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About Grace

Cover of About Grace

About Grace

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Beautifully written and compelling, About Grace is the brilliant debut novel from Anthony Doerr. Growing up in Alaska, young David Winkler is crippled by his dreams. At nine, he dreams a man is decapitated by a passing truck on the path outside his family’s home. The next day, unable to prevent it, he witnesses an exact replay of his dream in real life. The premonitions keep coming, unstoppably. He sleepwalks during them, bringing catastrophe into his reach.
Beautifully written and compelling, About Grace is the brilliant debut novel from Anthony Doerr. Growing up in Alaska, young David Winkler is crippled by his dreams. At nine, he dreams a man is decapitated by a passing truck on the path outside his family’s home. The next day, unable to prevent it, he witnesses an exact replay of his dream in real life. The premonitions keep coming, unstoppably. He sleepwalks during them, bringing catastrophe into his reach.
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Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 30, 2004
    The majesty of nature, the meaning of courage, the redemptive power of love and the pathos of isolation—all are gracefully explored in Doerr's story of the price paid for a gift. So why does so little seem to happen in this beautiful, ponderous and sometimes monotonous first novel by the author of the exquisite collection The Shell Collector
    ? David Winkler has seen glimpses of the future ever since he was a boy. As a 32-year-old hydrologist in Anchorage, Alaska, he dreams of his future wife; soon they meet, fall in love and run away to Ohio, where she gives birth to their daughter, Grace. But when he dreams that he fails to save Grace from a flood, Winkler abandons wife and child, hoping to flee the future. He becomes a hermetic handyman on a Caribbean island near St. Vincent, befriended by a local family. The years pass until, emboldened by his surrogate family's grown daughter, a gifted marine biologist, Winkler realizes that he must embark on a journey to discover if Grace is alive. This is a lyrical tale tuned a bit too fine: Doerr's dreamy prose accords more attention to nature than character, so that Winkler, transfixed by the wonders of water and snowflakes but singularly unreflective about his actual life, is a frustratingly opaque protagonist. There are gorgeous moments here, but a stifling lack of story. Agent, Wendy Weil
    . 9-city author tour.

  • AudioFile Magazine Dr. David Winkler is studying the intricately connected natural patterns of water and snowflakes. He dreams that his infant daughter will die in a flood as he tries to save her. Terrified and guilty, he runs away to prevent this happening. For 25 years he wanders like Odysseus over seas and across continents. Returning at last, he finds that the end of his odyssey has been guided both by the gods and a kind of grace. Henry Strozier's reading lends energy and strength to Doerr's subtle depictions and poetic text. His voice struts manfully through Winkler's painful hesitations; it is bold yet tentative, sensitive both to the rich poetry and scientific preciseness of Doerr's text. P.E.F. (c) AudioFile 2006, Portland, Maine
  • AudioFile Magazine What if having one's dreams come true were to lead to a kind of living nightmare? This audiobook explores that idea with startling realism, thanks to George Newbern's bold voice and confident delivery. Newbern approaches the story of Winkler, a man whose dreams foretell reality, with a clarity and sincerity that are largely engrossing. Winkler endures a dream that changes his entire life, and his attempt to escape what he believes is inevitable lends the novel its heart. Newbern's style lends that heart its beat. Doerr, whose skill with storytelling and detail is evident here, sometimes slows the story in a way that is tough on an audiobook listener, but Newbern ensures that it's worth a listen. L.B.F. © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine
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About Grace
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