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A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
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A Little Life (2015)

by Hanya Yanagihara

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
1,8631403,709 (4.14)1 / 182
  1. 10
    The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer (vwinsloe)
    vwinsloe: Another group of lifelong friends followed over the decades.
  2. 00
    The Complete Patrick Melrose Novels: Never Mind, Bad News, Some Hope, Mother's Milk, and At Last by Edward St. Aubyn (vwinsloe)
    vwinsloe: Another book about child abuse, although this one is also about substance abuse.
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English (131)  Dutch (4)  Piratical (1)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  German (1)  Danish (1)  All (140)
Showing 1-5 of 131 (next | show all)
814 pages in one day. I couldn't put it down. Yanagihara captures the life of the character Jude, who endures significant abuse while growing up and now exhibits the daily impacts from what has been done to him. It's pretty clear that this book isn't for everyone, but also equally clear why it was a Man Booker finalist. It is an immersion into a life (and the lives of Jude's friends) where pain is a constant ally, and trust is a hard attribute to come by. Not a light read -- be prepared for what the gutter of humanity can inflict on our innocent children as they grow. Also be prepared to see what one human can endure and still try desperately to thrive. ( )
  jacobusp | Jul 22, 2017 |
Staggering, brutal, beautiful. ( )
  dcmr | Jul 4, 2017 |
nope, couldn't do it. stopped about 100 pages in. tedious and depressing. ( )
  mfabriz | Jun 26, 2017 |
Short review: fuck this book. There were some good parts, and an interesting topic, but after a while the actions of certain characters were so stupid and the melodrama was so high that it ultimately desensitised me ( )
  anagabymtz08 | Jun 25, 2017 |
This book flipped my insides out. Yanagihara did an absolutely fantastic job weaving together the life stories of four best friends in a realistic and poetic way. They all meet at a prestigious college, but travel separate paths career-wise. They do, however, maintain their friendship. But where this novel blows any other novel on the subject of damaged souls out of the water is how Yanagihara handled the effect of the "damaged" friend's life on the other friends, his employer and a couple of other people who become very meaningful in his life. The question becomes can one ever transcend the damage done to him as a child? Parts of the book are very difficult to read--truly horrifying--unless you know someone who has been similarly damaged. On the other side of the coin, he was damaged as a child, but grew up to be an incredibly successful lawyer. No one except those close to him, and those are few, would know there was anything "off" about him. The author provides a shocking, close up, real life view of the life of a person with "unusual" coping mechanisms, and his effects on those who love him. This is the best book I've read in a long time. It's very long so don't wait to pick it up. ( )
  ErinDenver | Jun 12, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 131 (next | show all)
I'm still talking about A Little Life. It's deeply upsetting, but I think it's a wonderfull story in the end.
added by Sylak | editStylist [Issue 338], Paula Hawkins (Oct 12, 2016)
 
Hanya Yanagihara schrijft in Een klein leven duidelijk voor haar lezer, ze manipuleert je met perfect getimede overgangen: van feel good naar feel bad en terug. Alle personages hebben maar één eigenschap, het zijn sjablonen. Ergerlijk. En toch weet het boek iets te raken.
 
In the end, her novel is little more than a machine designed to produce negative emotions for the reader to wallow in—unsurprisingly, the very emotions that, in her Kirkus Reviews interview, she listed as the ones she was interested in, the ones she felt men were incapable of expressing: fear, shame, vulnerability. Both the tediousness of A Little Life and, you imagine, the guilty pleasures it holds for some readers are those of a teenaged rap session, that adolescent social ritual par excellence, in which the same crises and hurts are constantly rehearsed.
 
Je kunt je afvragen waarom de mensen rond Jude St. Francis zoveel kunnen houden van iemand die hen steeds weer door de vingers glipt, die zijn geschiedenis verborgen houdt en die een bron is van zorgen en frustraties. Tot je merkt dat je zelf die liefde bent gaan voelen, inclusief de angst die erbij hoort. Het verraadt dat in A Little Life iets wezenlijks wordt aangeraakt.
added by Jozefus | editNRC Handelsblad, Auke Hulst (Sep 14, 2015)
 
Yanagihara’s success in creating a deeply afflicted protagonist is offset by placing him in a world so unrealized it almost seems allegorical, with characters so flatly drawn they seem more representative of people than the actual thing. This leaves the reader, at the end, wondering if she has been foolish for taking seriously something that was merely a contrivance all along.
added by ozzer | editNew York Times, Carol Anshaw (Mar 30, 2015)
 
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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To Jared Hohlt
in friendship; with love
First words
The eleventh apartment had only one closet, but it did have a sliding glass door that opened onto a small balcony, from which he could see a man sitting across the way, outdoors in only a T-shirt and shorts even though it was October, smoking.
Quotations
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
"I know you're tired," Brother Luke had said. "It's normal; you're growing. It's tiring work, growing. And I know you work hard. But Jude, when you're with your clients, you have to show a little life; they're paying to be with you, you know – you have to show them you're enjoying it."

De verwijzing naar de titel van het boek is in de Nederlandse vertaling verdwenen:

'Ik weet dat je moe bent,' had broeder Luke gezegd. 'Dat is normaal; je bent in de groei. Groeien is een vermoeiende klus. En ik weet dat je hard werkt. Maar Jude, als je met je klanten bent, moet je wel een beetje energiek zijn; ze betalen ervoor om met je naar bed te gaan, weet je… Je moet ze laten zien dat je het fijn vindt.'
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385539258, Hardcover)

Brace yourself for the most astonishing, challenging, upsetting, and profoundly moving book in many a season. An epic about love and friendship in the twenty-first century that goes into some of the darkest places fiction has ever traveled and yet somehow improbably breaks through into the light. Truly an amazement—and a great gift for its publisher.
 
When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they're broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he’ll not only be unable to overcome—but that will define his life forever.
 
In rich and resplendent prose, Yanagihara has fashioned a tragic and transcendent hymn to brotherly love, a masterful depiction of heartbreak, and a dark examination of the tyranny of memory and the limits of human endurance.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:57 -0400)

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