The Neon Bible by John Kennedy Toole Online

The Neon Bible
Title : The Neon Bible
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780802132079
Language : English
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 162

The Neon Bible tells the story of David, a young boy growing up in a small Southern town in the 1940s. David's voice is perfectly calibrated, disarmingly funny, sad, shrewd, gathering force from page to page with an emotional directness that never lapses into sentimentality. Through it we share his awkward, painful, universally recognizable encounter with first love, we paThe Neon Bible tells the story of David, a young boy growing up in a small Southern town in the 1940s. David's voice is perfectly calibrated, disarmingly funny, sad, shrewd, gathering force from page to page with an emotional directness that never lapses into sentimentality. Through it we share his awkward, painful, universally recognizable encounter with first love, we participate in boy evangelist Bobbie Lee Taylor's revival, we meet the pious, bigoted townspeople. From the opening lines of The Neon Bible, David is fully alive, naive yet sharply observant, drawing us into his world through the sure artistry of John Kennedy Toole.John Kennedy Toole, who won a posthumous Pulitzer Prize for his best-selling comic masterpiece A Confederacy of Dunces, wrote The Neon Bible for a literary contest at the age of sixteen. The manuscript languished in a drawer and became the subject of a legal battle among Toole's heirs. It was only in 1989, thirty-five years after it was written and twenty years after Toole's suicide at thirty-one, that this amazingly accomplished and evocative novel was freed for publication.


The Neon Bible Reviews

  • Fabian

    Yeah, I've placed this on the back-burnera several times before. Why? Since "Confederacy" takes up such a large portion of my heart, my soul, I absolutely knew in my bones that this, Toole's first effort into novel-writing (& the only other one-- he wrote solely TWO), would suck. Of course it would. And the beginning trembles, and the plot is thin, and the observations somewhat pedestrian? But it is nonetheless exactly what John Kennedy Toole fans like myself would die for: testament of earl [...]

  • Sinem A.

    "Alıklar Birliği" ni geçen sene okumuş sadeliğine ve anti kahramanının güzelliğine hayran kalmıştım. yazarın bu kitaptan başka sadece bir kitabı daha olduğuna üzülmüştüm. Erken yaşta intihar etmesi, yaşayışı yazara daha çok ilgi göstermeme neden olmuştu. Sadece bir kitabını okuyabildiğim için üzgündüm. Taa ki bir arkadaşım bana bu kitabı hediye edene kadar. Neon Bible in Türkçeye çevrilmiş olmasına sevinmiştim ama o kitabın hediye edilmiş olmasına [...]

  • Ian

    Bittersweet SixteenIt would be a significant literary achievement to write a convincing novel from the perspective of a sixteen year old narrator. It would be an even greater achievement, as here, if the author too was sixteen years old.This novel is relatively straightforward in the way it unravels the plot. It's conventional and linear, until at the end you discover that it's actually circular. However, like "Stoner", one thing it does well is create pathos, although in this case there is noth [...]

  • Tfitoby

    I really wanted to like this, I really don't want to criticise the writing of the teenage John Kennedy Toole, but the fact is that this is a book that was only published because of greed. It could have used an editor but mostly it could have used not being written by a 16 year old. He was clearly a very talented young man, his writing is beyond anything I can imagine a 16 year old writing today lololololjkjkjkjkjk but still this reads as though written by a naive boy.Neon Bible has been compared [...]

  • Oscar

    Da pena pensar dónde podría haber llegado John Kennedy Toole de no haberse suicidado a tan temprana edad. Sin lugar a dudas era un genio. 'La Biblia de neón' fue la primera novela que escribió, siendo apenas un adolescente, y sólo puedo decir que es una obra con fuerza, con imágenes indelebles que permanecen a fuego en la memoria tras varias horas después de su lectura.Toole nos cuenta la historia de David y de su familia en un pueblo sureño de Estados Unidos, cuya población, o la mayor [...]

  • Núria

    Se ve que John Kennedy Toole escribió 'La Biblia de neón' cuando tenía 16 años y que luego la rechazó porque el estilo le parecía demasiado juvenil. Pero a mí me ha encantado, precisamente por esa mirada infantil e ingenua que tiene. Como todo está narrado precisamente desde el punto de vista de un niño que luego se convertirá en adolescente, que encima siempre ha recibido una educación muy rudimentaria y que siempre ha vivido aislado, el estilo simple, directo, repetitivo y algo limi [...]

  • Sub_zero

    La Biblia de neón dista mucho de ser la obra maestra que es La conjura de los necios, pero sí que ofrece pistas del apabullante potencial que tenía John Kennedy Toole como narrador. El escritor norteamericano ofrece en esta novela, la primera que escribió siendo apenas un adolescente, un retrato brutal del fanatismo religioso como elemento de dominación a través de la mirada inocente e ingenua de un niño criado en el seno de una familia humilde y un tanto excéntrica. Sus observaciones y [...]

  • bobbygw

    Toole committed suicide at the age of 32, leaving behind two unpublished novels and an impressively determined mother who succeeded – after much badgering – in gaining the novelist Walker Percy’s interest and support in the manuscript of A Confederacy of Dunces. As we know, this was then published to instant and great acclaim and has been continuously in print ever since, and translated into numerous languages.While The Neon Bible was in fact written before A Confederacy of Dunces, it only [...]

  • Noran Miss Pumkin

    The first lines of this book were so vivid for be, I could see exactly what the author wrote. I just kept re-reading them.It is such a powerful book, I often recommend highly to others. It was made into a film in the last decade, but got little play and lesser reviews. If you like "Ironweed", this is your cup of joe.

  • Edith Wasco

    La historia me llamó la atención desde la reseña de la parte de atrás y al comenzar a leerlo no me decepcionó. El pueblo que Toole describe se me antojo casi real. Más que el estilo de la prosa (bueno a secas), resalta el tema de la obra y la crítica social que hace al fanatismo religioso dominante en los pequeños pueblos estadounidenses antes y durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Me dejó pasmada el hecho de que fue escrita cuando Toole tenía apenas 16 años. La juventud del escritor y [...]

  • FuchsiaGroan

    Sin llegar al nivel de maestría alcanzado en La conjura de los necios, es tremendo que Toole fuese capaz de escribir esta novela con tan solo 16 años, que alguien de esa edad fuese capaz de diseccionar así ese pueblo sureño, a sus habitantes y su grado de fanatismo, con ese nivel de ironía certera. Maravilloso.

  • Evan Leach

    This was a solid to good coming-of-age story written by John Kennedy Toole at the age of 16. Toole is better known for his Pulitzer Prize winning novel A Confederacy of Dunces, his only other published work. Neon Bible is a piece of juvenilia that only saw the light of day due to the smashing success of Dunces, and was written by a raw and developing talent. There is room for Toole to grow as a writer across the board (plotting, characterization, prose, etc.). That said, this is an extremely imp [...]

  • Zahir

    For those of you who were fans of A Confederacy of Dunces, Toole's other posthumously published work is a very different, but equally brilliant, work. Where Confederacy really shines through as a comic masterpiece with larger than life characters, The Neon Bible is a serious story told in some of the most emotional language I've ever seen come across a printed page. Where Confederacy is all about the farcical nature of human being, in The Neon Bible, Toole captures human emotion in an almost pur [...]

  • Ashley Bradley

    This is one of the most surprising books I have ever read. Though I was already aware of Toole's genius, because of Confederacy of Dunces, I went into it wondering just how great it could be. He wrote this story when he was 16, and I thought the only reason it was published was because of his Mother's struggle to get it published. They say you aren't fully appreciated until your gone. In the introduction of this book, a family friend of Toole's mother discusses how the two found the story shorty [...]

  • Pat

    This was honestly hard for me to read at times. I abandoned it the first time I tried to read it, about 6 years ago. It just oozes sadness and it can get to be a bit unbearable at times, but after I got into the heart of the book this second time I started reading it, I also found it to be really compelling and it really drew me into this world. The young boy telling the story uses perfectly believable language to describe his world in clear detail. I've found that books with a young narrator ca [...]

  • Ovidiu Oprea

    I found the book very easy to read and each page seemed to promise something new and appealing. I intended to specify that it's easy to read because I was thinking of all the vampire novels people are reading because they want something easy, that flows and all that, and of this article about the issue: salon/books/laura_mill.This is a novel that you can finish reading pretty quickly. Yet, I suspect that people that go for Dan Brown and co. do it not for the unsophisticated phrase but for the es [...]

  • Brandon Henke

    Win Butler swears that Arcade Fire's album and title track of the same name are of no relation, but they are so close in subject matter and tone that I am skeptical of the claim.The Neon Bible is an immensely sad book and, having also read The Confederacy of Dunces, leads me to believe that there are whispers of autobiographical confession in its pages. The understated emotion of a young boy trying to make sense of the absurdities and hypocrisy that surround him.4.0/5.0

  • Bobby

    Clean. Concise. Haunting. This book stays with you. A fantastic novel, made all the more so taking into account the age of the writer. Written with more honesty and emotion than many writers twice his age are capable of. Even discounting Conspiracy of Dunces, this book alone makes Toole's eventual suicide all the more tragic. One of the biggest losses of potential in modern American literature.

  • Rand

    ELEVATOR TO HEAVEN IS CROWDED DUE TO FIRE IN ARCADE.

  • Andrew

    Long before A Confederacy of Dunces, a young John Kennedy Toole wrote an at-times quite lovely, chilly novel about sub-Mason-Dixon desperation in the O'Connor/Porter/McCullers mode. It doesn't go much of anywhere -- after all, Toole was a teenager when he wrote it -- but it's not awful. It reminds me, rather, of how I used to think and write as an adolescent, which is to say that I wanted to write frigid, minimalist stories about my own regional turf that acted as panegyrics against the hypocris [...]

  • Jerome Berglund

    They should teach this in school, it should especially be required reading for any child growing up in a small town!Every bit on par with To Kill a Mockingbird or his other better known masterpiece Confederacy of Dunces as a Great American Novel.A short and engaging read, yet a curiously absorbing page turner for what one might initially expect to be a rather sedate slice of life style glimpse into conservative rural hillbilly youth in a bygone era. Also makes some significant comments upon clas [...]

  • Gregory Baird

    “Thinking people feel sorry for you is something I guess you should appreciate, but I didn’t and never have." First of all, for anyone to have written a novel like this at age sixteen is nothing short of amazing. Granted, some of the description does not entirely ring true, but for a teenager to possess such acuity when it comes to people and society is remarkable. John Kennedy Toole was such a gifted observer of humanity’s foibles despite his young age that “The Neon Bible” contains t [...]

  • Chad Bearden

    "The Neon Bible" is a remarkable work in many respects, most notably because it is the early work of an author still in the embryonic stages of becoming a writer, and while it bears almost no tonal or stylistic resemblence to the work that would make Toole famous, it is still a quite solid read.Whereas "A Confederacy of Dunces" seemed almost hyper-obnoxious with its lead character, Ignatius Reilly, as its figurehead, "The Neon Bible" is a marathon of calm observation. In the former, Toole channe [...]

  • Joni

    La otra novela del creador de La conjura de los necios, John Kennedy Toole, un escritor que con apenas un legado de dos libros deja una marca particular. Escrita a los quince años se advierten elementos que varios años después usaría en su otra obra. Comienza con un joven viajando en tren que recuerda su vida en un pequeño pueblo conservador del sur estadounidense. Siendo hijo único y de familia muy pobre convive con sus padres y la inefable tía Mae, gran personaje que casi se vuelve cent [...]

  • Jacqueline Perez

    "A Confederacy of Dunces" is a masterpiece by John Kennedy Toole, which masterpiece should have been published before his death. The fact that it wasn't published is a testament to the tone deafness of the publishers in his day. According to Kenneth Holditch's introduction to "The Neon Bible" ((1989 W. Kenneth Holditch, Marion Toole Hosli, Sharon H. Muniz, Althea Toole Farley, and Mary Toole McGuire) Published by Grove Weidenfeld, 1989.), Toole's second posthumously published work, Toole's hopes [...]

  • Silvia

    I read a number of books written from the perspective of teenagers and most of the were cringy. It took a lot of suspension of disbelief from my part to actually read the words as thought and delivered by teens. Teens have a certain interior world which we tend to forget pretty fast once we grow up. And I think this is why I liked this book so much. It was believe-able, it was raw, it was authentic. It was probably not easy at all to write, since, apart from being narrated from a 16-year-old's p [...]

  • Thorunn

    Ágætis saga, en ekkert meira en það. Auðvitað alveg ótrúlegt afrek hjá 16 ára gömlum dreng að skrifa hana en maður metur ekki gæðin út frá því (nema þessi strákur sé barnið manns). Það hefði mátt stytta söguna mikið og karakterarnir eru frekar einfaldir. Hann gerir sér ekki vel grein fyrir aldri fólks og málið er einfalt. Það sem hann er að lýsa er annað hvort einfölduð staðalímynd af lífinu í smábæjum í biblíubeltinu í Bandaríkjunum - eða þá [...]

  • ArturoBelano

    Bu kitapı yazdığında Toole 17 yaşındaydı ve 17 yaşında böyle bir eser veren birinin çok yaşamayacığını bilmek için kahin olmaya gerek yok. Alıklar Birliği ile hayran kalıp biraz araştırınca bulmuştum bu kitabı, yeni baskısı olmadığı için edinmek zor olabilir ama Alıklar Birliği'ni okuyan herkese ve Amerikan taşrasının o boğucu, nefes aldırmayan iklimininin genç bir bünyede açabileceği kesiğin büyüklüğünü görmek isteyenlere tavsiye olunur.

  • E. D.Watson

    Toole's Confederacy of Dunces is one of my favorite books of all timebut for some reason I'd never read this one. I LOVED IT. You won't get the rollicking, satirical, character-stuffed experience of COD--The Neon Bible is a much quieter book, spacious and spare and cruel and tender, a Southern Gothic masterpiece. If you like Carson McCullers and Kaye Gibbons (and I do, so much!) then you'll love this book.

  • David

    The neon bible by john Kennedy tooleI would like to comment on the composition o f the book written in the opposite Of the colour metaphors that are used in the scripts of movies & TV seriesIt mentioned the bookTO KILL A MOCKING BIRD I love the crispness of the characters the clarity of the grammar I could recall my fav parts of the book ( the neon bible) but, then that would be reciteting and not reviewing My other favotite was A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN pre 1920 a another story of poverty ei [...]