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A Place On Earth: Port William
A Place On Earth: Port William
A Place On Earth: Port William
Audiobook12 hours

A Place On Earth: Port William

Written by Wendell Berry

Narrated by Paul Michael

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

4/5

()

About this audiobook

The rhythms of this novel are the rhythms of the land. A Place on Earth resonates with variations played on themes of change; looping transitions from war into peace, winter into spring, browning flood destruction into greening fields, absence into presence, lost into found.

LanguageEnglish
Release dateAug 1, 2007
ISBN9781596444867
A Place On Earth: Port William
Author

Wendell Berry

Wendell Berry was born in Henry County, Kentucky, in 1934, and lives and farms with his wife, Tanya Berry, close to the place of his birth. A poet, critic, storyteller, and activist, he has written more than fifty books. He is the recipient of The National Humanities Medal, awarded by President Barack Obama, and was named The Jefferson Lecturer for 2012. He is a winner of the Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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Reviews for A Place On Earth

Rating: 4.054054054054054 out of 5 stars
4/5

74 ratings4 reviews

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  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    This is my third book by the author on his town of Port William. Let me be clear: if I could leave today to go live in his fictional town, I would go without hesitation. While it is fictional, it is not a fantasy. On the other hand, maybe it is. It is certainly not fantasy-like. There are no Hobbits about. There are not even any deeply quirky people like in the Northern Exposures TV show. These are very typically flawed "realistic" humans of various degrees. And yet, the world that the author creates is one of a level of tolerance and acceptance that just doesn't exist in the real world, and likely never will exist. And yet we, as human beings are so very close at times, without making any real effort to be so. (Sorry, I was about to go off on organized religions. Forgive me.) In this particular Port William chronicle, the author offers some of the most compellingly sad, touching, humorous fiction I've ever read. One particular sub-chapter is so intricately and enthusiastically humorous as to make Samuel Clemens, himself envious. Nevertheless, the author much too often goes off on highly esoteric ramblings off in the atmosphere that, to my mind, distract rather than enhance the rest of the narrative. More to the point, the author ends the book that way, letting all the other literary glory disperse. Apparently the author himself had some misgivings about this book. He originally had it published in 1967 (only his second of several Port Williams books) and then significantly revised it in the 1983 edition I am reviewing. Both of the books I liked much more than this one were written years later.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    There is a greatneww to this book that is difficult to describe. There is no "plot" here except a place, Port William. It is the story of all those who have lived, worked and love that place on earth.As for the author, Wendell Berry, he is a true southern writer with his long, exquisite descriptive passage of a pasture, a room, a creek, a Main Street. And an incredible gift of understanding the thoughts and emotions of those who live in that place on earth.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    Berry is known for portraying the essence of a rural life, and this book reflects that. It moves slowly. A farmer will pause in the doorway after completing chores and look over the ridge tops, apreciating the sunset and the world's beauty.Basically follows a few older men in a small Kentucky area as they cope with sons missing or killed in WWII and a disastrous flood.Several of the men make observations on how the land is cared for, lauding those who keep it fertile and critical of those whose land develops gulleys. An elderly man makes a garden in his backyard as he doesn't know how to stop working, holds a handful of the rich black earth, admiring how well it crumbles. A black grandma demonstrates sustainable wildcrafting in her zig-zag rambling: " Why do you skip so much?" Andy asks her. "Why don't we go down there?" "That ain't how you ramble," she says. "You got to be getting and going both at once. You ain't supposed to get everything, but just only enough. Take some and leave some."While a male friend greatly admires Wendell Berry, I find that his portrayal of women is lacking any depth. Except for one harpy (not a local resident), all of the women are patient, accepting, and entirely focused on their husband. They might as well be cows.1983 version reviewed.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    Overall, Wendell Berry's fiction I've read centers around or is related to the community of a fictive small Kentucky town named Port William.

    Set near the end of WW II this book is threaded around a farmer's struggles in dealing with the news that his son has been listed as missing in action. True to Berry's community approach, Port William serves as the central protagonist involving humorous, sweet, and sad tales of numerous other residents.

    This book to me is an immersion course to Berry's fiction with multiple story lines of loss and redemption weaved together. Getting the most from this book requires concentrated reading, and can elicit a rollercoaster of emotions.

    The extensively edited 1983 version of this book is the better to my mind.