Knowledge of Angels
15 journalers for this copy...
This book was generously sent to me by another bookcrosser. Thank you so much for this rung in my Booker Prize reading ladder.
Tying in with the recent book I read on feral children, this book incorporates the tale of a lone girl, raised by wolves and roaming the mountains. It also tells the story of a man, a heretic, although he knows of God, knows he does not believe in God. A chain of events unfolds and the paths of the heretic and the feral child cross in quite remarkable ways.
There was a host of players in this ancient styled fable, most of them I adored. Some I abhored. I'm glad to have known all of them for this brief time however. This book, while talking about the very issues I wrestle with regarding religion, gave me no answers, none that I'm brave enough to hear anyway.
Sending off to another bookcrossing member in trade. I hope I haven't scared them off the story with my zeal.
It looks fascinating - can't wait to read it!
Now I understand why Inkognitoh felt as she did about this book!
'Knowledge of Angels' gets under your skin, and I think will prompt anyone to question their beliefs, or lack of, and their preconceptions about God and religion.
The story is told in a clear prose that seems to drop images into your mind as you read. The sadnesses, joys and ironies of the story are beautifully played out. All the characters (bar one, I thought) were 3-dimensional, fully rounded and sympathetic, even if I couldn't always agree with their point of view.
Amazing. Thank-you so much Inkognitoh for sharing it with me!
15/4/04 Well, seems a shame to keep this to myself, so it's off on a bookray! More details to follow...
The participants are as follows:
Zarylia (Poland/ US)
Zenus (US) (Skipped)
zizzr (US) (Skipped)
Scism (Australia) (Skipped)
JeSuisBelle (Philippines) <-- traveling to
I've never found an easy or totally fair way to organise these - in this case people have been linked by region, to cut down on postage times, then a mix of mailing preferences and the order in which I recieved their PMs. If you have any difficulties with where you are (within reason!), please let me know :)
Anyone wishing to join the ray after this has been posted will be added on at the end, and for obvious reasons must be able to post internationally.
The last person on the list can release the book in any way they think best - RABCK, wild release or another ray - you decide!
Please journal when you receive and let us know what you think of the book. And please don't hang on to the book for too long - more than 4-6 weeks - if you have other commitments and want to be shuffled down the list so you can read it later, then please PM me.
Other than that - I hope you enjoy it! :)
Posted to LeighBCD!
I will send the book onto Oblivious1980 within the next few days.
Thanks again koalabare for starting the bookray - this was a really, really quality choice of novel for a bookray, even if it was not to my personal taste. We should have more of these Booker Prize nominees up for grabs!
Next stop on the journey is oblivious1980... I hope you enjoy the book!
The stories of a heretic and a feral child are told side by side, I felt at times that the story of the heretic was tiresome and I was skimming it just to get back to the feral child. The latter seems to reach a more entertaining level much faster.
I found a lot of the ideas interesting, the book seemed a bit "preachy" in the beginning but it became clear toward the end that the author's aim was not to force any notion of God onto the reader, just to make you think.
I ended up enjoying this a lot more than I expected to after the laboured start and it's one I feel I'll probably feel a desire to read again in a couple of years. Many thanks for setting this ray up and giving me the chance to read it, I doubt it's a book I ever would have had the benefit of reading otherwise!
The story about the feral child was a fascinating idea, and an original example of how people can try to influence the beliefs of others by twisting a situation to their own advantage. I think the two stories would have stood equally well on their own. The construction of the book with the two stories running together and meeting up did work, but I don't think it's essential to the overall story and they would be just as valid as two separate short stories.
I'm just waiting for an address to post this on to nefertari. Thanks, koalabare, for sharing this thought-provoking book.
On its way to Bookmaniac70 as of this morning. Happy reading :-)
However,the good news are that I already finished the book and was very very satisfied! A very good book,IMO.A good novel about beliefs,deceptions and intelectual temptations.I wasn`t troubled by the religion issue here,as I wasn`t looking for some kind of answers or enlightement...in reality,I enjoyed the theological debate between Palitor and Benedixt,as there were some interesting ideas and thoughts in it.In general,I read it as a very intriguing medieval tale.The story of the feral child illustrated well how people tend to manipulate reality according to their beliefs.Even a character so sympathetic, Severo,was captured into the trap of conducting an experiment to prove his faith.The experiment amounts even to heresy-no one is allowed to speak about God to the child.However,his experiment turned against him,when Josefa decided to break her vow with a sweet innocence.It was well shown how Josefa became attached to Amara.She was the only one who truly cared for Amara,so much that finally she wanted to return her freedom.
I liked very much when Palidor said what he cosidered to be sin-"To search to increase your light,trying to extinguish the radiance of another".
I,too,agree,that the writer`s intention was rather to make the reader think over beliefs,religion,freedom of opinion,than to convey a certain view.
The only problem with this book is probably the beginning.I understand why some bookcrossers got bored- the beginning is not promising,indeed,and the action begins too slow but then it takes on speed and you cannot put the book down.
Thanks for sharing this wonderful novel!
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
I forgot to journal when I mailed the book,so probably the date is not correct but it was 10 days-2 weeks ago.
As I am currently on vacation in Thailand it may be awhile before I can mail the book, unless of course I can figure out the postal system here....
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Released to Cheli-Garza
Okay, I also peeked at the opinions of some of my fellow ringers & admittedly hope that I do not feel the same way as FamFatale. Fam, you're not the only person who likes a good definitive ending. When things are left up in the air, I feel like I'm missing something. Only one way to find out... read the book, right? I'll journal when I'm through.
Poor, poor little wolf-child. Most everyone in this tale seems to come out worse in the end. Except, of course, for Josefa. Just about anything would have been better than how her story began.
This book made me question my faith a bit (but not for too long, I hope!) I especially like the way that Palinor kept on throwing back Benedixt's arguments. I was recently reading a religious book that used the same premise of God existing because he does. What?? Come on, now. It's much better to just come out and say that you need to have faith than to use such a weak argument.
Anyhow, Zarylia, what plot hole were you talking about? (Sshh, I promise not to tell.)
Pming Rrrcaron for address & will then throw in the mail.
So now I'm back at the computer, avoiding housework. :)
Thanks for posting this to me, rrrcaron! And thanks for starting the ring, KoalaBare!
It looks completely fascinating, I'm looking forward to reading this. It'll be the next book I start, since it's the only bookring book in my possession at the moment! (A rare occurrence!)
I really enjoyed the book, it was very well written and a fascinating story.
I don't think I've ever read so much theology! But it must've been Theology 101 because I understood it all (heathen atheist that I am!).
I did have more to say, I should have written my entry earlier, because now I've forgotten it all! (Except, how on earth does one pronounce "Beneditx"? Is that a silent "x" or a silent "t"??)
I shall get Gypsyrose02's address asap and send this off.
UPDATE 1-DEC-2005: Popped in the mail to Gypsyrose02 yesterday. Sorry for the delay!
thanks for including me.
I'm not going to read any of the journals as I don't want them to affect my enjoyment. I'm snowed under with rings at the moment so it might take me a while to get to this, but I'll move it on as soon as I can.
Fascinating book that has ignited in me an interest in theology and where faith comes from. I enjoyed the tales of Amara and Palinor equally but wished that things had turned out better in the end. Definitely not the type of book I usually read but my life has been enriched by it. Many thanks for the opportunity to enjoy!
Will be PMing the last person on the list and sending on asap. I've never posted anything to the Phillipines before!
PS> I missed the plot hole too ....
Glad to see so many people get some mileage out of this wonderful read though.
Chelseagirl - if you still haven't heard from jesuisbelle in another week or so, then I think it's up to you to decide what happens next, whether that's a wild release, another ray/ ring or whatever...
Wow - over 2 years traveling - like Inkognitoh, I'm glad this book got to so many people - thanks all for reading, commenting and passing on. :)
Thanks so much, chelseagirl.
Palinor is a foreign nobleman who washed up on the shores of Grandinsula after a boating accident. While he wants nothing more than to travel home, but officials are unable to issue Palinor the necessary paperwork because he will not indicate a religious affiliation. When Palinor refuses to sway from his atheistic position, a notated theologian and educator is brought in to convince him of the existence of God.
Amara is a preadolescent girl who was raised by wolves. Discovered by shepherds in the mountains, Amara is displayed as a novelty to those who would pay to see the wolf child until she is rescued by a devout teenage boy worried about the state of her unbaptized soul. After Amara is baptized by the cardinal (to satisfy the boy), she is consigned to a community of mendicants. Since Amara has never been exposed to religious teaching, the cardinal hopes to learn from her whether or not the knowledge of God is innate. The nuns are ordered to care for her physical needs and to civilize her, but never to mention God in her presence.
Though the two outsiders never meet, their stories are linked by a chain that solidifies when an inquisitor appears on the scene, causing problems not just for Palinor and his apologist friend, but for the island's religious head as well.
As is usually the case with novels that have more than one storyline, I was more interested in one (Amara's) than the other and sometimes found myself skimming through the dense philosophical debates of Palinor's sections to get back to Amara and the nuns more quickly.
Shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1994, Knowledge of Angels is extremely thought-provoking. With many questions raised and few answered, readers can't help but continue to ponder the novel long after they close its covers.
WILD RELEASE NOTES: