Weekly Geeks #12: Seeking input on Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe

After not participating in Weekly Geeks for a few weeks, I return this week to the weekly meme group. Unfortunately, I couldn’t relate to the last few, although I did enjoy reading about everyone’s different magazines a couple of weeks ago. It gave me some ideas of magazines for which to look, as if I need any more to read.

The rules for this week’s Weekly Geeks are simple:

  1. In your blog, list any books you’ve read but haven’t reviewed yet. If you’re all caught up on reviews, maybe you could try this with whatever book(s) you finish this week.
  2. Ask your readers to ask you questions about any of the books they want. In your comments, not in their blogs. Most likely, people who will ask you questions will be people who have read one of the books or know something about it because they want to read it.
  3. Later, take whichever questions you like from your comments and use them in a post about each book. I’ll probably turn mine into a sort of interview-review. Link to each blogger next to that blogger’s question(s).
  4. Visit other Weekly Geeks and ask them some questions!

I’m pretty much caught up on reviews, except for one: Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe, which I read for the Southern Reading Challenge. I just finished this Saturday night. It’s such a complex book that I’m not sure where to begin. Maybe some of you can help me with some questions. Thanks for any input that y’all are able to give me.

This suggestion by Dewey might be good to keep in mind when formulating your questions: “I don’t want to tell people what to ask, but I’m seeing a lot of “What did you think of ______?” and “What is ______ about?” questions. And I just want to suggest that bloggers might appreciate something more specific to answer.” It’s something I’m trying to keep in mind as later tonight, I formulate a few questions, especially for Dewey with The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie.

5 responses to “Weekly Geeks #12: Seeking input on Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe

  1. I’m interested in the technique and art of storytelling itself so anything along that line would interest me. Such as any of these for example:

    How was Point-of-View handled? Was there a single POV character or did it alternate among two or more. Was it always clear whose eyes and mind were filtering?

    How was language used to set tone and mood?

    Was the prose dense or spare? Were sentences generally simple or complex?

    How was metaphor used? Were associations fresh or did they tend toward cliche? Did they add to your understanding of the theme?

    What was the central or organizing theme?

    How does the title relate to the story? Was it fitting?
    BTW I’m hosting a book giveaway this week. Four copies of Still Summer by Jacquelyn Mitchard. Four chances to enter until Saturday 3PM PST.

  2. I’m very curious about this book after reading a biography of Maxwell Perkins. Apparently, Thomas Wolfe could write like a house afire, churning out page after page of lovely prose, but hadn’t a clue about shaping, polishing and editing, so Maxwell Perkins took thousands of pages and did just that. Is it a very long book? Does it flow well?

  3. I’ve got a couple of questions for you:

    Did you find “Look Homeward Angel” to be a realistic coming-of-age story? While reading it did the characters become real to you? What emotions did this novel or the characters evoke in you? Did you feel a certain connection to any particular character? When you finished the last page and closed the book what was the first thought you had?

  4. What does Look Homeward Angel tell us about home?

  5. I haven’t read this book, but I’ve read that Wolfe said it was fairly autobiographical. I’m assuming this means the Eugene Gant character is based on Wolfe’s youth. Is this an accurate assumption? What were some qualities you admired in the Gant character? Any qualities you disliked?