Item description for The Edge of Sadness (The Loyola Classics Series) by Edwin O'Connor & Ron Hansen...
Overview Awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Literature in 1962, this haunting novel shattered reigning cultural stereotypes of priests and parish life when it was first published.
Publishers Description "A realistic Christian novel of hope in a non-Christian age."--"New England Quarterly""A deeply felt and eloquently expressed work . . . A quiet, gentle novel of considerable insight and charm . . ."--"Library Journal " "O'Connor succeeds in delineating poignantly the overwhelming spiritual storms of the soul which assail the conscientious clergyman."--"The Christian Century" Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction In this moving novel, Father Hugh Kennedy, a recovering alcoholic, returns to Boston to repair his damaged priesthood. There he is drawn into the unruly world of the Carmodys, a sprawling, prosperous Irish family teeming with passion and riddled with secrets. The story of this entanglement is a beautifully rendered tale of grace and renewal, of friendship and longing, of loneliness and spiritual aridity giving way to hope.
Citations And Professional Reviews The Edge of Sadness (The Loyola Classics Series) by Edwin O'Connor & Ron Hansen has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Christian Advance - 09/01/2005 page 50
Library Journal - 09/01/2005 page 194
Ingram Advance - 10/01/2005 page 166
Library Journal - 11/01/2005 page 128
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Studio: Loyola Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.06" Width: 5" Height: 1.72" Weight: 1.15 lbs.
Release Date Sep 15, 2005
Publisher Loyola Press
Series Loyola Classics
ISBN 0829421238 ISBN13 9780829421231
Availability 0 units.
More About Edwin O'Connor & Ron Hansen
Edwin O'Connor (1918-1968) is best known for "The Last Hurrah "(1956), an acclaimed novel of Boston politics, but many critics regard "The Edge of Sadness "(1961) as his finest work. "The Edge of Sadness" was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1961.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Edge of Sadness (The Loyola Classics Series)?
O'Connor = Giant Jul 3, 2007
Superb. Simply. Great literature. The character of John, the main character's friend was the best and most gratifying of all. Please obtain and let your eyes go to work. To think the author died short of fifty. Man, we get burned sometimes.
My favorite book Mar 13, 2007
I am thilled to see this book being available in hardcover and paperback as well. I read this book about ten years ago and I read it regularly every couple of years. The story is very compelling and the scene of the protagonist walking home through a run-down community is a classic of American literature.
What this book and O'Connor's other novel, The Last Hurrah, apart is the writing. In an era where writers seem to challenge one another to be more like Faukner and less comprehensible to the average man, O'Connor wrote very well and his language is beautiful. From this fine prose arises really deep characters which are flawed and so easily identifiable to us all.
Great read Jan 12, 2007
I found this to be a wonderful novel and a great pleasure to read. I have been trying to find this for years and could not in any bookstore. While this could not translate to the movies as easily as Last Hurrah, I found this to be so much more interesting. A truly Catholic novel, it is a joy to find something that takes spiritual issues seriously and yet is hardly preachy. And if you are Irish, the dialogues of the "friends" of the family will make you laugh outloud while reading. This brought back the charms and frustrations of my childhood and my own family of Irish aunts and uncles. Long but worth the effort. A great find.
A Contemporary Catholic Classic Sep 28, 2006
As I was reading THE EDGE OF SADNESS, I couldn't help but think that in 1961, when this Pulitzer Prize winning novel was published, it must have been rather controversial. It dealt with the humanity of priests, noting flaws but in a respectful manner. While some writers such as Georges Bernanos dealt with such issues in his DIARY OF A COUNTRY PRIEST, American audiences were still used to the Hollywood Big Screen concoctions of Spencer Tracy--Father Flanagan/Bing Crosby--Father O'Malley models of priesthood. While the priest in THE EDGE OF SADNESS may be worthy of the warmth and love given to his movie counterparts, he's hardly perfect.
The novel tells the story of an alcoholic priest named Hugh Kennedy beginning again in ministry in an older, run down parish. Readers get a sense he's not the priest he once was, and throughout the novel we learn of his early ministry, the ramifications of the death of his father, the struggle with alcohol, and the loneliness that is a real part of his life. The book is written in the first person, and we hear the story of his life as he tells of his rekindling of a friendship with the Carmody family: Charlie, the patriarch, his son John the priest, Dan, the ne'er do well, Helen, the outspoken sister married to a doctor and Mary, the daughter who remains at home to care for the aging but still independent and at times ruthless Charlie. We also meet a host of minor characters: Helen's husband Frank, their son and daughter-in-law Ted and Anne, Charlie's longtime friends P.J. and Bucky, Roy, the maintenance man who works at Fr. Kennedy's church, and Fr. Stanley Danowski, the endearing yet naïve and at time nerdy young curate at Fr. Kennedy's parish. As the events of the novel unfold, we see changes in Fr. Kennedy as he discovers his love for God and his vocation.
This is an older style novel in many ways. O'Connor is not short on words and he gives a number of details, yet the novel flows and is a fast read for a volume of nearly 650 pages. The issues of struggles in priesthood, vitality of parishes, older priest verses younger priest, unstated yet real competition between clergy people, and a hunger for God are all present in this book. In some ways if some historical details were changed in the book, it could be about modern day Catholic life. Perhaps this is the power of this book and why it can seem timeless. While it tells a story from an earlier day, it's not an invitation for nostalgia, at least for Catholic readers. Instead it will remind readers of what truly matters in life: the importance of faith, and the importance of having people who love us and people we love in return. While it may seem dated in some ways, readers will agree that the editors at Loyola Press were correct in reissuing this book as a classic.
A Moving and Engaging Story Jun 25, 2006
This simple but beautiful bittersweet story of life among the Irish-American citizens of an unnamed eastern city is a joyful and beguiling tale. O'Connor's characterizations and dialogues are engaging and from my personal experience utterly authentic. I feel as though I have met all the main chacters and could give them names among family and acquaintances. The set piece of Father Kennedy' battle with alcoholism is tastefully done.