Not exactly sure why this is a classic. The story of Sophie and Nathan could have stood on their own without the first person "extra" story of Stingo. The narrative of Stingo was as if a 17 year old boy put his feelings into a story of people in their 30's. It was distracting from the main story...will watch the movie but probably not read the book again.
Fills in the gaps the movie leaves behind. The Holocaust is presented in all its darkened glory, not for the faint of heart.
A stirring story told in layer. In this gradually revealed tale styron combine explosive humor, drama, tragedy, and horror into a compelling whole which draw the reader in. The three main characters are all so engrossing. This book digs into the human psyche. A great novel.
A masterpiece! Stingo's voice is comical, elegiac and captivating (this is obvious, if you read the very first page). A suspenseful thriller and prose that is carefully cut and polished as a precious diamond.
However, it's not for everyone. It is not a beach-book thriller. The language is ''classical'' and requires concentration to get into. It is also a very good introduction to the ''Holocaust fiction''. The novel (about 700 pages) itself has a broody, gloomy quality. Stingo's sexual misadventures are a welcome comic relief.
I am, in fact, reading it for the second time. My first reading 3 odd years ago was rather hurried. But now I am reading it at a slower careful pace,and enjoying every bit of it.
1980 National Book Award - Fiction
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