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This review is from: A Possible Life (Hardcover)
An English schoolmaster, a London slum landlord, a French servant, an Italian scientist and an English record producer in America each have a section of the book devoted to them. Their lives cover a period from the early 19th century to the distant future. The author is interested in the concept of human self-consciousness leading to connections between people in different places and times, a theme Faulks explored in his "Human Traces". There are links between the stories: the workhouse endured by the slum landlord as a boy is later converted to 20th century designer living, characters in 2 stories both suffer a coffin-like confinement, a French cottage appears twice and the scientist dreams in the future of 1960s music and cricket. I have some difficulty in grasping the self awareness/self consciousness idea but the book can be read with pleasure simply as five novellas dealing with people reflecting on their lives, showing Faulks' careful research and mixture of narrative styles.