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All That Is [Audiobook] [MP3 CD]

James Salter , David Colacci
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)

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Kindle Edition 4.19  
Hardcover 12.72  
Paperback 8.11  
MP3 CD, Audiobook 20.47  
MP3 CD, Audiobook, 2 April 2014 --  
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Book Description

2 April 2014

NATIONAL BESTSELLER
A New York Times Book Review Notable Book
An NPR "Great Reads" Book


The eagerly-anticipated new novel from PEN/Faulkner winner James Salter, his first in over thirty years. From the battlefields of Okinawa to the publishing houses of New York, All That Is follows one man’s life—and loves—as it unfolds in a world on the brink of change.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Product details

  • MP3 CD
  • Publisher: Dreamscape Media; MP3 Una edition (2 April 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1624063640
  • ISBN-13: 978-1624063640
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,502,584 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"'Delectable' (Evening Standard) 'Terrific' (Daily Mail) 'Masterful' (Observer)" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

'A beautiful novel, with sufficient love, heartbreak, vengeance, identity confusion, longing, and euphoria of language to have satisfied Shakespeare' John Irving

'This masterpiece is a smooth, absorbing narrative studded with bright particulars. If God is in the details, this book is divine' Edmund White

'James Salter's writing has always provoked in me a kind of evangelical admiration. It is sheer brute magic. His prose is exquisite, sentences created with such acuity and efficacy it seems he re-forges language itself, makes it more purposeful and beautiful. All That Is is a masterpiece; so finely calibrated in its concomitant elations and cruelties, its human complexities and truths, that it is not simply read, it is lived' Sarah Hall

'Enthralling . . . A vividly imagined and beautifully written evocation of a postwar world' John Banville

'The best novel I've read in years. All That Is will be treasured by its readers. Salter's vivid, lucid prose does exquisite justice to his subject - the relentless struggle to make good on our own humanity. Once again he has delivered to us a novel of the highest artistry' Tim O'Brien

'A consistently elegant and enjoyable novel, full of verve and wisdom' Julian Barnes

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars if it sounds like writing... 12 Aug 2013
Format:Hardcover
Chris Power quotes Elmore Leonard as saying 'if it sounds like writing, I rewrite it' What a pity the author of this book didn't follow his nostrum. Eliza Gregory, in a previous review, has done a much more accomplished (and witty) job than I could ever do in detailing the examples of lumpen writing in this book. To be fair the first chapter did grip me. And I was convinced i was in for a treat but after that I'm with Eliza Gregory all the way (although i am unwilling these days to persevere with any book I find really bad to the bitter end and didn't come any where finishing as opposed to getting finished with this book.) I should probably end here but I wonder if anyone else found both the main character and the author's attitude towards him creepy, offensive and disturbing? (I love books with a creepy anti-hero or heroine and have no problems with Humbert Humbert for instance - but this felt as though i was expected to admire the dull and self satisfied Philip Bowman. So I'm with the reviewer who put the book down and couldn't pick it up again. Wish I could have given this book a minus star because i am so fed up with great literary figures who are so in love with themselves and who write such pointless stuff.
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64 of 72 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Disappointing Mess 28 May 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Ignore the gushing reviews. This novel is awful. Salter is, or rather was, a wonderful writer and has produced several memorable books, but this is really nothing like his best work. It is unfocussed, uneven and devoted to an outlook which is likely to make many readers cringe with embarrassment.

On the surface, the novel is about the life of a man searching for love. It sounds promising enough, but actually we know so little about him that we don't really care one way or the other. Also, the search is mainly about sex. He has sex with various beautiful women and then, when things go wrong, he has sex with someone else. The dominant tone is elegaic and the supreme moments of his life take place either immediately before or immediately after sex with someone he doesn't know that well. Otherwise, his life appears to be completely blank, almost as if he has been lobotomised. He goes go Spain, for instance, and has sex with someone called Enid. Salter writes: "The light in the Ritz made her beautiful. The sound of her high heals. There is no other, there will never be another." That, for Salter, is the existential pinnacle of a man's life: a man watching a beautiful woman he has just has sex with, while reflecting on her irreplaceability and/or the ephemerality of things in general. We are told, ad nauseum, that we always lose what he have and can never recapture our moments of splendour.

The sex writing itself is among the worst I have ever encountered and often flirts with incomprehensibility.

"They made love as if it were a violent crime, he holding her by the waist, half woman, half vase, adding weight to the act. She was crying in agony like a dog near death."

That is pretty bad, but it does make sense, just about.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written 9 May 2013
By Misha The Penguin VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
James Salter's latest book charts the life of Philip Bowman following the Second World War and onwards into a career in publishing. The underlying theme of the book is Bowman's search for love and to find happiness. Sounds familiar. But it isn't.

Those who have read Salter before will be familiar with his exquisitely tight writing style. Long drawn out descriptions to describe a scene are not Salter's style. Yet a few exquisitely chosen and succinct words are enough to produce a written picture of even the most complex of scenes. It is a real pleasure reading anything by Salter.

It's not just the scenes that benefit from this style of writing. All of the characters are furnished with but a brief back history yet by the end of the novel you feel that you know them intimately. The one flaw I could find within the book is that they often fall by the wayside and you are left wondering what happened to them - though I guess that is an element of the story itself. It is testament to Salter's fine writing that you warm to them.

Intimate is, I guess, the writing style that Salter intended. He returns to previous themes of sex, war and love, making the characters experience as personal as you can get in literature. Rarely have I read such evocative writing whether it is in a sex scene or just in the setting of a scene.

The journey travelled by Bowman takes him through the decades following the Second World War and the social change that is happening around him. This is all expertly described.

Salter is not the most prolific of authors but this is an ideal introduction to his writing. Once you have been enchanted by this novel check out A Sport and a Pastime. For something completely different, try The Hunters.

Overall one of the best books I have read this year.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars so desperate to be a great writer 1 Jun 2013
By jayp
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have read Light Years and the short stories and, for a long time, I have been in two minds about Salter - seduced by the glamorous settings and people and by the apparent elegance of his writing, but reading this (I guess his last work) I have come to the conclusion that he is nothing but a big fraud. It seems to me that this is a book by a writer in love with a certain idea of being a writer, written for people who have a certain idea of what good writing is. His prose is just so considered and lifeless and there is a kind of snobbish vanity about the narrative perspective that after a while I began to find a bit nauseating. The way he writes about Europe is so pompous and out of date, and the way he writes about love so humourless and leaden.And as for the 'characterisation'! Bowman is one of the most characterless characters I have come across in a long time, as well as being one of the most unpleasant - although you have to read between the lines a little, it becomes clear by the end of the book that he is a rapist, a homophobe and a racist - and many of the other characters are just different versions of the same type. His second and third partners, for instance, come across as exactly the same to me. There are some worthy passages here and there, but these would have been better as short stories, the only form that Salter seems to have had any luck with.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I recommend this
I enjoyed this novel immensely. The Guardian called James Salter ‘One of the great postwar American writers’ and this novel confirms him among them. Read more
Published 1 month ago by alex russell
5.0 out of 5 stars A captivating novel, beautifully written
Beautifully written in a style which makes the reader feel and see things from the central character's perspective, resulting in a wonderful narrative flow of thoughts and... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Fiona L
2.0 out of 5 stars Unengaging
I'm afraid I was seduced by a number of enthusiastic press reviews, so began reading this in great expectation. Alas! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Sentinel
2.0 out of 5 stars A cold, literary read
This is the first book by James Salter that I have read: I was drawn to it by the superlative reviews from authors I enjoy such as John Irving and Julie Myerson. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Eric Baker
5.0 out of 5 stars Salter as stunning as ever
James Salter is without doubt one of the greatest living writers and this book continues to justify that accolade. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Nr S. J. Watt
4.0 out of 5 stars A Book That Restores The Best In American Fiction.
a well written novel that i really enjoyed reading.There were traces of John Updike at his best.I hope Salter will produce more novels of this calibre.
Published 3 months ago by R E Gibson
3.0 out of 5 stars Well Written but Diffuse Analysis of Human Behavior
Set in the period during and immediately after the end of World War Two, ALL THAT IS focuses on the life of Philip Bowman, who spends his time in the US Army then returns to his... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Dr. Laurence Raw
5.0 out of 5 stars A small masterpiece
I thought that this is a small masterpiece. Reading/listening to this book while commuting to work for the last week or so, so completely consumed me that I didn't want it to end. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Paul Harris
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but confusing at times
I did enjoy this book and found it to be interesting, if somewhat without a strong storyline. My problem is that the individuals were not always strong enough to know who you were... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Laura Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Ultimately haunting
All That Is is is a luminous, lasting book. It traces the grown-up life of Philip Bowman, beginning in World War Two where he's a young combatant and going all the way through to... Read more
Published 6 months ago by emma who reads a lot
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