forgiven him for the past, but I am not sure if Olds just doesn't have anything left to say, or if I'm just not interested in hearing it. To me, The Father seems to be typical and redundant-in content and style. Don't get me completely wrong though, there were a few poems I really liked, and several metaphors here and there really caught my attention. As usual, Olds was very frank and direct about her emotions, but overall I felt very uninspired by this collection of poems. By the end I was just bored and ready to be done with the book. It is like reading someone who doesn't know what to write about but feels compelled to write anyway. If you have never read Olds, I would recommend her earlier work first.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8e5fd648) out of 5 stars The Father 25 Dec. 1999
By Mark Archer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is one of the most eloquent readings I have ever come across. Ms. Olds powerful use of metaphor to describe the tormented relationship she had with her father is insightful and inspiring. This should be required reading for any young female (indeed people of all genders and ages) struggling to find a means for remaining not only sane, inspite of the insanity in to which some of us are born, but how to remain caring, compassionate and creatively involved with your surroundings, despite the chaos of whatever personal hell you must survive to do so.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8e5fddd4) out of 5 stars Authentic encounter with the experience of my father's death 18 May 1999
By Chauncey Bell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My father died a month ago, after four years of illness. I was with him when he died, and I went to Amazon to look for a book that would help me to interact with the extraordinary experience of the death of my father. Sharon Olds' book was far more than I had hoped to have been able to find. I have been carrying it with me for two weeks now and reading passages over and over. She has written the poems I would have written had I been a poet in the middle of the experience of my father's dying. Exceptional and moving.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8e4884ec) out of 5 stars Bold View on a Father/Daughter Relationship 2 Mar. 2005
By Kris - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I agree with everything the positive reviewers said. This is a pretty bold exploration of a relationship most of us have but few of us take the time to examine. I like that Olds isn't afraid to take risks. Maybe she does repeat herself -- but that's the risk you run when you write poetry. Usually your subject is yourself and how you move inside this world and relate to other people.
HASH(0x8dd652c4) out of 5 stars A Wonderful Book 5 April 2011
By addison de Witt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
THE FATHER, by Sharon Olds is one of my favorite books of poetry. Each poem in this wonderful collection is a gem unto itself as well as an integral part of a whole, with "The Race" being my favorite.

This superb book has led me to all the other Sharon Olds collections and in that to a beauty of writing that must be felt to be believed. Brilliant and soul satisfying at the same time, the poetry of Sharon Olds is simply magnificent.
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