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One of Ours

av Willa Cather

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MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
9853115,089 (3.79)225
Claude Wheeler, the sensitive, aspiring protagonist of this beautifully written Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, resembles the youngest son of a peculiarly American fairy tale. His fortune is ready-made for him, but he refuses to settle for it. Alienated from his parents, all but rejected by his wife, and dissatisfied with farming, Claude is an idealist without an ideal to cling to. It's only when America enters the First World War that Claude finds the purpose he has searched for. One of Ours is divided into two parts: the first half is set in Nebraska where Claude struggles to find his life's purpose; the second part, during World War I where he ironically fulfills his romantic idealism on the brutal battlefields of 1918 France. It is the story of a young man born after the American frontier has vanished, yet whose quintessentially American restlessness seeks redemption on a frontier far bloodier.… (mer)

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engelska (30)  spanska (1)  Alla språk (31)
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Loved a few other Cather books years ago, so jumped on this one at an AAUW used book sale several years back. It's languished on my shelf since then. Finally read it last week. Meh! It was a struggle to finish but I did. ONE OF OURS is a drab tale of Claude Wheeler, a sensitive, well-off Nebraska farm boy, (perhaps too well loved by his doting mother) who marries the wrong woman, endures a loveless marriage and an uninteresting life for a couple years. Then his wife goes off to China to care for her sick missionary sister, and Claude joins the Army to fight in the First World War in France, where he distinguishes himself, sees more of the world and makes a few good friends. The ending is sadly predictable and even a bit sappy in its sentimentality. While the writing was, I must admit, classic Cather, the story just did not work for me. Sorry, Willa. It was "just okay" for me, and I wouldn't recommend it. Try OH, PIONEERS or MY ANTONIA instead.

- Tim Bazzett, author of the memoir, BOOKLOVER ( )
  TimBazzett | Jul 21, 2020 |
I love Willa Cather's stories built around the lives of folks on the prairie some century or more ago. This is another of those, mostly. It involves a young man, Claude, who grows up on a farm in western Nebraska. He feels that he doesn't fit in, for some reason he can't really articulate, and keeps searching for something more in life. He goes to college in Lincoln for a while, but his parents stop that nonsense when they realize he has academic aspirations, e.g. history, and their only reason for sending him was in case he might decide to be a preacher. So, he has to go back to make a life for himself on the farm.

His family gets quite interested in the reports of the doings in Europe regarding the beginning of World War I. After a few years, Claude sees a chance to try something different and enlists in the army. The last bit of the book describes his life in the army in France.

It's a good story. Cather doesn't go in for cheap melodrama. She just provides a calm recital of people's lives and explores their thoughts and feelings as they live those lives. She is truly a gem. I have no idea why I was put off by the idea of Cather in high school (probably my older sister's fault), despite never actually having had to read her. It's rather sad that I had to wait until I began bordering on dotage before I discovered this wonderful author. Then again, I also didn't really discover Dickens until I was approaching my dotage (and let's not forget Charlie Chan). I guess better late than never, huh? ( )
  lgpiper | Jun 21, 2019 |
One of Ours, winner of the 1923 Pulitzer Prize, is my third Willa Cather read, the first two being her more well-known stories Death Comes for the Archbishop and My Antonia. Cather’s prose is fabulous, as is her ability to bring to life her portrayal of Midwest Plains life. Her character development is exceptional, as is her vivid descriptions. Reading this one, it was like being exposed to a series of Impressionist agrarian paintings, where time (and technological advancements) move (are accepted) at a slower pace. I feel as though I intimately know both the land and the characters. The story focus is on Claude, an intelligent young man from a Nebraska farming family, who finds that his life does not have any purpose until he decides to enlist in the army to go and fight in the Great War. For Claude, this decision provides him with a way to fight for a higher purpose and contribute to the common good. Cather approach to war fiction (the second half of the story) is the same contemplative, introspective approach she takes when writing about hardscrabble Plains living. She does not sugar coat or exclude anything but she also does not dwell on graphic war details or focus on military strategy. Cather’s writing takes on a more holistic approach to the war, although the parts of the story set in France do not come across with the same graceful flow of the earlier sections of the story. Cather captures all of this through a slightly dreamy lens that may frustrate fans of war fiction like Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms (apparently, Hemingway was a vocal critic of One of Ours when it was published).

Overall, another wonderful story communicated through Cather’s simple, straightforward, descriptive prose. ( )
5 rösta lkernagh | Jun 7, 2019 |
Cather's 1923 Pulitzer prize winning novel about Claude Wheeler, a Nebraska farm boy who never quite figures out what he wants to do with his life until he finally enlists in the Army to go fight in World War I. Where Hemingway provides a more stark account of life on and off the battlefield, Cather has a much more gentle and rolling prose that easily conveys the mystique of prairies as well as the wounded features of a war-torn France. Cather's characters are real, imperfect, and at times tortured by many of the selfsame questions that transcend generations: who am I, where do I belong, why am I here? Only the last third of the book really covers Claude's experience in Europe, but Cather does a superb job of capturing the experiences of young men going off to war, the waiting, the peril of a sea voyage, and the toils of combat. She must have read a great deal and spoken to a lot of veterans to have been able to retell it in her own way. One of my top five reads and an excellent supplement to a study in the Great War. ( )
1 rösta traumleben | Apr 12, 2018 |
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Willa Catherprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Lee, HermioneInledningmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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Claude Wheeler opened his eyes before the sun was up and vigorously shook his younger brother, who lay in the other half of the same bed.
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Claude Wheeler, the sensitive, aspiring protagonist of this beautifully written Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, resembles the youngest son of a peculiarly American fairy tale. His fortune is ready-made for him, but he refuses to settle for it. Alienated from his parents, all but rejected by his wife, and dissatisfied with farming, Claude is an idealist without an ideal to cling to. It's only when America enters the First World War that Claude finds the purpose he has searched for. One of Ours is divided into two parts: the first half is set in Nebraska where Claude struggles to find his life's purpose; the second part, during World War I where he ironically fulfills his romantic idealism on the brutal battlefields of 1918 France. It is the story of a young man born after the American frontier has vanished, yet whose quintessentially American restlessness seeks redemption on a frontier far bloodier.

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