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The News Where You Are (2010)

by Catherine O'Flynn

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3245376,229 (3.68)38
Frank, a television newsanchor in Birmingham, England, is on the verge of a midlife crisis. The demolition of buildings designed by his late father, the somewhat mysterious death of his on-screen partner and mentor, Phil, and Frank's obsession with people who die alone lead him down a path of self-discovery.… (more)

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» See also 38 mentions

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adult fiction; living and dying. Another haunting novel from Cathering O'Flynn--I liked Mo but pretty much all the other characters were a bit depressing. ( )
  reader1009 | Jul 3, 2021 |
This was a book club book. I failed to get into it. Comments from those who finished it: The protagonist was a passive character. While reading, the book was engaging and funny at times, but good luck picking it back up again if you put it down. The opposite of a page turner. Well worth the read if you finish it, as it's about the space that opens up after you die, even if you've led a very small life. The emotional landscape is symbolised by the architecture of the city.
  LynleyS | May 14, 2021 |
"Catherine O'Flynn kombiniert Kriminal- und Erlösungsgeschichte. Geradezu märchenhaft."

Catherine O’Flynn, deren vielfach mit Preisen ausgezeichneter Roman Was mit Kate geschah international gefeiert wurde und auch in Deutschland großes Aufsehen erregte, erzählt in Der vierte Versuch mit Wärme und Humor von der Größe des Lebens, das die einen so verzweifelt umarmen wie es die anderen fliehen.

Über Frank Allcroft, Moderator bei einem kleinen Fernsehsender in Birmingham, kann niemand lachen. Die Zuschauer diskutieren im Internet über sein Talent, selbst die sicherste Pointe zu vermasseln, und machen sich über seine Krawatten lustig. Frank steht im Schatten seines glamourösen Vorgängers Phil, den eine Aura des Glücks umgab, bis er bei einem Unfall, der nie aufgeklärt wurde, ums Leben kam. Doch Frank hat keine großen Ziele und führt allen Schmähungen zum Trotz ein einigermaßen zufriedenes Leben. In seiner Sendung berichtet er von der Eröffnung einem Mann, der in seinem Garten fast in eine Grube gestürzt wäre – und immer wieder von vereinsamten Menschen, deren Leichen erst nach Tagen und Wochen in den Sesseln vor ihren Fernsehern gefunden werden. Bis eines Tages die Leiche eines gewissen Michael entdeckt wird, unter dessen Habseligkeiten sich ein Foto befindet, das Michael und Phil in Kindertagen zeigt. In Frank lodert so etwas wie Neugier auf. Er macht sich daran, mehr über den Verstorbenen und Phil herauszufinden – und stößt auf einen höchst sonderbaren Akt von Barmherzigkeit.
  Fredo68 | May 14, 2020 |
I picked this for a light read in troubling times but it probably suffered as a result. Reasonably engaging and plausible characters with a gently unfolding story. ( )
  HelenBaker | Mar 28, 2020 |
Most stories follow a linear timeline outlining and then resolving a specific plot. If you’re lucky with your reading material, descriptive prose and interesting characters are included in the mix. This book was a bit different. It was primarily a character study of a man named Frank, a middle-aged TV newscaster who provides for his wife and young daughter, and regularly visits his depressive mother in a care facility. There is a bit of a story, but the timeline is sometimes scattered instead of straightforward. The story is told in a series of vignettes that feature Frank or someone close to him. In this manner you get to know Frank very well, as well as some of the people around him. All I know is when I finished this book I felt a little sad, the way you do when you say goodbye to a friend. ( )
  dorie.craig | Jun 22, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
Catherine O'Flynn's second novel incrementally tries to build a case for neighbourhood engagement in the face of an urban environment denuded of human warmth.
There is a plot of sorts – – but it's a wispy kind of plot, and suspense hardly matters in this blend of Dickens and Alan Bennett, written in the kind of stripped-down, flat style that so suits its time and place.
O'Flynn's fluid minimalism, at times eerie and even bordering on the absurd, is the work of a writer up to something more structurally ambitious.
The News Where You Are is an easy, pleasant read, and offers some insights about growing old, at 75, or at 45, or perhaps refusing to do so at all.

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He gave up any pretence of jogging now and walked slowly along the lane, following in the wake of an empty crisp packet blown along the tarmac.
' . . . When you go back and scratch at the surface you find the people who knew him and who he'd meant something to or who he impacted in some way. He left traces. Then at the other extreme there are people like my father who leave behind this very tangible, physical legacy. Concrete proof that he existed, but if all his buildings went, what traces of him would remain?'
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Frank, a television newsanchor in Birmingham, England, is on the verge of a midlife crisis. The demolition of buildings designed by his late father, the somewhat mysterious death of his on-screen partner and mentor, Phil, and Frank's obsession with people who die alone lead him down a path of self-discovery.

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Frank Allcroft, a regional TV news presenter, has just had a ratings boost. His puns, a website declares, makes him 'the unfunniest man on God's Earth'. Mortified colleagues wonder how he stands being a public joke.

But Frank doesn't mind. As long as Andrea and Mo, his wife and eight-year-old daughter, are happy, who gives a stuff what others think? Besides, Frank has a couple of other matters on his mind.

He has taken to investigating the death of Phil, his (actually quite funny) predecessor, killed in a mysterious hit and run six months ago. Also, he's telling Mo about the architect grandfather she never met by taking her to see vanished and soon-to-be-vanished buildings.

Because Frank knows that it is between what we see and what we can't, what has gone and what's left behind, that the answers lie. . .
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Average: (3.68)
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