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The Man Who Saw Everything
The Man Who Saw Everything | Deborah Levy
An electrifying and audacious novel about beauty, envy, and carelessness by Deborah Levy, two-time Man Booker Prize finalist. It is 1988 and Saul Adler, a narcissistic young historian, has been invited to Communist East Berlin to do research; in exchange, he must publish a favorable essay about the German Democratic Republic. As a gift for his translator's sister, a Beatles fanatic who will be his host, Saul's girlfriend will shoot a photograph of him standing in the crosswalk on Abbey Road, an homage to the famous album cover. As he waits for her to arrive, he is grazed by an oncoming car, which changes the trajectory of his life--and this story of good intentions and reckless actions. The Man Who Saw Everything is about the difficulty of seeing ourselves and others clearly. It greets the specters that come back to haunt old and new love, previous and current incarnations of Europe, conscious and unconscious transgressions, and real and imagined betrayals, while investigating the cyclic nature of history and its reinvention by people in power. Here, Levy traverses the vast reaches of the human imagination while artfully blurring sexual and political binaries--feminine and masculine, East and West, past and present--to reveal the full spectrum of our world.
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review
Redheadrambles
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Mehso-so

⭐️⭐️⭐️

My final book to read from this years Booker longlist and there might have been a reason I held off for so long. I must have intuited Levy was not for me. In actual fact I liked the writing but I found the entire thing very “meh” as a whole as well as needlessly obtuse. It is quite an emotionally “cold” book but luckily it is short !

22 likes1 comment
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JennyM
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Pickpick

This was a beautiful book that I found myself totally immersed in. It had me stopping mid-sentence to think about the meaning of things - how our history defines us, how perspective is everything, and how brief moments can change us. Thanks @Rissreads for putting this in my hands.

Rissreads I'm glad you liked it! 💛🧡❤ 2w
LeeRHarry Well I‘ll be stacking this one...obviously! 😏 2w
JennyM @LeeRHarry would you like me to send you this copy? Riss sent it me and I‘d love it to be yours next. If you would, send me an email: Jenny.murfield@bigpond.com 😘 2w
See All 7 Comments
LeeRHarry @JennyM oooh that would be lovely Jenny 😘 I‘ll email you now 😊 2w
CarolynM Such a lot yo think about in this one. I'm wondering whether I should read it again because I'm sure there's lots I missed. 2w
JennyM @CarolynM that‘s my exact thought, Carolyn. I think reading it again would see you process even more. 2w
JennyM @LeeRHarry lovely 😘😘😘 2w
56 likes1 stack add7 comments
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Sace
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It's official. This book is not the right read for me right now. Maybe I will try again some other time.

Edit-I probably should have made this a review.

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Aimeesue
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Just starting this one.

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Sace
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I don't know how I feel about this book. It's interesting and not interesting at the same time. I've seen comments from Littens that suggest there is a lot of symbolism. Should I seek out that information now or wait until I'm finished reading (if I even decide to finish)?

thegirlwiththelibrarybag DNF! It‘s liberating ☺️ 3w
AnneCecilie How far in are you? 3w
UnidragonFrag I'd say if you have to ask, it's a DNF already so I'd bail! 3w
See All 15 Comments
Bookwormjillk I‘d either DNF or put it down for a few weeks 3w
Sace @AnneCecilie according to the ebook edition page 65ish out of 302. 3w
Sace @Bookwormjillk It's a library book 😔 3w
charl08 I wasn't that impressed. Dnf 3w
AnneCecilie I found the second part of this book very interesting. It questions everything you know from part one. I see that it‘s a library book so if you do decide to DNF, you can always borrow it again. 3w
Crimson613 another option if you don't want to drop it is to borrow the audiobook :) i know i've gotten through some tough reads thanks to that 3w
Erinreadsthebooks DNF, absolutely DNF! If you're pondering, it's time to say goodbye to that book :) 3w
BarbaraBB There is a great twist halfway. I‘d decide after that if I were you. 3w
Sace I think I'm going to give it just a little more time based on comments from @BarbaraBB and @AnneCecilie. I'll have more uninterrupted reading time next week. Thanks for the advice @Erinreadsthebooks @Crimson613 @charl08 ! 3w
Redwritinghood I loved it but it is a book that you have to think about. 3w
Sace @Redwritinghood I'm getting that impression. I don't think I'm doing it justice just reading it in short bursts. 3w
68 likes15 comments
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JennyM
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Litsy is full of #beautifulstranger (s) who have become beautiful friends. And this lovely little package and card arrived today as a reminder of that. Thank you Nerrisa @Rissreads for your thoughtfulness 💜#movember

Cinfhen Awww, that‘s so lovely and so true😍and this book is meant to be excellent 3w
Rissreads You are very welcome. Litsy has really been a shining light in my life. The people are amazing. I hope you enjoy the book. 😘 3w
JennyM @Cinfhen lovely to come home to x (edited) 3w
See All 9 Comments
JennyM @Rissreads it really is a special place. And I shall be stalking your TBR to send you something, unless there‘s a book you‘d particularly like. Thanks again, Riss. It means a lot 😘😘😘 (edited) 3w
Rissreads Please don't feel obligated I have way too many books to read!🤣🤣🤣 3w
JennyM @Rissreads you can never have too many books to read!!! I‘ll do some sleuthing 🕵️‍♀️ (edited) 3w
Kalalalatja What a lovely cover! 3w
BarbaraBB I loved this one 3w
JennyM @BarbaraBB @Kalalalatja it‘s such a beautiful looking book. And I‘m really looking forward to reading it! 3w
54 likes9 comments
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BarbaraBB
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Pickpick

Saul Adler, the main character in this book, is not a very likeable character, but the way Levy places him in the middle of the turbulent second half of Europe‘s 20th century is brilliant.

I can‘t say much without spoiling things, but be prepared that even the smallest details recur, reform, and return with new significance and meaning in Saul‘s struggle to bring order to his life and story.

#booker
(Pic: Dutch skies)

JamieArc I read about all the symbolism Levy places in this after I read it, and I missed so much! Would have been helpful to know more Beetles references too. I think I need to reread it at some point. 1mo
BarbaraBB @JamieArc I read an article afterwards too and you‘re right, there so much that I missed! Such a clever use of language! 1mo
Kalalalatja Stunning picture 👌 1mo
BarbaraBB @Kalalalatja Thank you 😀 1mo
55 likes5 stack adds4 comments
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BarbaraBB
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Such a great new idea from @Cinfhen , to do a #weeklyforecast on Sunday followed by a#Bookreport on Saturday!

I started the tagged book today and when it‘s as good as other Levy‘s, I‘ll finish it soon. Then I will start The Lowland for the #ReadingUSA2019 challenge, a book I have been dreading for years, I don‘t know why. On @SerialReader and hardcopy I started The Princess of Cleves, a #1001read. This will take a while I think.

Cinfhen Super curious about your tagged book!!!! It sounds SO STRANGE from the synopsis but I‘ve seen good reviews. And I was also dreading the Lahiri but it was way better than I expected. We had really good #bookclub discussion 1mo
Cinfhen Thanks for joining in 🥰 1mo
BarbaraBB @Cinfhen That‘s good to know about the Lahiri! And of course I‘m joining! 😘 1mo
See All 7 Comments
KarenUK I‘m dying to read the Deborah Levy.... 1mo
CarolynM I look forward to your thoughts on the Levy. I loved it. 1mo
BarbaraBB @CarolynM @KarenUK @Cinfhen Just 20 pages in but loving it so far! 1mo
lele1432 Those look really good! 1mo
62 likes1 stack add7 comments
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CarolynM
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Pickpick

It's hard to say very much about this without spoilers, so I'll just confine myself to saying that it is beautifully written and teeming with ideas. If you want a linear story it is not for you, but if you want something to chew on you couldn't do better.

JennyM It‘s on library hold! Looking forward to reading it 📚 (edited) 2mo
Cinfhen Ohhhhh!!! Great review #stacked and I‘m very intrigued 2mo
Cathythoughts Lovely review! I have it stacked 👍🏻♥️ 2mo
See All 16 Comments
TheEllieMo This is on my TBR mountain. Booker long-listed, wasn‘t it? 2mo
Sace Just put it on hold! 2mo
Amiable Sounds intriguing—stacked! 2mo
Rissreads It is lovely, I enjoyed it too 2mo
Rissreads @JennyM I'm happy to send you my copy if you like? Then maybe you can forward it on to someone else? 2mo
LeahBergen I just sent you a little “thank you” package. I sent it the cheapest way so it may take a few weeks to arrive. 😆 2mo
JennyM @Rissreads oh you lovely human, Nerissa. Thanks for such a thoughtful offer. Send me an email: jenny.murfield@bigpond.com 😘 2mo
Rissreads @JennyM done 💜 2mo
Centique Carolyn - I felt so gutted for your team last night. The emotion on the field at full time🥺😟 They put their hearts into it for sure. Commiserations xxx 2mo
CarolynM @Centique You are very kind. I saw a team making all the same mistakes they've been making for the last 3 years and a coach with a questionable attitude who is well past his sell by date. It was frustrating but not surprising. Were you pleased with the AB performance? We didn't get to see your game because we were away for the weekend and relying on free to air TV (we are lucky to get any rugby on free to air in Victoria) (edited) 2mo
CarolynM @LeahBergen That's very sweet of you. Thank you. I will look out for it😘 2mo
Centique @CarolynM yes it was good - I only watched the first half though and then I went to bed! 😴😴😴 I think my hub said pretty similar about your coach 😬 better luck ahead I hope. 2mo
youneverarrived I saw this in Waterstones today and was drawn to it but didn‘t buy. Think I‘ll have to next time I‘m in town 🙂 1mo
70 likes6 stack adds16 comments
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Rissreads
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Pickpick

This book looks at the way we see ourselves and the way others see us. Also how our interpretations of events can differ from others, and how memories can change over time. Deborah Levy's writting is exquisite. The story unfolds in 2 parts about the narrator but nothing is as it seems. If you like books with clear beginnings and endings then this is NOT the book for you. It's a puzzle with no clear answers but one that is a joy to be a part of.

DrawingSustenance Looking at pictures of myself feels weird, because I look totally different than how I feel about myself. You can take the picture, but that person in the picture ain't me. #ItIsHalloweenMonth #spooky 👻😱 2mo
Lindy I‘m really looking forward to this. ❤️Deborah Levy. 2mo
41 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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Rissreads
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Latest read.
🧡💛 I'm loving it so far. 💙💚

BookwormM Great read it really should have made the Booker shortlist 2mo
MrsMalaprop Ooh, I like Deborah Levy. Heard this one talked about on The Book Show last week. Enjoy that stunning beach 😍. (edited) 2mo
Rissreads @MrsMalaprop What book show?!?!?! Yes I love the way she writes. I definitely need to read more from her. 2mo
CarolynM Looking forward to this one🙂 2mo
37 likes1 stack add4 comments
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AnneCecilie
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Pickpick

I finished this on Sunday, but needed time to let it sink, because that ENDING.

In the 1st part we meet Saul Adler in 1988. He‘s hit by a car as he crosses the road, but he gets up and continue his day and future plans as nothing happened. In the 2nd part there‘s a time jump to 2016, and Saul‘s been in another car accident (?) and everything you thought you knew from the 1st part, are questioned.

A book about family, siblings and the truth

AnneCecilie My seventh book from the Booker Longlist and my third for #ABookAWeek hosted by @TheReadingMermaid 2mo
69 likes5 stack adds1 comment
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AnneCecilie
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Next up.

I‘ve seen a lot of love for Hot Milk, and I hope this is a good place to start reading Levy. This novel was also on this year‘s Booker Longlist.

BookwormM It‘s a great book 2mo
62 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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Severnmeadows
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So happy when a new Deborah Levy book arrives! I read the first page straight away - marvellous writing!

CarolynM So looking forward to this one! (edited) 3mo
Severnmeadows @CarolynM She‘s become one of my top writers😊 3mo
Lindy I love her writing also. Looking forward to this. 3mo
Severnmeadows @Lindy me too! There‘s something to finish first though 😊 3mo
42 likes1 stack add4 comments
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Simona
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Pickpick

Saul, young historian, was hit by a car while crossing the famous Abbey Road, and from there on the reader is thrown into his self-obsessed thoughts, his relations with family, love and the world. It‘s difficult to say anything else about the content, because the narration and the structure is set up in quite twisty way and could be easily spoiled. Enigmatic story about inner and outer walls, beautiful language with some very vivid and ... 👇

Simona and emotional scenes, despite very unlikable main character. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ #BookerPrize2019 3mo
57 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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Redwritinghood
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Pickpick

Levy is kinda brilliant. This sly, subtle novel is ultimately about human connection and how one can “see” and remember another person or situation. The MC Saul is very focused on his own outer beauty, and never really connects with those around him. This observation is frequently mixed with references to mirrors and photos, which can capture an image without really conveying much of what‘s behind it. 👇🏻

Redwritinghood Cracked mirrors and cut up photos show how perceptions can be distorted, much like Saul‘s memories of his friends and family. Part 1 reflects Saul‘s perception of people and events. In Part 2, the reader can‘t be certain that Saul‘s memories are true. Are our memories/perceptions true? How can they be distorted? When we look at a person, do we really “see” them? How do we ultimately know what‘s true? 5⭐️ #booker2019 3mo
Lindy Nice review. I always enjoy Levy and I‘m looking forward to this one. 3mo
JennyM Fantastic review! #stacked 😘 3mo
72 likes3 stack adds4 comments
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charl08
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What a difference in the covers!

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charl08
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Pickpick

I wasn't sure what to expect with this one based on her previous books. Saul studies the GDR in the 80s, never felt like he fitted in with his working class, communist father. He wears a set of pearls from his mother, a child refugee from Nazi Germany, and likes a bit of blue eyeliner. I liked how Saul's experiences in Berlin were beyond cliche.

49 likes4 stack adds
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ReadingEnvy
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Total Books Read July 2019: 24

Audio: 2
eBook: 10
Print: 12

Library: 7
Purchased: 5
Review: 12

Asia 2019 Project: 4
Women in Translation: 6
Man Booker Longlist: 1

http://readingenvy.blogspot.com/2019/07/books-read-july-2019-160-183.html

Daisey Looks like a great month! 4mo
StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego You did so well! 💕📚💕 4mo
57 likes2 comments
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BookwormM
Pickpick

#Netgalley #ManWhoSawEverything #ARC #BookerPrize2019

This book ticked almost all my boxes I loved it. Love the way everything is turned upside down by the 2nd half

Full review here https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2914618930

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ReadingEnvy
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Pickpick

This doesn't come out in the states until October but this might be the book that finally wins Deborah Levy her Man Booker Prize! I love how it starts as one kind of novel and then plays with expectations, while the writing is still able to resonate deeply with the reader. This is a novel to be experienced so don't read a lot about it, just read it.

Cathythoughts Stacking 4mo
charl08 Yes, I didn't know much going in, and definitely a Good Thing. 4mo
43 likes3 stack adds2 comments