Frederick Buechner’s novel Godric presents the historical hermit Godric realistically. Frederick Buechner’s Godric “retells the life of Godric of Finchale, a twelfth- century English holy man whose projects late in life included that of purifyin. Godric Summary & Study Guide includes detailed chapter summaries and analysis, quotes, character descriptions, themes, and Godric by Frederick Buechner.

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The chatter from the pen of the poet ignites the words of the prophet which light the mind of this reader, the illumination of which spills over into memory and I recall the words of the chaplain that night, I realize now what they are all saying, all of them – Buechner, Godric, the chaplain, my lost loved ones, and the sign-off in my friends goodbye-for-now signature: The Christians inside respond with violence.

I thieved and pirated. I wink at her.

But far from celebrating the sin found there, the tapestry Buechner weaves always points to Godric’s guilt and repentance, to his lostness without a Savior. My little mind could not connect the meaning with his absence; each word seemed interstellar, distantly fixed positions on a map pointing somewhere, some distant place far apart from each other, aeons away from our huddled confusion.

William slips on some rocks and dies looking for her. His other members harry him.

But I hated with the author, because I buchner with him his story, and his characters. It is almost intoxicating, carrying the reader along like the River Wear must have godriv constantly to Hermit Godric. Thy pain itself’s thy service. I loved the writing style which was tight, economical, and super vivid and memorable. For Buechner begins his story at frederic, end, or nearly so, and we see the events in Godric’s life not as a prelude to personal conversion and faith but as the rocky course towards eremitism.


Just finished rereading this the other day for a colloquium I’ll be leading next week. The book unfolds with Godric narrating the events of his life in retrospect, as he looks back on his hundred years of life and does not see the saintly existence that many ascribe to him. He contrives a style of speech for his narrator–Godric himself–that’s brisk and tough-sinewed Buechner has the gift, that is for sure.

I went to sea. And I am that man.

Godric Summary & Study Guide

God resides in the muck; it is not some spectacular, declarative proof from God we desire, but the experience of a personal communion with Him. We read it in the Bible with figures like David and Paul and here it from all those that we consider great saints, that they are the chiefs of sinners and that without the grace of God, they would be lost.

Buechner has managed to reinvent projects of self-purification and of faith as piquant matter for contemporary fiction [in a book] notable for literary finish Lists with This Book. The silence is so fathomless that prayers like plummets vanish in the sea.

Having spent a good portion of last fall reading up on Anglo Saxon hagiography, I’m especially impressed with how the novel builds off of that tradition and upends it at the same time.


There is something else that makes this book wonderful.

It was a little like ordering a fine Belgian beer, which you know is really good, but you don’t fully appreciate it because you were in the mood for a Bud Light. Life is attachment and desire. Feb 22, Agitatus rated it it was amazing.

And of the thoughts that come to roost in this old skull! This gives you a glimpse into the medieval mind, especially into that of one who is sorrowful for his life and spends fifty years in reparation, praying fredrick God.

I started out as rough a peasant’s brat and full of cockadoodledoo as any. A friend told me I HAD to read this book.

The Hermit in Lore: Frederick Buechner’s Godric – Articles – House of Lore – Hermitary

While in Jerusalem, the site of Christ’s execution, he decides to wholly dedicate himself to God. I loved the character of Godric and his mix of crabby curmudgeonliness, spiritual longing, and earthy humor.

Seraphim, hagiography can make me acutely uncomfortable. Some passages made me laugh, some stopped me in my tracks with their beauty, and many demanded reading aloud. G goes barefoot to honor Christ; white bird significance?

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Yet we never really know why Godric became a hermit.