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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Five stories or one?
`A Possible Life' is subtitled a `Novel in Five Parts'. These parts are, in fact, five apparently separate short stories about individual characters in different times and locations. They include a mild school teacher who finds himself in a Nazi concentration camp, a pop musician living a hedonistic life in 1970s USA, a scientist in Italy in the near future, a former...
Published on 12 Nov 2012 by Reddy

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55 of 59 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Five lives--some struggling, some striving, all wondering at the end
"A Possible Life" is a collection of five separate novellas with only the occasional small connection between them. They are written in five time periods, although the dates given as chapter/story titles (1938, 1859, 2029, 1822 and 1971) are just place-holders for periods of time. If there is a central theme to the stories it is that life experience is more about the...
Published on 26 Oct 2012 by Blue in Washington


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3.0 out of 5 stars A mixed bag, 9 Nov 2014
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This review is from: A Possible Life (Paperback)
The first couple of stories were gripping but I don't like the futuristic stuff.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 16 July 2014
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This review is from: A Possible Life (Paperback)
Each story is beautifully written, rooted in a particular period and powerful.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Two good ones but on the whole disappointing, 10 Nov 2014
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This review is from: A Possible Life (Kindle Edition)
Five short stories. Two good ones but on the whole disappointing.
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4.0 out of 5 stars a very good read, 15 Dec 2014
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I am very pleased with this item and will buy from seller again
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointment, 3 Mar 2013
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This review is from: A Possible Life (Hardcover)
A tedious tale not in the same league as his other books.disappointing im style and content.
We cannot expect all his books to be as good as Birdsong or Charlotte Gray. But we can hopr.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars People without connections..., 9 Nov 2012
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Jill Meyer (United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Possible Life (Hardcover)
British author Sebastian Faulks' new novel, "A Possible Life", is five short stories of different people at different times in the past and the future. All are so well written that they could all be lengthened into full novels. But what ties them together...or were they all stories that the writer just wanted to tell? I really don't know, but I headed into the last story, hoping for some link between the five. I couldn't find one - at least in terms of plot - but that doesn't mean that you won't. The only thing I could find between the five stories is that all centered on characters who lived in the world physically, but often had internal lives that were allowed them to function in a world of hurt.

Most other reviewers of "Possible" seem to have a favorite story or two; ones that may have touched them as readers. I suppose my favorite was the first "Geoffrey", which is the story of a British WW2 soldier who becomes a resistance worker in France and is betrayed by another to the Germans. Since he is not a regular soldier and therefore entitled to be sent to a German POW camp, he was sent to an unnamed concentration camp - probably Auschwitz. Because he can speak fluent French he is drafted to oversee the gassings and cremations of French Jews who had been sent there to be murdered. By disassociating himself from the hell he lives in, he is able to survive the war and returns to England to resume his life as a school teacher. But how do you survive after living through Auschwitz? By drawing further into yourself, retreating from the world around you.

And that is how most of the characters in Faulks's short stories survive. Whether suffering physical, mental, or emotional angst, the characters are survivalists in the extreme. The different times and countries the stories are set in also accentuate the feeling that surviving angst is a universal theme and most people do it be shutting off parts of themselves.

The thing is, maybe as a reviewer I'm reading more into Sebastian Faulks' book than whats really there. Maybe it is merely five excellently written short stories. I don't know, but I can heartily recommend "A Possible Life".
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow what a book!, 24 Sep 2012
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This review is from: A Possible Life (Kindle Edition)
I am knocked out by Sebastian Faulks's writing skills. Not only are the 5 stories in this book subtly interconnected, but the author uses the skills he has displayed in previous books to write in various styles for the various characters. A masterful work, which prompted many deep thoughts on how we all exist together. Worthy of a re-read, I cannot praise this book highly enough.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true Sebastian Faulks novel., 18 Nov 2013
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This review is from: A Possible Life (Kindle Edition)
I am a real fan of Sebastian Faulks and believe that this is one of his best. The progression is complex and really makes you think, it is almost philosophical. It creates interesting discussion points, for example all the people I know who have read it have come up with slightly different conclusions. This book is now on my top 10 list and I look forward to the next Faulks book I read. A real brain teaser with Faulk's detailed descriptive power behind it to keep you on edge and enthralled. READ IT!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Must try harder, 9 Nov 2013
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How can an author who writes the brilliant Birdsong something like this. I was very disappointed I found myself skipping large chunks
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly moving interconnected stories, 20 Aug 2013
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This review is from: A Possible Life (Paperback)
Faulks has this amazing ability to weave a story about a person's whole life in just a few pages, and really stir your emotions about their trials and disasters. He can evoke a victorian workhouse, concentration camp, disturbing future or recent past so deftly. These stories are so subtly connected you probably need to re read the book a few times to find the threads that link them together. And I'm not sure I picked up all the references to memory and consciousness. A book with real depth.
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A Possible Life
A Possible Life by Sebastian Faulks (Paperback - 12 Sep 2013)
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