Thursday, 29 March 2012
The Bridge of San Luis Rey
Title: The Bridge of San Luis Rey
Author: Thornton Wilder
Number of pages: 127
Started: 28 March 2012
Finished: 29 March 2012
On Friday noon, July the twentieth, 1714, the finest bridge in all Peru broke and precipitated five travellers into the gulf below.
An ancient bridge collapses over a gorge in Peru, hurling five people into the abyss. It seems a meaningless human tragedy. But one witness, a Franciscan monk, believes the deaths might not be as random as they appear. Convinced that the disaster is a punishment sent from Heaven, the monk sets out to discover all he can about the travellers. The five strangers were connected in some way, he thinks. There must be a purpose behind their deaths. But are their lost lives the result of sin? ... Or of love?
What I thought:
This book is one that people speak highly of. It won the Pulitzer prize in 1928. It is quoted by many, including Tony Blair at the 11 September memorial. It has an interesting premise. A philosophical bent to it. All wrapped up in a mere 127 pages.
But, for me, somehow it didn’t measure up. I didn’t find the book very engaging. I didn’t really feel there was much purpose behind it. Somehow, this book failed to register much with me at all. I believe I am likely to be in the minority on this, but despite its pedigree, this book did little for me, except take up a couple of hours of my life.