"When it occurred to me I'd never read Wise Blood (Harcourt, Brace, 1952) by Flannery O'Connor, I felt I'd be missing something if I didn't. I'd read a book of her short stories and saw the movie Wise Blood long ago so perhaps I imagined I'd read it; though, I'd never knowingly substitute the movie for the book. As expected, it's an amazing read. A minor annoyance is wading through the dialect spellings she uses, but beyond that the book is a marvelous mix of clear writing and language with impenetrable yet vivid characters. Well, the characters are impenetrable at first, but also beautifully whole and unique—mysteries themselves that need solving. In Wise Blood O'Connor creates a world both of this world and apart from it. The book has taken root in my head in such a way that I couldn't think of another book to mention from the past year."