The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Thornton Wilder's second novel, won him the first of his three Pulitzer Prizes. The novel opens in the aftermath of an inexplicable tragedy—a tiny footbridge in Peru breaks, and five travelers hurtle to their deaths. Most townspeople think to themselves with secret joy, "Within 10 minutes myself...."
But for Brother Juniper, a humble Franciscan friar who witnesses the catastrophe, the question is inescapable: Why those five? Suddenly, Brother Juniper is committed to discover what manner of lives these five disparate people led—and whether it was divine intervention that took their lives, or a capricious fate.
Wilder maintained in his works that true meaning and beauty are found in ordinary experience. This is especially true of The Bridge of San Luis Rey. From the very beginning to the stunning conclusion, the listener is absorbed into the individual stories of the five victims, and how their destinies intertwine.
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Not a good recording
Sam Waterston does a pretty bad job here. It sounds like they dragged him out of bed, put the book in front of him, and told him to read. He mumbles and his voice breaks. I listen to books as I drive and I often have a hard time making out what he is saying over the noise of the car, which has not been a problem with any of my other audiobooks. Maybe he imagined that a muted reading style would add drama to the reading, but if so it fails. I gave up on listening to the book and decided to move on. I guess that in the case of The Bridge of San Luis Rey I have to go back to reading books myself.