Given the beauty of the language and the mere 140 pages of the story, there is no reason not to read The Bridge of San Luis Rey. I wasn't sure what to expect from Wilder, but I was impressed with the way he handled his sentences and the thoughts he put to page. There is beauty in this story, and philosophical questions tucked between the lines.
The book is united in theme and stands beneath a promising premise. That said, the various stories had such a detached air that I wasn't quite able to connect. There is a thread--that is the bridge of San Luis Rey--that runs through each story, but without that the stories could just as easily be part of a themed collection. I saw the beauty of the words. I considered the bigger implications. But I never really felt like I was a part of these characters' lives. Perhaps I'm expecting too much in such a short story.