Customer Review

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ‘Only when you die do you run out of chances to be good’, 13 Jan 2006
This review is from: Everything You Know (Paperback)
Spurred by his increasingly apparent mortality and the recent suicide of his estranged daughter, Willy Muller makes his way gradually from a self-imposed and empty exile in America to an attempt to reconcile himself with what’s left of his family in Britain. Willy, who is both narrator and protagonist, is by his own admission a good bad writer when ghosting celebrity biographies. Happily for the reader Heller has him up his game when it comes to narrating the details of his own life. The prose is inventive and lively at the beginning of the book, adeptly painting a portrait of a self-centred man barely aware of those around him whose only observations of the world are cynical and material. By the end of the book the prose has shed much of its bravado and become calmer and more reflective, in keeping with Willy’s shifting sensibilities. The transition from one to the other is done with skill, the tone shifting gradually whilst retaining enough of the original Willy to make it believable. Despite the seriousness of the book’s focus, there are moments of high comedy and some delightful observations on the nature of sex and relationships, amongst other things. Indeed, the book is a good deal more complex than can even be hinted at in so short a review. I would recommend anyone to read it.
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3.9 out of 5 stars (17 customer reviews)
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