The Spire

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Dean Jocelin has a vision that God has chosen him to erect a great spire on his cathedral. The masons anxiously advise against it, and things have happened around the cathedral which it is better not to question men too closely about. But, without foundations, the spire rises octagon upon octagon, pinnacle by pinnacle, until the stone pillars shriek and the ground beneath it swims. Its shadow falls darkly on the world below, and most darkly on the Dean himself. The Spire is an impressively powerful portrait of one man's ...

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Robert A

Oct 6, 2011

A truly literary historical novel

I love the medieval world and have studied the Middle Ages for many years. With few exceptions, though, I am disappointed by novels set in the period. They are either historically accurate but written in a plodding style and filled with wooden characters, or are stylishly written but full of inaccuracies and filled with characters who think 21st Century thoughts.

William Golding's "The Spire" is an exception: beautifully written, historically accurate, and peopled by characters with authentic medieval mindsets. At the same time, the events and conflicts in it reflect human characteristics that are universal, even today.

Golding was a Nobel laureate, and although this book is not one of his best known, it bears the hallmarks of a master. I highly recommend it.

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