Title: The Sweet Hereafter: A Novel
Publisher: Harpercollins, New York
Publication Date: 1991
Binding: Hard Cover
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Fine
Edition: First Edition, First Printing
In a clear protective Brodart mylar cover. Author'sacclaimed novel focusing on the aftermath of a deadly bus accident and the inhabitants of the small town that bore the brunt of the tragedy. Made into a fine film of the same name featuring Nick Nolte. Light wear to bottom corners, a hint of spotting to top text block. Bookseller Inventory # 1002035
In The Sweet Hereafter, Russell Banks tells a story that begins with a school bus accident. Using four different narrators, Banks creates a small-town morality play that addresses one of life's most agonizing questions: when the worst thing happens, who do you blame?
Review: Atom Egoyan's Oscar-nominated The Sweet Hereafter is a good movie, remarkably faithful to the spirit of Russell Banks's novel of the same name, but Banks's book is twice as good. With the cool logic of accreting snowflakes, his prose builds a world--a small U.S. town near Canada--and peoples it with four vivid, sensitive souls linked by a school-bus tragedy: the bus driver; the widowed Vietnam vet who was driving behind the bus, waving at his kids, when it went off the road; the perpetually peeved negligence lawyer who tries to shape the victims' heartaches into a winning case; and the beauty-queen cheerleader crippled by the crash, whose testimony will determine everyone's fate.
We experience the story from inside the heads of the four characters in turn--each knowing things the others don't, each misunderstanding the facts in his or her own way. The method resembles Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury and Gilbert Sorrentino's stunning Aberration of Starlight, but Banks's achievement is most comparable to John Updike's tales of ordinary small-towners preternaturally gifted with slangy eloquence, psychological insights, and alertness to life's tiniest details.
Egoyan's film is haunting but vague--it leaves viewers in the dark regarding several critical plot points. Banks's book is more haunting still, and precise, making every revelation count, with a finale far superior to that of the film. It's also wittier than the too-sober flick: the lawyer dismisses the dome-dwelling hippie parents of one of the crash victims as being "lost in their Zen Little Indians fantasy," which casts a sharp light on them and him, too. He's lost in his calculations of how each parent will fit into the legal system, and the ways in which he fits into the tragedy are lost on him. If only he and the Vietnam-vet dad could read each other's account of their tense first encounter, both of them might get what the other is missing.
Banks's wit is pitiless--it's painful when we discover that the bus driver, who prides herself on interpreting for her stroke-impaired husband, is translating his wise but garbled observations all wrong. The crash turns out not to be the ultimate tragedy: in the cold northern light of its aftermath, we discover that we're all in this alone.
This bookseller accepts the following methods of payment:
AbeBooks Bookseller Since: April 30, 2001
TERMS OF SALE:
We accept MasterCard, Visa, Discover, PayPal, American Express, checks drawn on a U.S. bank in USD, Money Orders and Traveler Checks. Please make checks payable to: Charles Spataro
I will ship orders paid by cashiers check/money order within 48 hours. Orders paid with PayPal shipped within 48 hours of receipt of confirmatim. Orders paid with personal check will be held for 10 days before shipping. Within the USA the shipping and handling charge is $4.00 for media rate (o...
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.
Store Description: Modern First editions of Literature, mystery, science fiction, and horror.