Stock Image

Cloudsplitter : A Novel

Banks, Russell

3,369 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0060168609 / ISBN 13: 9780060168605
Published by HarperCollins Publishers Canada, Limited, Toronto, ON, Canada, 1998
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Kennedy Books (Jamestown, ND, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since March 13, 2004

Quantity Available: 1

Buy Used
Price: US$ 45.00 Convert Currency
Shipping: US$ 7.00 Within U.S.A. Destination, Rates & Speeds
Add to basket

30 Day Return Policy

About this Item

Great unread copy. Protected by Brodart Archival Cover. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 000026

Ask Seller a Question

Bibliographic Details

Title: Cloudsplitter : A Novel

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Canada, Limited, Toronto, ON, Canada

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: First Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

This brilliant recounting of the events surrounding John Brown's legendary raid on the armory at Harper's Ferry is a masterpiece of modern American storytelling that will be remembered as the crowning achievement of Banks' celebrated career $125,000 national marketing..

Review:

The cover of Russell Banks's mountain-sized novel Cloudsplitter features an actual photo of Owen Brown, the son of John Brown--the hero of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" whose terrorist band murdered proponents of slavery in Kansas and attacked Harpers Ferry, Virginia, in 1859 on what he considered direct orders from God, helping spark the Civil War.

A deeply researched but fictionalized Owen narrates this remarkably realistic and ambitious novel by the already distinguished author of The Sweet Hereafter. Owen is an atheist, but he is as haunted and dominated by his father, John Brown, as John was haunted by an angry God who demanded human sacrifice to stop the abomination of slavery. Cloudsplitter takes you along on John Brown's journey--as period-perfect as that of the Civil War deserter in Cold Mountain--from Brown's cabin facing the great Adirondack mountain (called "the Cloudsplitter" by the Indians) amid an abolitionist settlement the blacks there call "Timbuctoo," to the various perilous stops of the Underground Railroad spiriting slaves out of the South, and finally to the killings in Bloody Kansas and the Harpers Ferry revolt. We meet some great names--Frederick Douglass, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and a (fictional) lover of Nathaniel Hawthorne--but the vast book keeps a tight focus on the aged Owen's obsessive recollections of his pa's crusade and the emotional shackles John clamped on his own family.

Banks, a white author, has tackled the topic of race as impressively as Toni Morrison in novels such as Continental Drift. What makes Cloudsplitter a departure for him is its style and scope. He is noted as an exceptionally thorough chronicler of America today in rigorously detailed realist fiction (he championed Snow Falling on Cedars). Banks spent half a decade researching Cloudsplitter, and he renounces the conventional magic of his poetical prose style for a voice steeped in the King James Bible and the stately cadences of 19th-century political rhetoric. The tone is closer to Ken Burns's tragic, elegiac The Civil War than to the recent crazy-quilt modernist novel about John Brown, Raising Holy Hell.

A fan of Banks's more cut-to-the-chase, Hollywood-hot modern style may get impatient, but such readers can turn to, say, Gore Vidal's recently reissued Lincoln, which peeks into the Great Emancipator's head with a modern's cynical wit. Banks's narrator is poetical and witty at times--Owen notes, "The outrage felt by whites [over slavery] was mostly spent on stoking their own righteousness and warming themselves before its fire." Yet in the main, Banks writes in the "elaborately plainspoken" manner of the Browns, restricting himself to a sober style dictated by the historical subject.

Besides, John Brown's head resembles the stone tablets of Moses. You do not penetrate him, and you can't declare him mad or sane, good or evil. You read, struggling to locate the words emanating from some strange place between history, heaven, and hell.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Store Description

Welcome to Kennedy Books. We have spent many years collecting modern firsts, many signed. We focus on fiction, poetry, biography and books on the craft of writing and the joy of reading.

Visit Seller's Storefront

Terms of Sale:

North Dakota residents add 5% sales tax. All items are subject to prior sale;
prices are subject to change. Any book may be returned within ten days of receipt.
Notice of decision to return is requested.


Shipping Terms:

Shipping costs are based on books weighing 2.2 LB, or 1 KG. If your book order is heavy or oversized, we may contact you to let you know extra shipping is required.

List this Seller's Books

Payment Methods
accepted by seller

Visa Mastercard American Express