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  • Paperback
  • 256
  • Enon By Paul Harding
  • Paul Harding
  • English
  • 23 January 2017
  • 9780434021727

10 thoughts on “Enon By Paul Harding

  1. says:

    It is an ominous sign when your trusted steady flow of empathy tapers off into a reluctant drip while you were making your way around the misfortunes encountered by a fictional parent rendered newly childless Are you being too coldly practical perhaps mentally asking this grief addled father to pick up the pieces of his heart and

  2. says:

    I was blown away by this masterful plumbing of the purgatory of despair A housepainter in a rural town in Massachusetts loses his 13 year old daughter Kate to a car accident while she was biking His wife leaves to visit her family and never comes back Charlie Crosby slowly works his way through his own version of the stage

  3. says:

    I made an enormous tactical error in reading reviews by other people on this site prior to writing this one because I am

  4. says:

    I didn't do it on purpose but having read Julian Barnes' Levels of Life right before this it was as if I had a primer on grief as back

  5. says:

    Charlie Crosby was walking in the woods when his adored daughter Kate was hit by a car and killed while bicycling home from the beach In short order he suffers an additional loss and Charlie descends into a year long alcohol and drug fueled stupor of grief and anguish“I was always restless and ill at ease running too hot But Kate gave my life joy I loved her totally and while I loved her the world was love Once she was gone the world s

  6. says:

    What does a man do when the sun goes out of his life when personal loss undoes his world and his self? He is literally thrown out of his normal existence by grief living in a demi monde of past and present history and pre history fact and fairy tale wishes and lies Charlie Crosby lives that horror in the pages of Enon and Enon is

  7. says:

    This novelEnon written by Pulitzer Prize winning author Paul Harding is tragic in the purest sense of the word; but out of tragedy often comes r

  8. says:

    This is a tough book to recommend though it could very well be the best book of the year I think this is a better book than Tinkers and that Paul Harding deserves to win the Pulitzer Prize again for EnonThis book will gut you take you into some very dark and terrifying places At its core this it a book about grief unraveling a man to the poi

  9. says:

    Elegant Devastation Most men in my family make widows of their wives and orphans of their children I am the exc

  10. says:

    Holy run on sentences BatmanThis book was not for me I found it boring and long winded I got really tired of hearing about all the false worlds Charlie built up in his head after his daughter's death I couldn't even read the book after awhile I skimmed through huge sections whenever he started rambling about Kate which is all he ever did I

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Paul Harding Ö 1 CHARACTERS

Enon By Paul Harding

Ragedy Grandson of George Crosby the protagonist of Tinkers Charlie inhabits the same dynamic landscape of New England its seasons mirroring his turbulent emotional odyssey Along the way Charlie’s encounters are brought. What does a man do when the sun goes out of his life when personal loss undoes his world and his self He is literally thrown out of his normal existence by grief living in a demi monde of past and present history and pre history fact and fairy tale wishes and lies Charlie Crosby lives that horror in the pages of Enon and Enon is the New England village where Crosbys have lived for two centuries while the area itself has a four hundred year history of settlement And Charlie ruminates on so much of this in his despair his anger his wistfulness his dreaming his virtual fever dreamThis is both a beautiful and difficult book There are scenes that made me gasp at their beauty and others that were so huge and convoluted and spectacularly weird that I wasn t sure I was reading them correctly But that was the despairing mind inventing a tolerable worldThere are links to the world of Tinkers throughout this story both through Charlie and the ongoing subject of time and clocks The yard seemed timeless and it struck me that the wind moving the trees and the grass and the clouds was what usually gave the sense that time was still moving that the world was still moving that the wind was a mechanism something like a clock Or the trees and the clouds were the clock and the wind the power released from some immense solar springs uncoiling in space I thought my grandfather might have liked the idea of a clock made of clouds and wind p 230At times I grew slightly impatient with Harding s vocabulary filled with words I ve never encountered before Silly me I should use this as a learning experience as I did when I was younger Otherwise I did like this book very much It is not a book to be enjoyed it is too full of despair for joy But it is a book to be highly appreciated for the way it captures an experience many of us will have but hopefully not in this formRecommended

REVIEW Ú MZINES.CO.UK Ö Paul Harding

To life by his wit his insights into history and his yearning to understand the big uestions A stunning mosaic of human experience Enon affirms Paul Harding as one of the most gifted and profound writers of his generatio. Elegant Devastation Most men in my family make widows of their wives and orphans of their children I am the exception My only child Kate was struck and killed by a car while riding her bicycle home from the beach one afternoon in September a year ago She was thirteen My wife Susan and I separated soon afterward An elegant and devastating opening As prelude to the account of a man almost throwing away his life out of grief for his dead daughter it is magnificent But I have two problems with the book that follows The devastation is sordid and unbearable And the incongruous elegance with which it is described only makes matters worseAs you would expect from his Pulitzer Prizewinning debut novel Tinkers Paul Harding writes beautifully here too He writes exuisitely poetically with conscious craft But is that necessarily a good thing The description of the day his daughter died reads like the kind of prose poem a high school teacher would praise but a good editor would surely excise In a dozen lines we get milkweed and goldenrod silver and purple rain clouds dragonflies lifting off the meadow bumblebees at work on the fading wildflowers and chickadees weaving around one another in the air Is this some reverse pathetic fallacy to set off tragedy with futile ironyThere is a piece of uite effective irony though a few pages later when Charlie Crosby the father watches himself watching his wife pack as though their house were a stage set As the audience watches the husband the actor playing the husband the actor playing the husband struggling to figure out what to say as if he strains to author his own lines as if he is struggling to compose his own words Although Harding seems too articulate in his description of a man struggling for words the paragraph goes on for a full page I do recognize this shock induced detachment The recognition propelled me willingly into the rest of the book hoping he would do to justify the contrast between diction and anguishBut he never really did And alas my willingness didn t last As Charlie turns into a recluse failing to wash or change his clothes becoming addicted to alcohol and drugs it got harder and harder to sympathize with him He remembers Kate in a series of exuisite essays about things they had done together about the history of his family and of the town dreams fantasies and nightmares Each is beautifully written but few are believable as the expression of Charlie s state of mind at the time Of course they were all written a year later as the opening paragraph suggests But they don t sound as though they had been written by Charlie a college dropout who earns money mowing lawns and painting houses not even a Charlie cleaned up and sober This is not the half crazed grief of a bereaved father but some overpraised author manufacturing that grief as a framework for his own all too precious writing

READ & DOWNLOAD Enon By Paul Harding

Hailed as a masterpiece Tinkers Paul Harding’s Pulitzer Prize winning debut is a modern classic Here in Enon Harding follows a year in the life of Charlie Crosby as he tries to come to terms with a shattering personal t. It is an ominous sign when your trusted steady flow of empathy tapers off into a reluctant drip while you were making your way around the misfortunes encountered by a fictional parent rendered newly childless Are you being too coldly practical perhaps mentally asking this grief addled father to pick up the pieces of his heart and kickstart his life like a pre programmed cyborg Is your work tired brain refusing to let you feel an intense pity for this man who resorts to tripping himself up on drugs to have a daily hallucinogenic rendezvous with his dead daughterI dearly wish I could nip such nagging doubts in the bud by answering all these uestions with a no But I can t My feelings for this book are as vague as the state of the protagonist s chaotic inner world post his daughter s demiseThe themes of trauma and tragedy permeate literature of any merit right down to its bones ever so often that it s hard to come by a new treatment of the same old soul crushing sadness While some authors add an outer gloss of dignity and self restraint to their psychologically broken characters others deftly interweave unforeseen outwardly manifestations of repressed grief with the ennui of carrying on with the daily routine And this is where Paul Harding does things differently He kills Charlie Crosby s carefully organized world in an instant shoving him right down the gaping hole of nothing Charlie has no story to tell any no purpose left in life except giving us prolonged glimpses of the tendrils of darkness that coil around his waking moments threatening to choke him to death He only pulls us along for this turbulent ride as he traverses the distance between the edge of utter madness and a saner place between losing himself in the futility of preserving any and every remnant of his daughter s short lived earthly presence and finding his footing in the treacherous bog of loss And this is fine really But what is his justification for pushing away his co mourner his wife There s only a thin line of difference between grieving for a loved one and internalizing that grief to the point where you begin using it as an anchor keeping you tethered to the reality that was stolen from you to the extent the sadness which was gnawing away at your insides bit by bit became so fattened on your weaknesses that it pushed out every other thing from your head to make space for itself And Charlie treads on this thin line barely holding on to his balance often crossing over into the territory of no man s land I could not stop myself from stepping over the same dark threshold night after night trying to follow her into the country of the dead in order to fetch her back even though she visited me in dreams and never left my waking thoughts I do not claim a kinship with most kinds of life threatening sadnesses especially a grief so fatal as the one entailing the loss of a child not yet anyway But I have lost a parent at 14 So I hope Paul Harding forgives me for judging Charlie Crosby the way I didMaybe I have never felt important enough to accord my grief a higher place over all the other terrifying griefs many of them unknown to me which befall fellow humans and compete for priority every second in this mystifying drama of life Maybe it s a personal foible to revere the ones who carry the ineffaceable marks of psychological damage yet muster the courage to wake up every morning and put in their share of effort to keep the world s engines running Maybe it s a puerile thing to care for tortured emotionally scarred righteous heroes like Rust Cohle who find an all encompassing nihilism to be the answer to the inherent unfairness of life yet battle with that nihilism every moment with hope Whatever the actual reasons maybe I could not sympathize enough with this hapless father s magical realist tendencies to keep his daughter frozen in the amber of his dope induced daydreams Even Harding s thoughtfully wrought ornate sentences chronicling Charlie s memories of the small rural town of Enon which witnessed the birth and death of his daughter couldn t help me establish that intense emotional connection I was expecting to form with this story without a story In some of the narrative s most lucid yet hazy moments during the course of Charlie s scarily accurate depiction of despair in its rawest form the terror of waking up from a nightmare where your loved one was constantly slipping away from your grasp I came close to developing a sense of solidarity with his pain But then these moments of sporadic brilliance were interspersed with numerous other iterations of similarly themed moments which gave rise to nothing other than indifference in meOn occasions like these I wish I could align my reviewing methods with Jan Maat Fionnuala and Steve s who never rate books but simply move on after recording their experiences with it Because how do you rate a grief stricken father s lamentThis is why I am trying to believe that the noticeable absence of 2 stars will only underscore my apathy for infinite extrapolations of the aftermath of tragedy paraphrased again and again until the reader becomes too jaded to care and not my disregard for mourning as the key resonant theme Because the latter assumption couldn t be further from the truth


About the Author: Paul Harding

Paul Harding has an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers' Workshop 2000 and was a 2000–2001 Fiction Fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown MA He has published short stories in Shakepainter and The Harvard Review Paul currently teaches creative writing at Harvard His first novel Tinkers won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction