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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars7
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 14 June 2015
I got this book from the library after reading a glowing review, but confess I was disappointed. The story is told in three voices, mother (Elena), father (Mario, who is dying) and Lito (ten-year old son, who does not know his father is dying). Elena is easily the most engaging voice, though she does not always behave well, and I enjoyed her literary references, she is forever underlining sentences in novels that appeal to her. I found Mario and Lito's voices unengaging, and was unmoved by the child's voice, it felt cliched. But I'd say this short novel is still worth reading. I'd give three and half stars. I think this would have worked better told totally in Elena's voice.
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on 5 April 2014
This novel is both complex and simple. The themes are the big ones: love, life, loss, death, marriage, children and our search for meaning in the human experience. Sounds a lot for book of 150 pages.... But, boy, does Neuman succeed. The book is told in the voices of the three members of a young family, giving the narrative a very personal feel. But the things we are told by the three are profound, funny and memorable. You will rapidly begin to care for these three souls. I will be following Andres Neuman from now on. And this is a book I will keep and re-read whenever I can.
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on 11 May 2014
I read this book after hearing Andreas Neuman being interviewed on radio 4. It is told from the the perspective three people the husband wife and small son and he captures the separate voice of each wonderfully. A relatively short book that doesn't flag at any moment and carries you through this very moving story, highly recommended, it loses a star only because it's a quick read.
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on 19 September 2015
Beautiful, timeless elegy to loss and grief...a deep meditation on literature, sex, pain and jealousy, with detours into childhood, innocence, ageing and memory. Universal themes, dealt with sensitively and with great style...three voices all in some state of denial, and all heading to the same dark inevitable conclusion. For anyone who has lost someone.
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on 13 April 2014
A beautifully written story about a family trying to cope with grief.
The husband has a terminal illness and he takes his son on a journey . Sad and wonderful .
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 28 May 2014
The thoughts of three people dealing with illness and impending death is the premise of this novel.
Lito, the ten year old boy
Elena, the wife/mother
Mario, the husband/father who is sick

I never got a sense of who these people were and I still didn't like them.

Mario is terminally ill but we don't know from what, or for how long, we are only allowed to surmise. Mario's chapters are sparse so we don't get much from him at all.

Lito's chapters are also sparse, but not especially relevant since the boy has no idea his father is dying.

Elena's chapters are over long, much longer than Mario and Lito's combined, with way too much referencing quotations from other books. (The author would like us to know that he is well read??)

Elena, the wife/mother has a sleazy affair with her husband's doctor, Dr. Escalante, told in great sexual detail.

I don't completely blame Elena for her sordid indiscretion, but Dr. Escalante, whose thoughts we are not privy to is a debauched, abhorrent doctor who has never heard of the Hippocratic Oath.

It's only 148 pages, but it's 148 pages I could have done without.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 April 2014
Pain isolates, and the way we cope with that isolation. Profound, engaged and sad but somehow gives one a sense of closure.​
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