Read About Grace by Anthony Doerr Online

about-grace

When Anthony Doerr's The Shell Collector was published in 2002, the Los Angeles Times called his stories "as close to faultless as any writer—young or vastly experienced—could wish for." He won the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Discover Prize, Princeton's Hodder Fellowship, and two O. Henrys, and shared the Young Lions Award. Now he has writWhen Anthony Doerr's The Shell Collector was published in 2002, the Los Angeles Times called his stories "as close to faultless as any writer—young or vastly experienced—could wish for." He won the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Discover Prize, Princeton's Hodder Fellowship, and two O. Henrys, and shared the Young Lions Award. Now he has written one of the most beautiful, wise, and compelling first novels of recent times. David Winkler begins life in Anchorage, Alaska, a quiet boy drawn to the volatility of weather and obsessed with snow. Sometimes he sees things before they happen—a man carrying a hatbox will be hit by a bus; Winkler will fall in love with a woman in a supermarket. When David dreams that his infant daughter will drown in a flood as he tries to save her, he comes undone. He travels thousands of miles, fleeing family, home, and the future itself, to deny the dream. On a Caribbean island, destitute, alone, and unsure if his child has survived or his wife can forgive him, David is sheltered by a couple with a daughter of their own. Ultimately it is she who will pull him back into the world, to search for the people he left behind. Doerr's characters are full of grief and longing, but also replete with grace. His compassion for human frailty is extraordinarily moving. In luminous prose, he writes about the power and beauty of nature and about the tiny miracles that transform our lives. About Grace is heartbreaking, radiant, and astonishingly accomplished. ...

Title : About Grace
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780143036166
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 402 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

About Grace Reviews

  • Violet wells
    2018-11-09 02:08

    This novel, like a teenage relationship, took me from love to loathing in the space of two weeks. Part one was fabulous. (I apologise to friends to whom I prematurely recommended this book). David Winkler, a character whose naivety and social ineptness makes Dostoevsky’s Idiot appear like Machiavelli and Lord Byron forged into one, has prophetic dreams. He dreams of a fatal accident to a stranger and then watches it happen days later exactly as he dreamt it. He then dreams a meeting with a woman he loves. He meets her and wins her, even though she is married. The writing early on is so good it’s a piece of cake to suspend disbelief. They have a child, Grace. He then dreams that Grace dies in his arms in a flood. When the flood arrives Winkler decides the only way to save her is for him to vanish so she cannot die in his arms as she did in his dream. Without any explanation he therefore leaves his family and catches a boat to St Vincent. His actions by now have alienated us from any sympathy or understanding of him. He’s become emotionally incomprehensible. And he will remain emotionally incomprehensible throughout the book. He’s become, in fact, more a plot device than a believable character. He does what Doerr needs him to do to keep the plot ticking over. When any normal human being would talk he stays mute; when any normal human being would act he bangs his head against a wall. He spends so much time banging his head against walls that you begin to feel a dull pain in your own forehead. Maybe Doerr is making a point about the inability of males to talk about their private feelings and fears? But whatever point he’s making it becomes more and more laboured. Suspension of disbelief starts becoming a real problem. In St Vincent he befriends a family and becomes a surrogate father to a little girl. He dreams she dies too. But by now there’s so much superfluous weight to this book that it’s wobbling and wheezing along, all trace of any bone structure hidden beneath fold upon fold of fat. There’s more nature description in this book than any 19th century novel. Everything within eyesight is described – ironic as Winkler is severely short sighted. There are entire chapters that wouldn’t be remotely missed if they were cut. Quite a few of ‘em. And Doerr’s writing becomes more and more self-indulgent and whimsical as the book progresses. Often it’s like reading a rehearsal of a novel rather than a novel itself. Maybe if an editor had cut it down to 250 pages….There are parallels with All the Light We Cannot See. All the Light didn’t really have much plot beyond a basic fairy story floorplan (all the genius was in the beautiful economy of the prose and the artistry with which all its elements were integrated) and About Grace is the same. Two characters are separated and we wait for them to meet. The characters here also have a passion for specialised natural science subjects. Winkler is obsessed with snow crystals (boy, does this get tiresome!) And the surrogate daughter is studying insects. These interests in the natural world though are clumsily integrated into the plot, unlike in All the Light where they’re handled with much greater artistry. I never understood what relevance snow crystals had to this story. Perhaps because I never understood what relationship Winkler had with the natural world. It's like Doerr's wiring was faulty and all the pretty network of lights he threaded through his story never came on. All the light we cannot see indeed! The ending is horrible, a fairy story firework display of sentimentality and whimsy and, what’s more, wholly predictable. However you have to take your hat off to Doerr. To have started off his writing career with so little promise and gone on to write All the Light is some achievement.

  • LeAnne
    2018-10-25 07:05

    Astounding. Eloquent. As good as or perhaps better than All the Light...but if you're not a science-type or do not revel in small intricacies of nature, you might just disagree. I'd also add that being a parent probably adds to the connection between the reader and this beautiful story. Not a mom or pop? That's okay. The people who found this too long or became tired of the meaning behind snow crystals and water molecules and the way insects can survive near-death are fine readers, I'm sure, but they are not of my tribe. Doerr's Pulitzer-winning All the Light We Cannot See was equally long, but because the book was split into the story of two characters whose lives eventually intersected, perhaps it felt like two books about teenagers - and that is likely more palatable to the general public for 400 pages. So, yeah - that addresses the negative reviews.Our hero is a science-y guy with thick glasses, a native of Alaska who is well-adjusted and was raised by a kind, happily married couple. His mom taught him as a little boy to appreciate all the different sorts of snow...watching individual flakes land on the window pane, going up to the roof of their apartment to see it fall, looking at an old reference book filled with micrographs (photos taken via microscope) showing each crystal of frozen water. The only kink in his story is that he has an occasional dream here or there that seemingly comes true - or perhaps just an intense sense of deja vu that hits him every now and then. It's hard to tell with a child.David lives a normal, somewhat boring life still there in Anchorage, and uses his PhD in hydrology to study snow and the water from which it is made. He describes the angle of atoms inside water molecules, the vibrations and outside influences that make each snowflake unique. He adores snow, nothing but snow. And then, in his thirties, he bumps into the love of his life in a grocery store as she is buying Apple Jacks and perusing a copy of Good Housekeeping magazine. From that point forward, everything changes. Big time.I will confess that I am a retired geoscientist so all the little beauties that David found in nature thrilled me. Where some people find depth or meaning in music, others find it in the intricate design of seashells, cracking ice floes, and the metamorphosis of butterflies. In general, we physical scientists tend to be logical and analytical, and yet we are as big a group of idiots as anybody else. We make naïve choices, react to things emotionally. David - a brilliant hydrologist - will make decisions that will make you want to smack him. What he sacrifices for his little child will wow you. David comes alive in this story, and I dare you not to love him and the patched-together family who ultimately love him too.Five stars and on my favorites shelf.

  • Cathy
    2018-11-22 08:57

    I read this because Doerr is a local author, and a prize winner, and I liked him so much when I heard him speak. I wanted to like the book. I listened to it in my car and listened to the whooooooole thing. I started cursing it as I drove down the street. At times I wanted to drive into a telephone pole just to stop the pain. a) I don't like plotting based on poor decisions by the characters. b) I don't like extended meanderings into beautiful descriptive prose about things that have absolutely nothing to do with anything...sometimes right at a suspenseful moment. My patience with good writing around an annoying plot just doesn't stretch for 413 pages. And if the book was trying to say something about diaphanous borders between now and the future, I was so frustrated, I didn't care. Sorry, Tony. This was a first novel, after all. I'll try Memory Wall when I calm down.

  • Snotchocheez
    2018-11-03 07:49

    I read this in preparation to tackleAll the Light We Cannot See to see what all the hoopla's about. I gotta say, Anthony Doerr is an impressive writer, and I am somewhat more eager to read his Pulitzer Prize winner now that I've readAbout Grace. It's by no means a perfect book; in fact the novel is stuffed with gobs of superfluous stuff that threatens to detract from the story (how much do wereally need to know about snow crystal formation, anyway?) but Doerr writes with an exuberance that is sneakily infectious: he believes down deep he's got a worthwhile story to impart and by gosh he's not going to let go until you agree. Even when the story is taking some ridiculous turns (and there are quite a few) you just want to see where he takes you.In this case, Anchorage, Alaska is where hydrologist David Winkler's story begins. He's obsessed with water in all its forms, and obsessed with his dreams, which eerily foretell the future. After meeting his wife (foreseen in a dream enticing her away from her husband) and moving to Ohio to land a weather forecasting position with a television station, he dreams their daughter Grace dies in a flood by David's own hand. To avert this from happening, David (whoreally takes stock in his dreams' progrnosticative powers) opts to get as far away from his wife and daughter as possible, specifically to St.Vincent Island in the Caribbean. As one could imagine, David's drastic actions to avoid his dream coming true utterly aggrieves and angers his wife, who leaves him, with no means of contacting her again (or David finding out the conditition of their daughter). It"s a really far-fetched story, but Doerr blithely barrels along, regardless. Despite the only-in-Hollywood-and-goofy-novels-feeling it leaves you with, Doerr's writing is really quite lovely, and leaves the reader (if he can buy the premise) as bereft as David as he contends with the weird loss of his family.It's sappy and hokey, but Doerr's first novel (2004) gives plenty of evidence of a burgeoning talent, mighty enough to presage the future attention-grab of the Pulitzer panel. Can't wait to read his newer stuff. .

  • Jaline
    2018-11-18 04:57

    Throughout the journey this book took me on, grace was present everywhere that it was allowed. (Sometimes it's amazing how we gift grace to others but don't allow it for ourselves.) The magic of aspects of nature were here - in water's many forms, the world of insects, the seasons and various locales and how they affect the flora and fauna - and vice versa. Dreams are here - prophetic and prosaic and everything in-between. And through it all - grace, love, and the bonds between people who connect as they journey on their individual quests toward their (at times) inter-c0nnected goals. This was a great read.

  • Pat Simons
    2018-10-24 02:42

    After reading All the Light We Cannot See, which I found thought-provoking and beautifully written, I wanted to read more of Doerr's work. The title "About Grace" looked promising, so I downloaded it. But the book didn't hold a candle (hoho) to All the Light We Cannot See. Some of the prose was lovely, although not as spectacular as the prose in All the Light We Cannot See. But I was as happy to see About Grace end as I was sorry to see the end of All the Light We Cannot See. I found the protagonist whiny, unlikable, fragmented, and dreary. He tirelessly and tediously reveled in misery, which he heaped on himself and other people in abundance. The science and the snow in the book were more interesting to me than he was. A few of the minor characters worked well though--especially those on the island. There wasn't enough, however, to redeem the book for me. I often felt like I was drowning in heavy-handedness and déja vu. And not just the protagonists' mystical visions.

  • Renata
    2018-10-28 00:54

    Anthony Doerr tiene una forma de escribir muy única y bonita. La verdad es que tras leer La luz que no puedes ver supe que iba a leer más novelas de este autor por que sabe hacerte entrar en la historia y le da sentido y no sé como decirlo, pero sus novelas me están gustando muchísimo. No me gustó tanto como el primer libro suyo que leí, pero sí que me gustó para darle cuatro estrellas. Me encanta como describe perfectamente todo y realmente su manera de escribir las novelas es tan tan tan bonita que al final aunque la trama llegue a ser lenta, me sigue encantando. El libro en sí estuvo genial porque la trama la vi original y muy real, además acabas entendiendo a todos los personajes. No puedo decir que el libro es para todo el mundo porque como dije, en ciertas partes se me hizo bastante lento pero creo que si le dais una oportunidad, solo por la forma de escribir del autor, os puede gustar y mucho.

  • Lori
    2018-11-05 08:54

    I love that he uses the science of snowflakes to mirror the complicated mental patterns of a human being who is lost and trying to find his place in the world, attempting to come to terms with the chaos in his head and heart. Doeer is remarkably astute in delving into the isolation and loneliness of being human, the intermittment connections we make: some enduring, others brief and awkward, but each valuable and necessary. This story is a classic hero's journey and Doerr writes it well. I perceive this to be a story about the recovery of love and the dark places it takes you, but it's also a story about surviving.

  • TheGirlBytheSeaofCortez
    2018-11-07 06:52

    About Grace is the first novel from Boise, Idaho based author, Anthony Doerr. He previously published a collection of short stories, The Shell Collector, which were both moving and gorgeous. One of the qualities of the stories contained in The Shell Collector, i.e., each story's deep connection to the natural world in which it takes place, actually becomes one of the chief weaknesses in About Grace.About Grace opens as its protagonist, David Winkler, a fifty-nine-year-old scientist, especially fascinated by all forms of water, is on a plane bound from the small Caribbean island of St. Vincent to the US after a twenty-five-year absence. David is an unusual man, in part because of his deep connection to nature, and in part, because he is prescient: he has dreams of future events, a fate he inherited from his long dead mother. Although some would call David's dreams prophecies, he, himself, prefers to call them simply, dreams. Sometimes these dreams work in ways David likes, as when he dreams about meeting Sandy, the woman who would become his wife; sometimes these dreams are mundane, as when David dreams that a piece of luggage will fall from an overhead bin on his flight from the Caribbean to the US; at other times, these dreams definitely take a malevolent turn, as when David dreams that his home is flooded and he fails to save his infant daughter, Grace, causing her death, instead.After the opening set-piece, during which David is returning to the US, Doerr then tells us, in long flashbacks interspersed with the present, how David, then a thirty-two-year-old hydrologist in Alaska, comes to meet Sandy, how she leaves her husband for him and how the two of them move to Cleveland, Ohio, where David works as a meteorologist. While the birth of Grace seems, at first, to make Sandy's and David's lives complete, David's dream of Grace's death is, to him, so frightening in its potential for realization, that he flees to St. Vincent, alienating Sandy and cutting himself off from Grace.In St. Vincent, David takes any job he can get and lives, basically, in dire poverty, forming a close bond with an expatriate Chilean couple, Felix and Soma. He becomes especially close to the small daughter of the family, Naaliyah, who will, after David's second dream of a death by drowning, perhaps become his own "saving grace."About Grace is a very internal, introspective, slow-moving novel. While I like introspective, character-driven novels as opposed to "page-turners," I thought About Grace was so slow-paced that at times, it stalled. Doerr, who can write beautiful prose, sometimes seems to be more intent on that than on giving us a story or even insight into his characters, instead. David Winkler, himself, is an exasperating protagonist. He's not a bad man; he truly wants to do what's best, for himself and for his family as well as for the Chilean family he comes to love, but he's underdeveloped, too wishy-washy, too indecisive, and too ineffectual. Even his decisive actions, like fleeing Cleveland for St. Vincent, have an aura of desperation about them that diminish David in our eyes rather than cause us to empathize with him. And although Doerr most certainly wants us to focus on David and his inner turmoil, it's very difficult to do so when David, himself, focuses more on nature.Doerr's lovely prose is totally sans cliché. He writes clean prose. He writes poetic prose. This is, sadly, one of the problems with About Grace. Doerr seems so focused on giving us a highly poetic story that he allows the poeticism in his novel to take over. While I love lush, poetic prose, I don't care for it at the expense of story or characterization. The poeticism of the stories contained in The Shell Collector wasn't a problem. But what works in a fifteen or twenty page story, that is quite impressionistic, isn't going to work in a novel of four hundred pages. After fewer than one hundred pages of this stuff, I began to sigh and long for something that at least resembled a story or a little character development that didn't relate to the majesty and grandeur of water in all its myriad forms. And I’m a nature lover. Big time.Doerr also drifts into the unbelievable when he tries to describe the love between the already married Sandy and David. At one point David thinks, regarding Sandy:He could study the colors and creases in her palm for fifteen minutes, imagining he could see the blood traveling through her capillaries.Even the most dyed-in-the-wool, poetry loving romantic, one certainly not against love, even love at first sight, has probably never, not even once, thought of the blood traveling through his/her beloved’s capillaries, at least in a romantic sort of way. They probably didn’t even want to think of the blood traveling through anyone's capillaries, loved one or not. Now, I’m not a child, I don't need magic slippers and knights in shining armor, but I just couldn't believe in the love between Sandy and David. It just wasn't realistic to me.I realize Doerr wanted to hammer home the idea that David Winkler is a scientist, but I think he hammered a little too hard. Another problem with characterizing David as the "ultimate scientist" is that Doerr also asks us to accept the fact that David is enough of a poet-at-heart to accept the metaphysical, the mystical, the unexplainable. For me, the two never came together the way they should.The plot - what plot there is - is also driven too much by coincidence. I can accept one or two coincidences in a novel, even a novel that's supposed to be a "slice of life," for after all, coincidence is but a part of life. But in About Grace, some of the story's major plot points turn on extravagant coincidence, something that caused me to shake my head and mutter, "Oh, please." Had this been a comic novel, something along the lines of those written by Carl Hiaasen, for example, the coincidence would have been easier to swallow, for Hiaasen's novels aren't meant to be taken seriously. About Grace is.The theme of About Grace in implied in its title, of course. This is a book about achieving a state of grace in life and the difficulties one must go through in order to do so even more than it’s about a man’s search for his daughter. It's a book about discarding the safety of a belief in predestination and actually living one's life with passion, with intensity, with an embrace that encompasses both the beauty and the pain. I loved this theme, but I don't think Doerr pulled it off.Doerr is a young writer, and for one so young, his mistakes are forgivable. But while forgivable, they don't make for good, compelling reading unless you want to read an extended meditation on the majesty of water. Even though About Grace put me to sleep more times than it engaged my heart and soul, it pains me greatly to award it only one stars. It's obvious that Doerr is a very talented writer, but it's also obvious that he needs to learn a bit more about his craft. And in the long term, perhaps he'll always be better at the short story than the novel. The two require very different skills and Doerr's seem to definitely lie with the shorter form. Although it pains me to do this to a writer so obviously talented, I really can't recommend this book. The characters are infuriating and they lack humanity, something this book really needs in order to succeed. The plot meanders off course far too often, and in the end, despite the pretty prose and well-turned phrases, the whole thing is a massive bore. Skip it and read The Shell Collector instead. It's really worth every minute you spend with it.

  • GoldGato
    2018-10-27 04:45

    Languid. This is a languid book requiring the reader to lower their metabolism to match the flow of the page. If the reader can do this, if the reader can build patience, then a world of graceful prose will be the reward.The mythology of the Great Flood still lives in our heads. The fear and awe of water and waves and violent whitecaps. "We live in the beds of ancient oceans." Water and its transformation into snowflakes form the basis of this novel. The water in each of us that longs to return to the sea, from whence it came. The main protagonist transforms also, even though it can be hard on the reader. We want to push him, force him to make an effort, DO SOMETHING! As I continued reading, I thought of Joyce:All day I hear the noise of waters making moan, Sad as the sea-bird is when, going forth alone, He hears the winds cry to the water's monotone. The grey winds, the cold winds are blowing where I go. I hear the noise of many waters far below. All day, all night, I hear them flowing To and fro. But David Winkler is trapped by his dreams. He runs from them and stays away until his transformation is completed. Like a snowflake. "To enter a world of shadows is to leave this world for another." Yet we stay patient and we read on, because now we are attached to David Winkler. He is a refugee. We all are, in one way or another. His travels from Alaska to Ohio to the Caribbean involve us more and more, even as we barely notice other major characters enter the book.I truly enjoyed this novel, even though I fought it. The author dictates the character's pace, so it's my job as the reader to adjust my expectations and adapt to the protagonist. I was justly rewarded.Book Season = Winter (brew some herbal tea)

  • Becky
    2018-10-31 04:58

    This book tells the story of David Winkler, a man who has dreams that are premonitions of the future. It was beautifully written with amazing imagery of the diverse settings of the novel. In Winkler's attempts to escape his dreams he travels from the Caribbean to Alaska and Doerr describes both of these settings in beautiful almost magical detail. Water and snow become the most amazingly complex and beautiful things in Doerr's writing. Other reviewers have stated that while the writing was beautiful, the plot and characters weren't as strong. I, however, disagree. I felt very connected to the main character, and couldn't stop reading to find out what happened in his story. I especially loved the main character's interactions with the young children characters of the book. The descriptions of the children's discovery of the natural beauty of the world was touching, and I think people with children would appreciate it even more.

  • Mai Laakso
    2018-11-15 02:02

    Doerr sai vuonna 2015 Pulizer-palkinnon kirjasta Kaikki se valo jota emme näe. Kirjan huippukohdat olivat toisen maailmansodan aikana. Kirjassa suurta osaa esitti ääniaallot ja toisen päähenkilön sokeus.Uusin suomennos Davidin uni on kirjailijan esikoisteos vuodelta 2004. Tämän kirjan teemana on vesi ja sen eri olomuodot. Kirjasta löytyy sadetta, joki, valtameri, pisarat, kiteet, lumihiutaleet, lumi, jäätiköt ja tulvat sekä paljon muuta veteen liittyvää. Kirjan päähenkilö näkee unia ja valitettavasti hän näkee myöskin enneunia kuolemasta. Kirja on mukaansatempaava heti alusta asti ja 426 sivua sujahti kuin unessa. Doerr on taitava ja hänen ilmaisunsa on uskomattoman hieno.

  • Inés Izal
    2018-10-29 06:06

    Más largo que un día sin pan.

  • hayden
    2018-11-01 04:43

    2 starsokay. um. doerr? are you sure? this is the same anthony doerr that wrote All the Light We Cannot See? you're absolutely positive? also the same author who wrote the novella Memory Wall? seriously??this feels so detached from doerr's more recent work (and i'm very glad it's not the other way around): it moves at a snail's pace; the prose isn't nearly as lively as it is in his later work; and, for god's sake, the narrator is fucking intolerable. by the halfway point, i was literally forcing myself to turn pages. this book took me weeks to read.by the end, it slightly redeems itself, as the plot picks up and things become less . . . ridiculous. it's still nowhere as wonderful as doerr is capable of making it, as he's proved in all the light and memory wall. maybe he just needs a whole decade to write each novel. if that's the cost of quality, it may be worth it.

  • Stephen
    2018-10-25 04:07

    "I could be bound in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space – were it not that I have bad dreams.” -- Hamlet An awful gift, a dreadful mistake, half a lifetime of doldrums and then repentance form the arc of this first novel by Anthony Doerr, whose second All the Light We Cannot See has been a near-universal favorite in 2014. I recommend About Grace very highly, though stinting one star on goodreads because I haven’t yet given five to any fiction (except humor) not read at least twice.By repentance I don’t mean just mea culpa pleas for forgiveness, wails of guilt. The deeper meaning is a change in path, a re-thinking of what one did or said and action on new life.The writing is keen and poetic. Characterization is gentle, vivid, without hard edges. This being an odyssey, there are down times in plot (25 years on a small island chain) and hurried, searching, journeys.The protagonist. David Winkler, is a bright myopic nebbish who grew up in Anchorage AK. We learn from a flashback in Chapter 10 that at age nine he had had a nightmare from which he was awakened by his loving mother, screaming and trying to put on his shoes. The omniscient narration tells us the dream was of a pedestrian, no one he knew, fatally hit by a bus, with a graphic detail: the victim was carrying a hatbox that spilled out a “gray fedora.” Significantly, young David did not tell his mother the dream’s content but seemed upset for hours. Two days after, David saw a man struck and killed by a bus in real life (and death). A gray fedora fell from the broken hatbox the man had been carrying. I see two interpretations of this sequence. Either David has second sight, or he unconsciously grafted the details of the terrible sight – the bus and the hat -- into the inchoate recent memory of a nightmare. This is more plausible, more rational. All of us have had horrible nightmares of catastrophes, some of which may involve recognizable persons in our lives. I have a recurring one of watching from the ground a jumbo jet losing power not high off the ground and inexorably descending into a crash. These started after 9/11 but have no details. I can tell people about them, not convinced they foretell any specific event. I must have had nightmares about the death or injury of a loved person, but cannot today ever remember one. When they happen, they are not, thank God, cinematically clear as David’s seems to have been, but chaotic and bizarre like most dreams. This allows me to dismiss them, let them “fly forgotten” in the morning and never speak of them. I would feel guilty having dreamed them.After a big-news disaster it is not uncommon to hear urban legends of friends of friends who foresaw it, but very seldom did the seer go on record beforehand with unambiguous pertinent details. What is usual, perhaps unique, about David’s dreams is the clear, trivial details (a dropped magazine, a concrete block, a dangling computer mouse) that are exactly what he will see in the real event. This makes them much more frightening.Whether David has second sight or a kind of post-traumatic stress disorder, he will for decades believe that his visions in sleep, even dreamt just once, foretell destiny. He will be deathly afraid of them, unable to think they could be wrong or give a chance to change in reality what he saw in the dream. After he is nine, we hear of no fresh examples until, in a happy reversal, at age thirty-two, he meets his future wife in circumstances he had seen in a dream. This the best thing in his life to that age.Then fear after another ominous dream not long after marriage sends him on a blind panicked run from his new wife and little daughter, a complete cutoff that lasts twenty-five years. Only when he has used the message of another horrifying prophetic dream to do something really good can he repent. At last he is ready to look for his abandoned wife and daughter, not knowing if either lives.Is this book realistic or magical? Someone who can’t credit second sight and prophetic powers can still read it with interest and sympathy though having to label David with some sort of mental illness; poriomania is not a good fit, nor is a dissociative fugue state without amnesia. It could be seen as a chronic delusional system. Though I really appreciate fiction that is firmly realistic (say, Saul Bellow’s or Tolstoy’s or in a different sphere Ann Tyler’s) I’m ready to accept some magic in fiction. Then the book is about breaking the curse of second sight.About Grace is a book of kindness, which abounds in it.

  • Inés
    2018-11-22 05:57

    2'5 en realidad.A priori una trama muy interesante,narrada con una prosa delicada,exquisita;pero con un protagonista desesperante,con nula iniciativa para solucionar sus problemas.Nada que ver con "La luz que no puedes ver"

  • Irunesa
    2018-11-10 02:58

    Una prosa exquisita...nada más.

  • Elizabeth Shafer
    2018-11-12 07:52

    I was given Doerr's recent book for Christmas but decided to first read his first novel, About Grace. As others have observed, Doerr seems to think like a scientist--whether about about stars, snowflakes, shells, insects--but writes like a poet. What is chance, what is fate? Doerr deals with these philosophical questions viscerally and brilliantly. The protagonist, David Winkler, is cursed with dreams or premonitions of events, some of which occur and which fill him with overwhelming dread, causing him to flee from his wife Sandy and infant daughter Grace, crippling his life for half a century. His evolving bonds with Felix, Soma and their daughter, and his redemptive relationships with Naaliyah, Herman Sheeler, his grandson and finally Grace, are only a few strands of this fascinating, frightening, weird but wonderful book that is ultimately about family bonds and grace in its widest sense.

  • Laura
    2018-11-04 04:58

    Having read All The Light We Cannot See and, like many, thinking it was beautiful, I picked up the authors debut with high expectations. Conversely, I just couldn’t enjoy this one. What made Doerrs’ writing so captivating in his Pulitzer Prize winning book just didn’t work here. It was overly descriptive and by forty percent in I was getting frustrated with the lack of plot development. It’s very, very rare that one author can divide me so much. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend All The Light We Cannot See but couldn’t say the same for this. The problem is when an author has a book so successful all his other works fall under the same critique. I didn’t love this, I’m afraid, although I appreciate it’s a novel concept for a book. Doerr is a gifted writer and master of imagination but it seems he didn’t find his feet, writing wise, until after this book was done and dusted.

  • Angela Leon
    2018-10-23 00:59

    Quizás algo menos de 3 estrellas. No ha sido tan mal como esperaba después de las críticas leídas, seguramente por las bajas expectativas que llevaba. Una cosa cierta: este señor escribe maravilosamente bien.

  • Nicole
    2018-11-09 00:46

    Winklers Traum vom Wasser von Anthony Doerr (486)David Winkler wächst in Anchorage, Alaska, auf, ein stiller Junge mit einer Vorliebe für Schnee und die Schönheit der Eiskristalle. Manchmal kann er Ereignisse sehen, bevor sie eintreten werden – ein Mann mit einer Hutschachtel wird von einem Bus angefahren werden, er wird sich in eine Frau in einem Supermarkt verlieben. Als David davon träumt, daß seine neugeborene Tochter in einer Flut ums Leben kommt, während er versucht sie zu retten, flieht er panisch aus Cleveland, wo die Familie inzwischen lebt. Kann er so den Lauf der Dinge ändern? Mittellos, allein und ohne Gewißheit, ob seine Tochter überlebt hat – der Ohio ist tatsächlich in Cleveland über die Ufer getreten –, wohnt Winkler auf einer karibischen Insel bei einem Ehepaar mit einer Tochter, die sich um ihn kümmern. Schließlich ist es die Tochter, die ihn in die Welt zurückholt, um nach den Menschen zu suchen, die er verlassen hat. 25 Jahre nach seiner Flucht kehrt Winkler zurück nach Amerika. Dem Hype um dieses Buch kann ich mich leider nicht anschließen. Obwohl der Stil ziemlich poetisch ist, habe ich die Geschichte eher über mich ergehen lassen, als dass ich sie genossen hätte.  Winkler und auch alle anderen Charaktere blieben mir bis zum Schluss fremd, selbst als jemand starb ließ mich das gleichgültig.  

  • Lesincele Viaja gracias a los libros
    2018-11-17 07:44

    No sé si ha sido por las opiniones que había leído sobre este libro que lo ponían flojo, el ir sin expectativas o el no haber leído su otro libro. Pero la verdad es que la he disfrutado mucho. Me ha gustado la trama, los personajes y sobre todo la forma de escribir del autor, que aunque pausada es muy descriptiva y detallista y te hace sentir casi que estás allí.La verdad es que me ha dejado con ganas de repetir con el autor

  • Bill Perkins
    2018-10-25 05:56

    One of my favorite books. The charachter Mr Winkler often is in my thoughts. It is a story of remorse, of growth, of change, and of love. I recommend this to anyone. The text is beautifully written. The characters are deeply defined. I loved every word, and was so sad to see the end.

  • Jessica Sullivan
    2018-10-30 05:40

    "Sometimes I can't believe I've been allowed to live this long, to see these things. After everything, after all this, I still can't help but think it is so lovely. Isn't it, David? Isn't all of it so damn outrageously beautiful?"David Winkler is a hydrologist passionate about snowflakes—their variances, their beauty, their delicacy. This is a book about patterns, designs and complexities, not just of snowflakes, but of human lives.Ever since he was a little boy David has had premonitions. When he falls in love and has a baby, these premonitions disrupt his entire life. He has constant visions of his daughter Grace drowning, of his inadvertent involvement in her death, and because he can think of no other way to potentially keep her safe but to remove himself from the picture, he up and leaves his family in the middle of a flood.David's journey takes him from his home in Alaska to Ohio to the Caribbean and back again to Alaska. He remains haunted by his past, never truly knowing if Grace is alive, and finally decades later works up the courage to find her.This is a sad and beautiful book about relationships of all kinds: romantic, paternal, platonic. Doerr evokes a strong sense of place with vivid prose about the majesty and indifference of the natural world. His characters are broken, lonely and incomplete, yet they still manage to find beauty and meaning in what they can.

  • Bosorka
    2018-11-05 04:07

    Čtu O dívce Grace, za oknem šedivo, stromy už holé a mně je smutno. A celou dobu si říkám, že ta knížka je tak smutná, že nevím, zda ji neodložit do nějakého nadějnějšího období. Ale Anthony Doerr mi to nedovolil. Ač zádumčivě, přece jen úžasně mě vodil v patách Davidu Winklerovi, s ním hledal, poznával, osahával, očichával, poslouchal. Porozuměl mrakům, vodě, sněhu, hmyzu a lecčemus dalšímu. Jen ti lidé mu trošku dělali problém. Jak já byla na Davida Winklera kolikrát naštvaná, že je tak mlčenlivý a že nechá věci dojít zbytečně tam, kam vůbec dospět nemusely. Že ztratil tolik času. A taky mi ho bylo líto, ten smutek bych z něj nejraději vyhnala, ale to by zase nevznikl tak smyslů plný příběh, ta cesta skoro obyčejným lidským životem. Neměla bych pak chuť zkoumat vločky a zakuklené můry, sbírat to, co vyplaví moře a nemohla bych držet palce. Sice mám teď za krkem melancholickou deku, která je malinko těžší. Ale vlastně docela hřeje. Koukám z okna a padají obří vločky.

  • Liisa
    2018-11-15 04:50

    I thought I should read About Grace now that it´s still winter, because it seemed extremely fitting for the season, and I was right. I have never read a book where snow and water in all its forms is described as beautifully, skillfully and in such detail. And I love how parts of the story is set in the warm Caribbean islands and parts in the cold winter of Alaskan wilderness. The plot I found very intriguing, even though the main character got on my nerves at some points, but that´s only natural when you´re following someones life for decades. There wasn´t always much happening, but Doerr was able to capture my interest from the very beginning and I needed to know what had really happened, and what would happen in the end. So the story is quite brilliant, but About Grace would not have been nearly as impressive without Doerr´s fantastic prose that I had already fell in love with when reading All the Light We Cannot See. I think his debut novel deserves more attention than it´s been getting, apart from a few minor problems it´s such an amazing book.

  • David Carr
    2018-11-20 09:06

    I had finished Doerr's short story collection, Memory Wall, when my Kindle [I was traveling in Alaska] offered me an opportunity to read the first pages of About Grace and I said yes. Then I fell into this book and found it to take me back to some of the best reading I did forty years ago or more. At times Doerr reminded me of the Nabokov of Pnin or the great Bernard Malamud's A New Life; I also thought of Saul Bellow and the neglected Edward Lewis Wallant. Doerr's protagonist is haunted and driven, hopeful and enduring, hopeless and fragile. He starts out in Anchorage, runs with his lover to Cleveland (where Grace is born). His prescient dreaming sets him into a frenzy of protective madness. He loses his marriage and child, his job as a weatherman, but not the haunted life he has led. All of this is strangely credible, as it must be, to serve as the foundation for what follows, an attempt to live a life apart from all of its foundations. He is a hydrologist by training -- a specialist in snowflakes -- and scholarly disquisitions about moisture are embedded in the narrative successfully; also, there is a good deal of Alaskan entomology and chill-survival in the book. Further, the major portion of the novel (i.e., post-Cleveland) is set in the Grenadines, on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent. So it is a book of mixed climates, private nightmares, and slow recoveries of strength. It was a generous reading experience: more and more detail, fascinating inhabitation of a good man's troubled mind, and a series of friendships and rescues that address the trust needed for any long-term recovery from despair or fate or both.My strong recommendation follows from this evidence: I could have read this book all the way to Alaska, then to Cleveland, to St. Vincent, and back to Alaska again. Twice. And now I move on to another book by Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See.

  • Sally Knotwell
    2018-10-26 01:05

    This was a highly touted book for our book club. The premise had me excited to read it. However, once I got started, I found that I was in a constant state of confusion. Each chapter starts out with the main character, David Winkler, as a different age and it does not progress chronologically. It bounces from age 59 to 32 and back and forth with no particular signal that the reader is going back or forth. David Winkler is not a sympathetic character in my opinion. He is immoral and a stalker. And he is a coward. I actually did not waste my time finishing this book. While the premise of someone who can see the future and decides to change it by removing himself from the picture is intriguing, the author did not make this an enjoyable experience for me.

  • Kathy Miller
    2018-11-13 08:47

    Beautifully written, this is a literary endeavor that reaches into the heart of being human. Anthony Doerr is the award winning author of All the Light we Cannot See. About Grace was his debut novel and it is rich in detail and pathos. Character driven, this novel is a psychological foray into the heart of one man who loves deeply, and who augurs the future which brings him both joy and trepidation. The writing is exceptional, psychological in nature and enthralling. Loved it.

  • Sydney Gard
    2018-11-21 02:57

    Doerr wrote my favorite book, All the Light We Cannot See, so I was hoping this would be good too. It is not. Instead of reading this, read All the Light. Read it again if you already have. This book was simultaneously weird and boring, and getting through it was tedious. I am sad.