Sophie's Choice

by William Styron | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0553209671 Global Overview for this book
Registered by Aramena of Moore, Oklahoma USA on 5/23/2003
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5 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Aramena from Moore, Oklahoma USA on Friday, May 23, 2003
From back cover:

This is the story of the extraordinary Sophie, a haunting young woman of endless passion and vibrant joy, of quiet tenderness and hidden desperation. It sweeps us into her loves, her fears, her sorrow, and back through a past that Sophie alone survived...until we reach, finally, the electrifying, terrible secret -- Sophie's choice.

Sending to a BookCrosser in Canada.

Journal Entry 2 by bc-del-20080226 on Friday, June 13, 2003
Thanks Casseytara for this book. It looks so good and intriguing to read. This is definately going to be one of my camping books to read.

Journal Entry 3 by bc-del-20080226 on Sunday, July 20, 2003
I will be heading far once summerbreeze has finished reading me...I will be heading to England next to Loopy1

Journal Entry 4 by loopy1 from Herne Bay, Kent United Kingdom on Saturday, September 13, 2003
This book has arrived safely, thanks Summerbreeze!
I look forward to reading it.

Journal Entry 5 by loopy1 from Herne Bay, Kent United Kingdom on Friday, September 26, 2003
Well I haven't had time to read this book yet, but it's already been borrowed and enjoyed by my MIL, who is vicariously enjoying this bookcrossing thingamijig, and now it's going on temporary loan to Bookgroupman, just a few miles away in the UK.

Journal Entry 6 by BookGroupMan from Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on Saturday, September 27, 2003
Received in the post this morning, thanks. Its a big old book, worthy of a holiday, or long flight...

(23/08) I was right, it did need a long holiday (and more) to finish. And, I was embarrassed into reading it after so long on my bookshelf; I think it was first ever BC request! In the words of Big Chris, "it's been emotional!"

Review to follow

Journal Entry 7 by BookGroupMan from Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on Tuesday, August 24, 2004
Phew! I’m not sure where to start with this. First the bad news; its big, its overblown (too wordy, self-indulgent, full of ‘precious' language & detail). It also tries to cover too many huge themes. Let me give you a taster; its about war, the nature of sin & evil, guilt, prejudice (jew vs. non-jew & north vs. south), a young man’s coming of age, destructive love & obsession, drug abuse & mental illness. Styron also takes random pot-shots at psychoanalysis, literary criticism, Jewish princesses…etc. etc. See what I mean? By page 455, I was so desperate to get to ‘Sophie’s Choice’ for some sense of progress, that I mistook her decision not to help the resistance ‘Home Army’ in Warsaw, for her families sake, as being the critical point in the retelling of her wartime experiences. It’s not until nearly page 600 that Sophie (the Polish Zosia) has to make *the* choice, but its no less shocking for all that.

The real story of Sophie is about the experiences of a holocaust victim in Auschwitz, the insights into the life of a family who embrace the Aryan/Germanic ideals (but are still destroyed by the juggernaut of history, the ‘industrialisation’ of the killing and the dehumanising Nazi machine), and the decisions & sacrifices ordinary people are forced to make under such perilous life-and-death conditions. The more modern events, set in Brooklyn in 1947, are narrated by the wimpy Virginian would-be writer (‘Stingo’) who falls under the thrall of both Sophie and the enigmatic, but self-destructive ‘golem’ Nathan. I could care less about the 2 men, but the beautiful, complex, haunted & vulnerable Sophie (almost) single-handedly saves the novel for me.

Lastly, a warning; despite the soft-focus cover, this is not a love story. Its too harsh, there’s a lot of quite explicit sex, and harrowing descriptions of death, degradation & despair.

Journal Entry 8 by BookGroupMan at on Thursday, September 09, 2004

Released 15 yrs ago (9/10/2004 UTC) at

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

Posting to fellow bookcrosser starbytes in Malaysia; hey this book is collecting way too many air miles. Can I come too ;)

Journal Entry 9 by starbytes from Calgary, Alberta Canada on Wednesday, September 15, 2004
Thanks, BookGroupMan! That was fast, I didn't expect you to mail it by air, it must have cost quite a bit! I can't wait to read this, I've heard so many references to Sophie's Choice, and I never knew what anyone was talking about, so I guess it's time to find out! :D

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