The story of the descent into violence of ordinary man. The narrator looks at the struggle between decency and brutality in his brother, whose early promise as an athlete and student was crushed by his father's fists. By the author of "Continental Drift" and "The Sweet Hereafter".The story of the descent into violence of ordinary man. The narrator looks at the struggle between decency and brutality in his brother, whose early promise as an athlete and student was crushed by his father's fists. By the author of "Continental Drift" and "The Sweet Hereafter".Read Less
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?You come to love not by finding the perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.?
? Sam Keen
Affliction is a beautiful, brutal telling of one man?s demise. The cause? Life!
Wade Whitehouse is a man who has reached middle age ? nothing in his life even closely resembles the dreams and expectations he had for himself ? he is filled with disappointment, resentment, anger and pain.
Find me one who isn?t!
Wade is everyman. He is a strong, physically powerful, former high school star athlete. He peaked at 20 and has spent the last twenty years in a gradual descent ? an almost unnoticeable decline in every area of his life. In Affliction, we are privy to his every thought, desire, and disappointment as his life, and all its failings, come to a disastrous end.
The amazing element in this story is that we are able to be inside Wade?s head ? to understand the collected hurts that have created the man presented to us. How wonderful this would be in real life. To understand the heart and mind of that guy who cut you off in traffic, the insecurities of the couple who continually tell you about their ?awesome? life, to know the depth of the hurt and fear felt by the bully waiting at the bus stop or the fear of failure that keeps your hard driving boss up at night.
How much better would we treat each other if we knew this information? How much more empathetic could we be ? more patient, loving, understanding and forgiving.
Life is complicated. Every action each we take is often a culmination of lessons, hurts, events, experiences, wins, losses and memories that we have accumulated over a lifetime. We react in certain situations in a certain way because of a single event in our childhood or a lifetime of watching (and absorbing) one of our parents behaving in the same way.
What aging, and for most of us, maturity, teaches us is that everything is more complicated that it appears. The immature, when they witness another?s transgression, or sin, immediately judge them. They are uncomfortable with ambiguity ? with the idea there is more to what they see and hear than meets the eye.
Modern living ? survival ? often requires that we classify one another ? place others in convenient boxes of ?understanding? ? this allows us to function in the world ? we know who we should interact with, who we should avoid and where we ?belong.? Our world is ruled by the ego ? by ambition, envy, greed, lust, pride and the never-ending need for more of everything. We are slaves to these thoughts, desires and impulses and they have become the rulers of our lives ? it is for want of things (status included) that we work too much, love too little and view one another as connections rather than people. We dismiss one another if we believe they are beneath us or not relevant to our ?climb.? We pursue, ?network,? with those we hope will help us take another step toward our wants and dreams. To what end?
We have reached an imbalance. We live in beautiful homes, we have full pantries, we have clothes, we are loved, we are educated and we live in safe communities ? but we see none of this! Many of us see only what we are missing ? the bigger home, fancy restaurants, better clothes, vacations, second homes ? we do not see our blessings, we are merely striving for more because more can be had.
Yet, all around us, men ? like Wade Whitehouse ? suffer deeply. This is the heart of a man revealed for all of us to see, know and understand. We need to begin seeing one another, caring for one another, loving one another and reaching out in support. We each desire to be accepted and loved, as we are ?completely ? not based upon accomplishments, achievements, titles, income or status. True love is to reveal ones self completely and be accepted as such ? this is the dream of every man.
A great song that addresses this very need ? that we all have ? is ?What Love Really Means? by JJ Heller. The lyrics of this song speak to each of us ? for our need to be loved and accepted as we are ? as Christ loves and accepts us ? in this life.
Also, if you are not a big reader, the film version of Affliction, starring Nick Nolte, was tremendous. He was perfect in this role and truly embodied the pain and longing that Wade Whitehouse evoked in the book. Highly recommended!
Peace & God Bless!
Apr 1, 2007
too many bad words in story
The book does have alot of bad words..but nothing I can't handle. But it would be good to read part of the story instead of having every fourth word cussing. The story starts out with wade having his daughter over for the weekend. He doesn't seem to be a good father the way he acts toward her she doesn't feel good being there so she calls her mother to come and get her. Of course he gets mad at her and starts to cuss her out. Not only is he a father but he is also a well digger and believe it or not a police officer.
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