Friday, May 30, 2008

The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder

Rating: 7/10

Published: 1927
Number of pages: 127

Started: 21 May 2008
Finished: 23 May 2008

Summary (taken from blurb):

An ancient bridge collapses over a gorge in Peru, hurling five people into the abyss. It seems a meaningless human tragedy. But one witness, a Franciscan monk, believes the deaths might not be as random as they appear.

Convinced that the disaster is a punishment sent from Heaven, the monk sets out to discover all he can about the travellers. The five strangers were connected in some way, he thinks. There must be a purpose behind their deaths.

But are their lost lives the result of sin?...Or of love?

Comments (may include spoiler):
The story is a philosophical look at why bad things happen to people. I suppose we've all wondered at one time or another why bad things happen to other people while we escape unscathed. I like that the questions posed were never really answered. It was left up to the reader to put the pieces together and to decide what it all meant, if indeed it meant anything.

An interesting story. I didn't love it, but there's nothing I didn't like about it really. It was just a bit...meh. As in other reviews I've read, I think the book suffers a little from detachment. The characters are given thorough and interesting backstories but I never really felt close to them. That said, there were some lovely quotes on human nature and love, and I liked the interconnectedness of the characters and their lives. A good read, and nice and short. Recommended.

1 comment:

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