The Bridge of San Luis Rey

This is a slim novel that won Thornton Wilder a Pulitzer for fiction. It tells the stories of five people who lost their lives when an old vine-and-board bridge collapsed in Peru. The Marquesa, Esteban the copyist, and Uncle Pio are all inhabitants of Lima, and all are connected in ways which the book manages to reveal very gracefully. The best thing about it is that these relationships don’t seem at all forced, and so seem all the more truthful. The whole thing is framed as an attempt to “set the record straight” about who these people were, their secret dreams and aspirations, and how they all came to be on the bridge on that fateful day.

I’m going to have to reread Our Town and The Skin of our Teeth now, to see if there are similarities between those and this novel, maybe in style.

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0 thoughts on “The Bridge of San Luis Rey

  1. I remember that book- I read it in 9th grade English. I remember enjoying it, too, unlike most of my classmates. I really should go back and re-read it, if only on the strength of your recommendation. Also, I think Brotha J00nipa is a good thug name. Or not.

    Also, on a loosely related and embarassing note, I recommended “The Importance of Being Earnest” to my sister, which she absolutely loved. She asked for some other books by Oscar Wilde that she might enjoy, and I absent-mindedly suggested “The Skin of Our Teeth.”

    At least she didn’t have to look too hard for it in the bookstore. (sound of hand slapping forehead)

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