Angle of Repose

Stegner, Wallace

  17 Reviews

Historian Lyman Ward finds the perfect project for his early retirement: writing the biography of his grandparents Susan and Oliver Ward, pioneers of the American West. As Lyman carefully excavates their relationship and challenges, his own life and marriage in California are also laid bare.

Beautiful natural imagery, complex characters and the rich detail of American history come together in this literary treasure, a Pulitzer prize winning novel as deeply satisfying today as it was when it was first published in 1971. [Big read}



CHCH 479
Although somewhat difficult for some to get into, we all agreed on the depth and beauty of the language and creation of settings, and the drawing of complex relationships in a believable and realistic story.
A satisfying read.
NAP 032
We gave this book a 1.56/5. Most struggled to finish and found it a bit slow and boring. Those that finished it thought it was just ok.
TAUM 003
A big read, some members struggled with the small print and couldn't finish it. Those who did really enjoyed it.
This was a very satisfying book which we all enjoyed. Rich characters and plenty of detail kept us all interested. Great descriptions of the landscape and the challenges faced by pioneers. The narrator also faced challenges and we enjoyed his stoic sense of humour as he dealt with his own relationships.
CHCH 299
This is a long read, which put some off. One member only read a few pages and lost interest. Others loved it, and found it an absorbing story with beautiful descriptions of life in isolated communities in America in the 19th century. Others liked the story structure (which moved between the 1800s and 1970s) where the grandmother's tale is told by the grandson, and how his world view influenced his interpretation of her life.
Brilliant novel, wordy but well-written - great description of place and characters. A long read but well worth the effort.
PAUA 001
This book provides an insightful glimpse into the life of American pioneers in the mid-west. The scenery is so beautifully depicted that it almost becomes a character of its own. Well written - we had immense admiration for Susan for her tenacity and perseverance when faced with so many challenges. It is a big read but totally worth it.
CHCH 194
We all found this an excellent and informative book. It was a big read - as stated by other groups - but it had great depth and gave good insight into life at that time. Very well written - and it provoked meaningful discussion.
WELL 168
Those that read the book found it quite a hard read to get into, but found it a worthwhile read once they did.
DIAM 001
Lively discussion. Most agreed the interwoven present/past plots added to the story and the use of the letters added realism. We enjoyed the language and vivid pictures painted of the times and places.
Many found it a challenging read. Those that persevered enjoyed the story, and the pictures painted of the "west". A good read.
WELL 041
Did we enjoy this book Many did not. Even though a Pulitzer Prize winner, we all felt it very wordy and didn't like Lyman Ward, and felt his story intruded on the interesting and fascinating story of Susan and and Oliver Ward. Based on Mary Hallock Foote and her husband Arthur, much of 'Angle of Repose' is vastly different to their actual lives - we all found the Foote history fascinating. We did appreciate our computers in this search.
MILT 002
Most thought the book was too long, but members enjoyed some of the descriptive language. We had a good discussion based on the questions.
Most people couldn't finish it as it was too dense and too long. The few that finished it loved it. All thought that Stegner described places very well.
This book generated a longer discussion than any other book the group has read to date. It's a big read, but well worthwhile as it pulls you in. The characters are well drawn and the landscape described in such a way that it brings it alive. From daunting to dusty and everything in between, the journeys between East and West gave the reader a real sense of the vast distances travelled, and how long it took in the late 1800s to get from one place to another. The group also had interesting discussions around the subjects of love, loyalty, attraction and betrayal....
AUCK 050
We loved this book. It contained quality writing with captivating language and provided a unique view of settling in the west of the United States. Our only criticism is that it was such a big, heavy read that we really needed 2 months to get through it. The author was skilled at sculpting several different personalities in highly believable characters. Thoroughly recommended.