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Abschied für Anfänger by Anne Tyler
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Abschied für Anfänger (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Anne Tyler

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7375712,660 (3.66)57
Member:Sabelo
Title:Abschied für Anfänger
Authors:Anne Tyler
Info:Kein & Aber (2012), Ausgabe: 1. Aufl. 2012, Gebundene Ausgabe, 240 Seiten
Collections:Belletristik
Rating:***
Tags:Ehepaar, Tod, Trauer

Work details

The Beginner's Goodbye by Anne Tyler (2012)

  1. 00
    The Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst (LynnB)
    LynnB: Both stories are about a man dealing with his wife's death in ways most people would deem crazy.
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English (56)  Dutch (1)  All languages (57)
Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
Spoilers, Spoilers, Spoilers.
Who doesn't love Anne Tyler? But I'm not sure this book is more than her just going through her book writing process. It does all fit together, kind of. But it is a really sad story for Dorothy. It isn't clear if Dorothy is anything more than a cipher to anybody. He doesn't make the effort to know her, and then when she comes back it is to show him how to live better.
I also think that the romance between the sister & the construction manager was really formulaic. In the good old days I think she would have been agonizing about the class difference. So maybe that is supposed to be a change in the culture. But it just all happened as it kind of had to happen.
So, it was OK but I wouldn't recommend it & it certainly was no Searching for Caleb!
  franoscar | Oct 15, 2014 |
I listened to this book as an audiobook read by Kirby Heyborne. It was ok, not bad, not great. Interestingly, it confirms my impression of Anne Tyler's books. I really liked the first one of hers I ever read (The Accidental Tourist) but was never able to get into any of her others. Oh well. ( )
  jessibud2 | Jul 12, 2014 |
Library e-book, Aaron's publishing company's niche is a knock off of the Dummy's books, called "The Beginner's xxxx". When his wife Dorothy is killed in a freak accident (a tree falls on the house after they have a fight), Aaron tries to figure out what to do. He moves in with his sister, who falls in love with his general contractor fixing his house. He starts seeing Dorothy's ghost, and wonders if they were really happy. In the end, he re-marries, to a woman from his office that he never even thought to date before. ( )
  nancynova | Mar 24, 2014 |
This book was exactly what I needed. It was nice and short and light and airy and I loved that. I had just come off of reading a book that was really heavy and long so a nice light airy book is what I needed. I thought the story was sweet and intriguing though at times I wondered why Aaron couldn't see that things Dorothy suggested were things she wanted like the wedding and the wedding dress. She suggested going out and shopping for one and I could very plainly see that she wanted that for herself but Aaron just turned her down and was left wondering why they didn't look so happy in their wedding picture. Maybe if he had been more open to her then their marriage would have been different but I do think she realizes that in the end and I am glad that he was able to find someone else to love and have a family with and also so for his sister.
  Swade0710 | Mar 20, 2014 |
Ever since reading my first Anne Tyler - The Clock-Winder I have been a devoted fan. She has a way of drawing you deeply into her character's situations and dilemmas, using a combination of humor, attention to details (often maddening) of ordinary life, and the occasional tart comment about human behaviour to keep it from being sentimental. Of late though her novels are thinnish - displaying all of her usual features and talents - but without the energy and conviction. A bit ghostly, one could say, appropriate given the subject of this latest. If you like Tyler go ahead and read it. ***1/2 ( )
  sibyx | Dec 22, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
Embarking on an Anne Tyler novel is like heading off on vacation to a favorite destination: You're filled with anticipation of pleasure, even though you know the place is likely to have changed since your last visit.

The Beginner's Goodbye, Tyler's 19th novel, fulfills that dual craving for familiarity and freshness. Its focus is loss and recovery, grief and growth....
 
This is not a dramatic transformation but a slow, hard-won realisation that comes with time and constant picking-over the same problem. For the essentially optimistic Tyler, this process allows for rejuvenation and the opportunity for a second chance. For Tyler's many fans, her latest work won't disappoint.
 
The Beginner's Goodbye," Tyler's 19th novel, features all of these things and more — there is a ghost — and less; just over 200 pages, it is, both in literal weight and narrative complexity, lighter than most of the Tyler canon. Which should not be construed as "less," at least not in the pejorative sense of the word. In many ways, "Goodbye" feels like the center slice of an Anne Tyler novel, a distillation.... The wonder of Anne Tyler is how consistently clear-eyed and truthful she remains about the nature of families and especially marriage.
 
All of this Tyler understands, tackling Aaron’s sudden loss with characteristic warmth, sympathy and wisdom. As in all her books – and this is one of her great strengths – male and female characters are equally well drawn.

Perhaps the chief constituent of grief is regret: regret for the unkind word, the unexpressed affection, the small opportunities missed. To say that Tyler writes about regret would be like saying that Anton Chekhov writes about boredom: true, but inadequate. Without melodrama but always with compassion, as well as outstanding insight and gentle humour, regret is the abiding theme of her fiction. This makes her especially popular with readers over the age of 35, who are old enough to have started accumulating regrets of their own.
 
Ms. Tyler’s tepid new novel, “The Beginner’s Goodbye,” doggedly follows this formula, adding a supernatural twist seemingly borrowed from old movies like “Topper” or “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.”...The problem is that the reader couldn’t care less. Whereas Ms. Tyler’s most powerful work has been animated by an intimate knowledge of her characters’ inner lives — sympathy that lofted us up over whatever was clichéd or cloying about their stories — the people in “The Beginner’s Goodbye” are irritating stick figures, insipid and emotionally uptight. .....As the title of “The Beginner’s Goodbye” suggests, Dorothy’s spectral visits are supposed to help Aaron learn to come to terms with her death — and with the imperfections of their marriage — so that he might move on with his life. It’s a trite and predictable lesson from what is arguably this talented author’s tritest and most predictable novel.
 
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The strangest thing about my wife's return from the dead was how other people reacted.
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En wat zou ze hebben gelachen om al die ovenschotels! Dat was een van de ergste dingen als je je vrouw verloor, merkte ik: je vrouw is nu net degene met wie je dat allemaal wilt bespreken.
En toch kreeg ik nog maar twee avonden later zo'n droomachtige gedachte die langsdrijft als je net in slaap valt. Hé, Dorothy heeft al een poosje niet meer gebeld, dacht ik.
Toen we pas getrouwd waren belde ze me vaak vanuit haar praktijk, zomaar om even te kletsen en te horen hoe het met mijn werk ging. Dus de wittebroodsweken waren blijkbaar afhelopen. Heel even vond ik dat jammer, al wist ik dat het de normale gang van zaken was.
Maar toen werd ik opeens klaarwakker en dacht: o. Ze is dood. En het was nog niets gemakkelijker dan in het allereerste begin. Ik kan dit niet, dacht ik. Ik zou niet weten hoe. Hier geven ze geen cursussen voor. Dit heb ik nooit geleerd. Eigenlijk was ik nog geen stap verder
That was one of the worst things about losing your wife, I found: your wife is the very person you want to discuss it all with.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0307957276, Hardcover)

Amazon Best Books of the Month, April 2012: "The strangest thing about my wife’s return from the dead was how other people reacted." So begins Anne Tyler's new novel, which documents the days of Aaron Woolcott after the unexpected loss of his wife, Dorothy. And as arresting as the first sentence is, it's also a bit worrying. So many clichés could follow. Will Aaron resolve his grief through poetic moonlit walks with the apparition of his lost wife? Thankfully, this is Anne Tyler. And the ghost of Dorothy, like all Tyler's characters, has a kind of rich, eccentric depth that sits opposite to the expected. Aaron's recovery after his wife's death conveys all the subtle hallmarks of Tyler's style, where a flawed man must learn how to do a very difficult thing--say a final goodbye. --Ben Moebius

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:35:42 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"Explores how a middle-aged man, ripped apart by the death of his wife, is gradually restored by her frequent appearances-- in their house, on the roadway, in the markets ... Only Dorothy's unexpected appearances from the dead help him to live in the moment and to find some peace."--Provided by publisher.… (more)

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