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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Life Lived To The Full
Marina Keegan, who died in 2012, was a twenty-two year old graduate of Yale University. Even though her time on earth was short, the introduction to the book makes it clear that she was a person of humorous good will and irrepressible enthusiasm who lived her years to the full. She was a self-assured young woman because when a celebrated novelist visited the university...
Published 4 months ago by Soairse

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3.0 out of 5 stars Marina Keagan rip
As a tribute these essays were compiled together. I've bought the kindle edition and am blogging about it. ki5h0re.blogspot.com it's sad that she'd died within a week of graduating and had a life full of promise. Some stories are interesting. A few weird sentences here and there. There's a story about a blind 60something woman reading, naked to a blind 20something man...
Published 6 days ago by Kish


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Life Lived To The Full, 15 May 2014
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This review is from: The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories (Hardcover)
Marina Keegan, who died in 2012, was a twenty-two year old graduate of Yale University. Even though her time on earth was short, the introduction to the book makes it clear that she was a person of humorous good will and irrepressible enthusiasm who lived her years to the full. She was a self-assured young woman because when a celebrated novelist visited the university and told her creative writing class that it was impossible for newcomers to make a living as an author, Marina was the one to stand up and challenge him; she was determined to be a success in the profession. It can never be fully known whether her self-confidence was justified as she died in a road accident only a few days after graduating with honours. Certainly her language is a little raw in places but this collection of her student essays and short stories goes some way to confirming that had she had time to mature and hone her talents, she would indeed have prevailed. The book comprises a section of nine fiction pieces followed by eight nonfiction essays. Like other reviewers, I preferred the latter section. Her essay, `The Opposite of Loneliness' which appeared in the graduation issue of `The Yale Daily News' is poignant and remarkably insightful for a twenty-two year-old or even for a mature writer for that matter. Her description of the imminent rupture of the comfortable `web of security' which supports university students, such as living on the same block as all your friends, the shared interests, partying together, group texts to discuss, is sweetly nostalgic. Yet, Marina was not backward looking or afraid to confront the real world. She appears to have been raring to go, `We're in this together, 2012.' she says, `Let's make something happen to this world.' Since her juvenilia is so readable, it seems likely that she would indeed have made something happen in her chosen profession. Requiescat in pace, Marina.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Opposite of Loneliness is a beautiful collection of her essays and stories that show what ..., 15 Aug 2014
Marina Keegan had just graduated from Yale and had a job waiting for her at the New Yorker. The Opposite of Loneliness is a beautiful collection of her essays and stories that show what a remarkable talent she was.

She writes about the value of community at Yale, how valuable youth is and how much time people have to live out their dreams and the ability they have to start over again. This is something we can all relate to as we wonder what life has in store for us when we leave somewhere, be it a place, a school or a university. We feel we have to decide what’s next for us but Marina is saying it’s OK not to have your house in order right away.

One of her stories has a girl dealing with the death of a boyfriend. She wonders if the relationship meant as much to him as it does to her now. She herself hadn’t fully appreciated what she may have had until it was gone. She’s brilliant at expressing the hopes and angst of youth, with another story telling us so much about a family during a Winter break, with the development of a young relationship contrasted with the deterioration of the relationship of the parents.

I loved the descriptions of the jealousy of a co-star in a boyfriend’s play. She goes through all the emotions as he continues to express his love while talking about the friendship with a fellow actor. The perception of him all changes in a single game, with a simple action saying so much about his character. Her short stories say so much in so little words, one of favourites being a beautiful story of a former ballet dancer reading to a blind man.

She covers many different types of relationships and seems to nail each and every one of them. She changes style by presenting one side of an email exchange from Iraq, where we see the character talk about his commitment to the cause and the many problems he’s facing. He clings on to the hope of every email and dreams of travelling with his girlfriend but this has to be contained for the forseeable future.

She manages to convey so much emotion in every story, whether it’s about returning to an hometown and seeing an old flame, describing living with coeliac disease or conveying the memories attached to an old car, the smell, the experiences and the music. She’s great at getting to the heart of characters like Tommy, a guy that’s full of the banter as he gets down to his pest control work. She questions why we spend so much time saving whales while fish are served up on plates and homeless people are all around us on the streets.

Her journalistic chops are clearly in evidence here. She looks into why around 25 percent of employed Yale graduates enter the consulting or finance industry. She’s idealistic and hopes that more of her peers live out their dreams and fulfill their creativity rather than going down the road so many have travelled.

In her last story she expresses a certain amount of jealousy of anyone that might speak from the grave. It’s a tragedy that Marina wasn’t able to continue her great work. This collection shows a bright young woman that had so much to offer in her ability to express the hopes and dreams of youth and give us a real sense of what it’s like to live out these experiences. Her voice is one that was full of optimism and hope for what could be achieved in the time we have and her published essays and stories have so much to offer to so many.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Talented young person who needed only to be provided with the right opportunity, 9 April 2014
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Denis Vukosav - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories (Hardcover)
‘The Opposite of Loneliness’ is collection of essays and stories written by Marina Keegan, a tragically deceased young person who has gone too soon from this world.

In front of Marina was certainly a great career after she graduated from Yale, supposed to start working at the New Yorker while one of her texts planned to be turned into a play.

Unfortunately, the death was quicker but what is left as her legacy was collected in this interesting collection ‘The Opposite of Loneliness’ which certainly confirms that she was a talented young person who needed only to be provided with the right opportunity.

The collection consists of works that are both fiction and non-fiction while she speaks about various everyday issues - about the life that we live, about relationships that we establish with each other, about our feelings.

However, although her fictional texts are of good quality, far more impressive are her articles and most of all, Marina Keegan’s most known work “The Opposite of Loneliness” after which the collection is named. Precisely when the reader will read this text even more will be affected with the sad fact that this girl full of optimism and hope in life is no longer among us, even though through her text speaks the beauty of life and happiness, everything what is the opposite of loneliness that many people today feel.

Of course that at times the more experienced reader will notice that it is a work that was written by the young and not so experienced person, but in any case her talent in the years that were to follow would surely have brought her far.

Unfortunately, now we can only enjoy what left behind this young girl though I’m strong believer that anyone who likes to read short stories, especially young audience, will enjoy reading Marina’s collection - because of her optimism, desire and youthful vigor that speaks from every page she wrote.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful collection, 29 July 2014
It is not often, indeed I don’t think that it has ever happened, that a book has me choking back the tears and forcibly swallowing the lump that has formed in my throat back down. But then The Opposite of Loneliness is no ordinary book.

In its complete form the book is called The Opposite of Loneliness Essays and Stories. However, the author, Marina Keegan, cannot be held responsible for the onset of my emotional spiral. Marina Keegan is dead. The introduction was provided by her college professor at Yale from where Keegan graduated in 2012. Five days after she graduated she was killed in a car accident.

Entering this book I tried not to let the emotional impact of the writer’s death colour my opinion of the stories. It is too easy to do; glorify the poor girl who didn’t live to see her novel published. Fortunately, the beauty, truth and outstanding quality of Keegan’s writing meant that I wouldn’t have to worry about that; a fact that makes Keegan’s death all the more poignant.

The collection of short stories is simply breathtaking. The fact that someone so young, who hadn’t really lived, managed to find such an individual voice is beyond impressive. The stories are entertaining, sharp and beautifully written.

Keegan’s collection of essays covers a wide range of topics from the beaching of whales to the uncertainty of adulthood. Equally as impressive as her short stories her essays are filled with passion and fire, her words jump off the page and hit you with the sheer honesty of them. In the titular essay, The Opposite of Loneliness, the final essay that Keegan had produced for Yale Daily News, she told her fellow classmates that they were “so young”. She repeated the sentiment, trying to make her classmates realise that they had time to make or do things that they were passionate about. In her short time on this plain Keegan managed to leave her mark.

This book blew me away and I am genuinely saddened that the world of literature lost a promising writer before she truly had chance to shine.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Marina Keagan rip, 16 Sep 2014
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As a tribute these essays were compiled together. I've bought the kindle edition and am blogging about it. ki5h0re.blogspot.com it's sad that she'd died within a week of graduating and had a life full of promise. Some stories are interesting. A few weird sentences here and there. There's a story about a blind 60something woman reading, naked to a blind 20something man. Good point made by other reviewers. Still you might like it. I recommend Hyperbole And A Half by Allie Brosh, Beautiful by Katie Piper, The Butterfly Girl by Racheal Baughan.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Moving and inspiring in equal measures, 8 Jun 2014
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Mr. A. Mowatt "humour magnate" (scotland) - See all my reviews
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Marina Keegan was a young under graduate that wrote and wrote very well. This book is a collection of stories she wrote following being diagnosed with cancer. There is a maturity in her writing that should be sadly missed in writing circles. I thoroughly can recommend this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A talent that was snuffed out too soon but left ..., 24 July 2014
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A talent that was snuffed out too soon but left us with a seminal work for the next generation.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Humbling and inspiring all at once!, 22 Sep 2014
I very much doubt I will read another book that has made as much an impact on me as this!
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The build up in the press lead me to believe ..., 27 July 2014
The build up in the press lead me to believe a thought provoking book,sadly she hadn't had time to publish more.
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4 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Amateurish Writing, 19 April 2014
Fourteen brief paragraphs...

That circle back on themselves...

Yale University...

Yale interactive life...

Yale classes...

Hope and expectations...

Beyond Yale...

"The Opposite of Loneliness"

Is not an essay...

It is a sophomoric blog entry...

And such is the quality of the rest of the book...

There is no talent, it is elementary writing...

Ask yourself this and be honest, a first...

Would a black female student...

Who attended community college...

And she died in an accident...

And wrote the exact same level of work...

Have it collected in a book? Have. It. Published?

Chris Roberts
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The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories
The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan (Hardcover - 1 April 2014)
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