The Sweet Hereafter Paperback – 1 Sep 1992
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"Russell Banks's fiction holds such a simple, internal authority . . . The story he tells is grave and unusually urgent, his prose as careful as a trail of stones left in the forest . . . These voices ache with a particular brand of reality [and] Banks evokes each of his characters with fluid authenticity . . . Russell Banks is a writer of extraordinary power." -- "Boston Globe""Banks posses many questions, and his canvas is far larger than any thumbnail sketch of its components can suggest." -- "San Francisco Chronicle""Without sentimentalizing them in the least, Banks has extended the themes explored in his previous novels . . . to show that wiser, possibly even better people can emerge from the ordeal: that some old American decencies still prevail, against all the odds." -- "Chicago Tribune""A novel of compelling moral suspense . . . [a] superb book . . . a remarkable book, a sardonic and compassionate account of a community and its people."-- Richard Eder, "Los Angeles Times Book Review""Mr. Banks's colorful characters are so believable they could have stepped out of the Rendez-Vous tavern across from the Bide-A-Wile motel . . . The Sweet Hereafter is rich in imagery and the detail of small-town life and haunting in its portrayal of ordinary men and women struggling to understand loss. Under Mr. Banks's restrained craftsmanship, what begins as the story of senseless tragedy is transformed into an aspiring testament to hope and human resilience." -- "Atlanta Constitution""The Sweet Hereafter . . . is a close and haunting story of a small town in distress . . . unflinching and quietly powerful." -- "Mirabella""Mr. Banks . . . does a smoothly professional job of giving the reader afinely observed portrait of small town life . . . It's as though he has cast a large stone into a quiet pond, then minutely charted the shape and size of the ripples sent out in successive waves . . . It is often gripping, consistently engaging and from time to time genuinely affecting." -- Michiko Kakutani, "New York Times""This beautifully written book's most brilliant strategy is . . . to explore the complexity of grief and hope." -- "Vogue"
About the Author
Russell Banks, twice a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, is one of America's most prestigious fiction writers, a past president of the International Parliament of Writers, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His work has been translated into twenty languages and has received numerous prizes and awards, including the Common Wealth Award for Literature. He lives in upstate New York and Miami, Florida.
Top customer reviews
Four people are now fatally linked by this tragedy:
We experience the accident first hand through the eyes of the bus driver, Dolores Driscoll. Banks lets us peek into her psyche as she contemplates her part in the accident. She questions herself and is quite willing to accept her fate, yet she lacks the courage to declare her innocence.
Behind the bus at the time of the accident is Billy Ansel, a Marine Vietnam veteran. He not only witnesses the crash but also the deaths of his two children, the only thing he had to live for. We delve into his mind and explore his thoughts and feelings. Billy Ansel has a tragic story of his own: once a war hero, now little more than broken man with a heart of stone. Ansel becomes a mentor for Nichole Burnell, and though he is a tragic hero gone to alcoholism we can not help but admire his morals that help inspire Nichole Burnell to rebel against parasitic lawyer types.
Mitchell Stephens is one of those big city lawyers that plagues Sam Dent in a time of tragedy. Banks allows us to see that he is not just one of those big city lawyers, Mitchell Stephens is a human as well. We experience life through his eyes, and we learn that even a lawyer has his own morals.
Nichole Burnell is the queen of her class. Her destiny to become a rising star is given a violent turn as she is maimed by the accident. The heroine of the story comes to terms with herself and other darker conflicts of her past; and by doing this she is able to save the town from itself.
Russell Banks has allowed us to experience the strife created in a small town. This could of happened to anybody in any town. His characters could of been us or they could of been somebody we know-- that is how realistically he portrays them. The story is so realistic you must remind yourself that you got this book from the FICTION section of the bookstore. And by reading this we realize that there is no such thing as a villain in true life, just people trying to make their way in the world.
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This was an amazing and captivating story of a small town and how they survived a tragic experience.Read more
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