This Magnificent Desolation

This Magnificent Desolation Duncan S Entire World Is The Orphanage Where He Lives, A Solitary Outpost On The Open Plains Of Northern Minnesota Aged Ten In 1980, He Has No Memories Of His Life Before Now, But He Has Stories That He Recites Like Prayers The Story Of How His Mother Brought Him Here During The Worst Blizzard Of The Century The Story Of How God Spoke To Him At His Birth And Gave Him A Special Purpose Duncan Is Sure That His Mother Is Dead Until The Day She Turns Up To Claim Him Maggie Bright, A Soprano Who Was Once The Talent Of Her Generation, Now Sings In A San Francisco Bar Through A Haze Of Whisky Cut With Sharp Regret She Often Finishes Up In The Arms Of Joshua McGreevey, A Vietnam Vet Who Earns His Living As Part Of A Tunneling Crew Seventy Feet Beneath The Bay He Smells Of Sea Silt And Loam, As If He Has Been Dredged From The Deep Bottom Of The World And His Wounds Run Deep Too.Thrown Into This Mysterious Adult World, Duncan Finds Comfort In An Ancient Radio, From Which Tumble The Voices Of Apollo Mission Astronauts Who Never Came Home, And Dreams Of Finding His Real Father.A Heart Breaking, Staggering, Soaring Novel, This Magnificent Desolation Allows A Child S Perspective To Illuminate A Dark World, And Explores The Creeping Devastation Of War, The Many Facets Of Loneliness, The Redemptive Power Of The Imagination, And The Possibility Of A Kind Of Grace. What a story this is, layered with some great descriptive writing, characters and words in the right places The Steinbeck or Cormac McCarthy reader will love this authors crafted ability to write presented in this novel, written with the same darkness and light, struggle and triumph and matters supernatural than the mentioned authors have written with A real treat of a read for this year and one to recommend and add to my best of 2013 list of reads.Read an excerpt or a first chapter kindle sample and you will clearly see a great story with some great writing.The book art and great title lived up to judging a book by its cover and done a great service in me wanting to read this.The narrative of a young boy and hooks you into the world around him visible and unseen that he talks of, others do too, it hypnotically immerses you in this tale His struggle and hope, and his love for his mother and wanting of his lost father makes great storytelling and could touch a cord in the readers heart His light and dark world may have you fully intertwined as if you are there with him in his shoes.Another memorable and likeable character is Joshua a veteran and a hard laborer, a worker in the building of tunnels, he too talks with a keener eye on things unseen but known of and meaningful to himself.The boys mother was once an opera singer but as tragedy hit, the tables had turned and she lived in memories and darkness but her return of her long lost son could
Thomas O Malley is the author of In the Province of Saints, which was selected as one of the best books of 2005 by Booklist From what I can tell, he did not write another novel until this one in 2013 Am sure his Dartmouth College teaching job kept him busy Netgalley recently updated their site and suddenly I found this book on my newly created Older than 3 months To Read shelf which I apparently downloaded in February 2013 I had
The title of this novel refers to the description of the lunar landscape given by Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon The world of the novel, however, is desolate than magnificent.At the age of ten, Duncan awakens to his life in an orphanage in northern Minnesota in the Iron Range region He has no memory of the first ten years of his life His mother, Maggie Bright, a has been soprano, shows up and takes him to San Francisco to live with her and her sometimes live in boyfriend, Joshua McGreevey, a Vietnam vet.Although there are some important events, this is no action filled plot a large portion of the book consists of dialogue, lengthy descriptions of setting, and flights of imagination, much of which emphasizes life s unrelenting suffering In a relatively short period of time, the characters confront violence, depression, illness, and suicide Each of the characters is haunted by a past which in all cases involves some type of parental abandonment It is soon clear that there is no salvation and no redemption from the past, but, like sewage, The rain always pushed up the past so that you couldn t forget it Maggie had a pro
2.5 This was beautifully written, slow paced and character driven, which I normally like, but I guess the timing happy sunny holidays and the setting 1980s poor America just weren t quite right for me The characters didn t click with me and the many spelling mistakes weren t easy to overlook And please, just USE QUOTATION MARKS, PLEASE So done with books trying to be special with their lines and and name
This book contains some spoilers.The book opens with the statement which would have been read by President Nixon in the event of a catastrophic failure in the Apollo 11 moon landing, which would have left Aldrin and Armstrong on the moon s surface and Collins circling above The book s title is a quotation from Buzz Aldrin s description of the lunar landscape.The young hero Duncan is obsessed with space travel and the story told him by a dying friend that the Apollo 11 mission was a failure and that the astronauts were left on the moon There are obvious similarities with Murakami s Sputnik Sweetheart Both books use the symbolism of space travel to portray the isolation of human beings, in this case stuck like Collins in an unending orbit looking down at the world The difference between the novels is that whilst Murakami s writing style is lean and sparse, O Malley s is poetic and lyrical to a degree that it sometimes gets in the way of the story But the plot is not the driver of the book, instead the focus is on young Duncan and his relationship with his mother and her boyfriend, Joshua This is not a magic realism book in the sense of Latin American magic realism There is magic, but its roots are Duncan s strange upbringing in the Capuchin monastery where he spends his childhood compounded by the fact that Duncan cannot remember anything fro
This Magnificent Desolation is at times so beautiful and heart felt that it s almost impossible to wrap your head around You re dragged into the sensuous beauty of it all, taken in with O Malley s words that you start to breathe them in like you re desperate for air At first, I thought it was all a bit too descriptive, too wordy, but once you fall into its rhythm, it is quite a spectacular experience This novel is described as a floating novel , which is exactly what it felt like to read it I felt like I was drifting through the air, unable to hold onto anything substantial, but trying to grasp the footholds of enlightenment and truth along the way When reading this novel, I felt as if I were but a child listening in on conversations between adults, hearing their words and seeing their pain, not being able to comprehend or understand it, but wanting to like trying to understand the world and our purpose within it By the end, I was asking myself what exactly I had just read, but it doesn t have to make sense right away This Magnificent Desolation is a book to be read in those moments when you catch yourself staring out the window at the world outside and wondering where you should be or what you should be doing with the purpose you are given It is a
The problem with this book was that I kept getting bogged down with the clunky descriptions of the weather and the bleakness I also kept forgetting what I was reading a book about a boy who desperately wants a family and gets one It s not what he hoped for his mother is an alcoholic and doesn t care to talk about his father, and her boyfriend is a similarly self destructive individual who nonetheless cares for the boy There is a story here It s bleak and hopeless and all that What else would it be when the one thing the boy, Duncan, holds on to after waking from a long amnesia is the belief that the Apollo mission was a failure and the astronauts were lost in space There are also some genuinely nice moments of bonding between Duncan and his mother Maggie, and Duncan and the mother s boyfriend Joshua But then, there is also the fact that Duncan is not fully there He believes that he heard the voice of God when he was still an amnesiac I would argue it is faith, but the brothers at his orphanage seem impatient with that assertion I don t know what this book was supposed to be about Faith Hope Or the lack of either It could be anything The book doesn t have a plot other than a vague outline, and O Malley makes it hard to follow even that outline because of the flowery language Also angels worki
First let me address Thomas O Malley s writing in this novel the writing style is very poetic and eloquent, there s a broad use of vocabulary, which I really appreciate, making the book pleasant to read The only aspect that I think isn t as enjoyable, is the fact that the narrative is sometimes overly descriptive, which makes the plot seem stuck, it s definitely not a fast paced novel.The plot isn t very elaborate, and there aren t a lot of characters, so keeping track of who is who isn t a problem The narrative is very character driven and all them are very well developed.The book can be a bit depressing at times, topics such as depression or alcoholism are broadly patent through the book After leaving the orphanage, Duncan is caught in the middle of this desolate world, having to cohabitate with his troubled mother His relationship with his mother is one of the most heartwar
On the front and spine of the book jacket, the words THIS and DESOLATION are in caps while magnificent isn t Does this mean something Perhaps the author is telling us we all encounter loneliness and desolation at some point while his story is one of billions of tales about this subject I know I m over thinking this issue, but this is the kind of novel with a lot to think about and for me it s one best read slowly Some passages are so beautiful they beg to be read several
The novel is completely bogged down with tiresome descriptions concerning the landscape and the weather It was absolute overload, which kept the plot from moving along at something resembling a decent speed.

!!> Reading ➽ This Magnificent Desolation  ➶ Author Thomas O'Malley –
  • Hardcover
  • 416 pages
  • This Magnificent Desolation
  • Thomas O'Malley
  • English
  • 14 October 2018
  • 9781408833803