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Set This House on Fire by [Styron, William Clark]
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Set This House on Fire Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Length: 527 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product description

Review

Immediately impressive...the sense of the striking scene...the fine ear for dialogue, the sharp observation of cities and scenery and interiors."
-- The New York Times Book Review
Three Americans converge in an Italian village shortly after World War II. One is a naive Southern lawyer. One is a rough-edged artist with a fatal penchant for alcohol. And one is a charming and priapic aristocrat who may be the closest thing possible to pure wickedness in an age that has banished the devil along with God. Out of their collective alchemy William Styron has crafted an electrifying and deeply unsettling novel of rape, murder, and suicide -- a work with a Dostoevskian insight into the dreadful persuasiveness of evil.

Review

Immediately impressive...the sense of the striking scene...the fine ear for dialogue, the sharp observation of cities and scenery and interiors."
-- The New York Times Book Review
Three Americans converge in an Italian village shortly after World War II. One is a naive Southern lawyer. One is a rough-edged artist with a fatal penchant for alcohol. And one is a charming and priapic aristocrat who may be the closest thing possible to pure wickedness in an age that has banished the devil along with God. Out of their collective alchemy William Styron has crafted an electrifying and deeply unsettling novel of rape, murder, and suicide -- a work with a Dostoevskian insight into the dreadful persuasiveness of evil.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4888 KB
  • Print Length: 527 pages
  • Publisher: Open Road Media (4 May 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BBPW7EU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #541,380 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer reviews

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Top customer reviews

Format: Paperback
In a small Italian village, shortly after World War II, three Americans converge. One is a Southern lawyer, the other is a rough-edged artist with a strong penchant for alcohol and the third one is a delightful aristocrat who is the closest thing possible to wickedness. Out of this reunion, William Styron has crafted a fabulous novel of rape, murder, suicide and deception with an insight of the dreadful persuasiveness of evil. The qualities of this novel are many, ranging from the sense of the striking scene, the fine art of the dialogue, the sharp depiction of cities, Italian scenery and interiors. William Styron is certainly one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. This is my favourite book by this author.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's a great and powerful novel, but it's also ponderous and stodgy in places, not only because Styron takes us deep into the characters' backgrounds and psychologies, which is important, but essentially because cultural observations that should really be delivered by the author himself are ludicrously inserted as conversation.

For instance, this excerpt is spoken by one of the characters, Cass Kinsolving, an uneducated painter from Virginia, to his friend Peter Leverett. "...it was the sense, the bleeding essence of the thing. It was as if I had been given for an instant the capacity to understand not just beauty itself by its outward signs, but the other - the elseness in beauty, this continuity of beauty in the scheme of all life which triumphs even to the point of taking in sordidness and shabbiness and ugliness, which goes on and on and on, and of which this was only a moment, I guess, divinely crystalized".
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Format: Paperback
Starts well and then gets lost in its own self-regard. Still it evokes a particular time and place -- American bohemias in Italy after the war and before the 1960s -- vividly and there are memorable scenes.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 3.4 out of 5 stars 30 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 21 Sept. 2016
By Carol B - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Beautiful writing but very dark
2.0 out of 5 stars A slog 15 July 2017
By Portia19 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am a big fan of William Styron's work. I wept when I learned what Sophie 's choice was. I was not aware of this title and looked forward to reading it. While the prose is lovely classic Styron, the narrative is mostly consumed by the drunken fever dreams of Cass Kinsolving. It put me to sleep more than once and I struggled to finish it. Read any one of his other novels; this one is way too much work.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 27 July 2016
By Nancy T. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Truly great literature.
3.0 out of 5 stars Loved the characters once I was able to figure them 19 July 2017
By Linda R. Ramsey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Interesting read, but difficult to get through. Loved the characters once I was able to figure them out
1.0 out of 5 stars Left me feeling a bit "wordy hung over". 10 May 2017
By SUSAN I. EAGAN - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
He really needed heavy editing intervention on this one. I found myself begging for him to get to the point many, too many times. I struggled through but, can not say I look back fondly.
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