I have to admit, The Violent Bear It Away was a tough one for me. I'd already attempted to start the book last year, but put it away because I never managed to get into it. Again, I started reading the book and still wasn't particularly immersed in the world of "the old man," Tarwater, Bishop and the schoolteacher even at the 40 page mark. So . . . I took a break and read loads of graphic novels and comics instead.
Yesterday I came back to the novel again and found that I was quickly drawn into the struggle between the schoolteacher and the young boy he failed to save from a family member's madness. I have to admit that I really struggled to understand these characters despite the fact that the general landscape wasn't entirely unfamiliar, but found them compelling nonetheless. It did take me a while, though, to move from "This is writerly, study-worthy and I ought to think this is wonderful" to "This is a fantastic story."
Genre: Literary fiction/classic