Cover image for The Brunist day of wrath
Title:
The Brunist day of wrath
Author:
Coover, Robert, author.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition
Publication Information:
Ann Arbor, MI : Dzanc Books, 2014.
Physical Description:
1005 pages ; 24 cm
Summary:
West Condon, small-town USA, five years later: the Brunists are back, loonies and cretins aplenty in tow, wanting it all, sainthood and salvation, vanity and vacuity, God's fury and a good laugh for the end is at hand. The Brunist Day of Wrath, the long-awaited sequel to The Origin of the Brunists, is both a scathing indictment of fundamentalism and a careful examination of a world where religion competes with money, common sense, despair, and reason.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781938604386
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

West Condon, small-town USA, five years later: the Brunists are back, loonies and "cretins" aplenty in tow, wanting it all--sainthood and salvation, vanity and vacuity, God's fury and a good laugh--for the end is at hand.

The Brunist Day of Wrath , the long-awaited sequel to the award-winning The Origin of the Brunists , is both a scathing indictment of fundamentalism and a careful examination of a world where religion competes with money, common sense, despair, and reason.

Robert Coover has published fourteen novels, three books of short fiction, and a collection of plays since The Origin of the Brunists received the William Faulkner Foundation First Novel Award in 1966. His short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, and Playboy, amongst many other publications. A long-time professor at Brown University, he makes his home Providence, Rhode Island.


Author Notes

Robert Coover is a midwesterner who has earned a reputation as one of the most innovative of contemporary writers of fiction. Coover likes to experiment with an abundance of differing styles. The Origin of the Brunists (1966), his first novel, is a religious parable heavily loaded with symbolism and mythical parallels. It deals with the rise following an Appalachian coal-mine disaster of a sect of worshipers made up of fundamentalists and theosophists whose leader, Giovanni Bruno, is less a preacher than a silent enigma. The principal analogue is apparently meant to be the founding of the Christian religion, but Coover's extensive irony requires that he reverse many of the traditional features of the Christian legend. The Universal Baseball Association (1968), Coover's most accessible novel to date, is also dominated by religious symbolism. Over the years, J. Henry Waugh, a middle-aged bachelor and accountant, has developed an elaborately structured game, which he plays with dice. His game is based on the mathematical probabilities of baseball. Every evening Henry plays his game and maintains his extensive record books. J. Henry Waugh is a surrogate for God, and the participants in his imaginary baseball league seem almost to come to life, raising as they do age-old questions about fate and free will, success and failure, games and religions.

Coover's Pricksongs and Descants (1969) is a collection of 20 short pieces and a theoretical "Prologo" in which the author states his belief that contemporary fiction should be based on familiar historical or mythical forms. Most of the stories in this volume, which was well received by critics, are based on biblical episodes or classical fairy tales retold in startling new ways.

The Public Burning (1977) is based on the controversial trial of the Rosenbergs. With the exception of a novel, A Night at the Movies (1992), Coover's publications in recent years have consisted mainly of shorter works, written at various stages of his career, published in limited editions to appeal to collectors. Coover is one of the founders of the Electronic Literature Organization. In 1987 he was chosen as the winner of the Rea Award for the Short Story. Coover is indeed one of the foremost short story writers of the postmodern period, as exemplified by the "Seven Exemplary Fictions" contained in his 1969 book Pricksongs and Descants.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

The writing itself is the main attraction of Coover's beastly new novel-vivid, specific, evocative, and fiercely intelligent. Coover can sweep the reader up in the vitality of his prose, plot notwithstanding. And there is plot, albeit a shaggy, tangled overabundance of it. The fervent religious cult called the Brunists returns to the rural coal town of West Condon, five years after a tragic exile and nearly half a century since Coover first wrote about them in his debut novel, The Origin of the Brunists (1966). Condemned cult member Abner Baxter returns to town with militant religious rigor, determined to weed out all but the true believers. Meanwhile West Condon's mayor and his cronies, a motorcycle gang, and an undercover reporter named Sally all spell trouble for the Followers. Abner is arguably the protagonist, but the story unfurls like a tapestry rather than a story with a conventional (or even unconventional) arc. Open the book anywhere and find another vivid portrait of a cultist or resident, woven into the subplot of a previously introduced character, inching forward. Questions of religion, faith, humanity and society are raised. Challenging and impressive, a virtuoso work, though not to all tastes. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.