"Mr. Horgan manages . . . to make the morning of life as pristine as the dawn of creation itself.”—New York Times
“A work of rare beauty . . . has a lyrical quality that is rare today.”—Best Sellers
“Mr. Horgan writes as a poet and as the biographer of us all.” —Book Week
Richard is a young boy growing up in turn-of-the-century upstate New York, sheltered in a loving Catholic family. His happy world consists largely of illusions. These are shattered as Richard learns about “things as they are”—a remorseless succession of encounters with the casual brutality of schoolboys, the faithlessness of adults, the silence of God, and the cruelty in his own heart. Yet Paul Horgan finds courage and beauty in the ruins of Richard’s dream world. Hope is also part of “things as they are,” and Horgan’s subtle, powerful vision makes this classic tale of lost innocence a novel that resonates deeply in the soul.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is one of the favorite books I taught to seniors in high school in the late 1960s. I lost my copy years ago and I am greatly looking forward to reading it again (and again) now that it is back in print. It was written in 1951 (the beginning days of birthing boomers) by a two-time Pulitzer prize winner. It is a collection of chronologically sequenced "short stories" (each a major learning event) in the life of a boy-child growing step-by-experiential-step out of innocence into maturity (young adulthood). Horgan defines innocence as a child's initial belief about self and the world which is summarized in the phrase that "the world revolves around me," which, of course, is not the reality of "things as they are." It is as good a book today as it was almost 60 years ago when it was written, especially since all of us know too many chronological adults (individually and collectively) who are still "innocents" in their personal, community, and political lives. Seeing and relating to...
This is a beautifully written book about different occurances in a young boy's life that make him loose his innocence. It is filled with some tear jerking metaphors, powerful quotes, and a sad and wonderfully accurate portryal of life. It is a 'Catcher in the Rye'-esque read that leaves you feeling nostalgic sad and happy all at once.
Such a masterful storyteller! Every story is a masterpiece.Great penetration and illumination of what it means to live in a fallen world and to live with fallen human beings. "Things As They Are" honestly reveals the truth of the human condition and the various ways that man's tendency toward sin is always causing problems that must be confront and dealt with in a noble, moral, and realistic way.The book cures the mind of exaggerating the evil of the world in a cynical way and of fantasizing about the goodness of human nature in a sentimental way.
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