Live a Little is a wickedly observed story of old age which follows the lives of two nonagenarians. Beryl Dusinbery, like Scheherazade, is telling the stories of her many husbands and love affairs ... more
Live A Little Reviews
- I enjoyed Live A Little very much in the end. It is witty, insightful and rather touching, but I found the first two-thirds or so a bit of a slog.This is a story of two people in their eighties and nineties respectively who have very different pasts and views of themselves. Shimi Carmelli is cursed with remembering almost everything – especially his shames and embarrassments which are many. (“A butterfly doesn’t beat its wings in China without Shimi feeling it is his fault or at leasts ref... more
- Somewhat to my surprise, I enjoyed this book immensely. I had not anticipated that reading about very old people and their relationships could be quite so joyous. Jacobson has created two central characters, Shimi and Beryl, who will stay in my mind for a long time. Shimi, in appearance, is much like my grandfather, but a far more tortured soul than he ever was. Beryl is a monstrous invention, arrantly self-centred and a most neglectful mother, although we can never be sure about any of the hist... more
- I received a free copy of “Live A Little” from Goodreads in exchange for an honest review.This is the smartest book I have read in 2019. It is no surprise that Jacobson has won and been nominated for the Man Booker Prize multiple times. His characterizations here are excellent. Beryl Dusinbery is an insightful and acerbic character who had me cracking up and rereading her pointed accusations in equal measure. The writing is beautiful. Take the time to look up the stunning language Jacobsen u... more
- https://www.hebban.nl/recensie/karla-...De maakbaarheid van ontglippende levens 'Ze kan zich de inhoud van haar woede herinneren. Die ligt voor haar uitgespreid als kleren die uit een overvolle koffer zijn gevallen. Maar de koffer zelf is weg. Net als de bestemming waarvoor ze hem gepakt heeft.'De Engelse auteur Howard Jacobson brak op 68-jarige leeftijd door met De Finklerkwestie, waarmee hij in 2010 de Man Booker Prize won. Humor en Brits-Joodse karakters vormen een constante in zijn oeuvre. (... more
- De maakbaarheid van ontglippende levens 'Ze kan zich de inhoud van haar woede herinneren. Die ligt voor haar uitgespreid als kleren die uit een overvolle koffer zijn gevallen. Maar de koffer zelf is weg. Net als de bestemming waarvoor ze hem gepakt heeft.'De Engelse auteur Howard Jacobson brak op 68-jarige leeftijd door met De Finklerkwestie, waarmee hij in 2010 de Man Booker Prize won. Humor en Brits-Joodse karakters vormen een constante in zijn oeuvre. (Zie biografie op wikipedia)In Leef een b... more
- I tried... Oh how hard I tried. That seems to be my experience with so many of Howard Jacobson's book. I loved some of his early books as well as The Mighty Walzer which was poignant and hilarious but I have struggled ever since.Maybe it is me but I am happy to work at a book and do not expect instant gratification but I just could not immerse myself in "Live a Little".There were some lovely descriptions of North London Jewish life which were accurate and acute but I found the plot confusing and... more
- Jacobson had a run of stellar novels, and then broke with that with an amusing but minor reflection on Trump. One might now expect him now to either address the UK Labour Party antisemitism row, in which he spoke out, or his support for his friend Germaine Greer's transphobic comments.In fact herein he has a boring pastiche of the two major British parties, personified and mocked as Laurel and Hardy, and a man's entire life marred by the guilt of a single childhood act of cross-dressing. This ar... more
- Two tragicomic characters collide at the end of a long life, a life if we survive, all of us eventually face. The one Carmelli, whose mindset is sketched through Houseman's poem; When the bells justle in the tower/The hollow night amid/Then on my tongue the taste is sour/Of all I ever did. A man unable to forget anything especially his own shame. The other Dusinbery, unerasing her sour memories of so many relationships in a multiplied version of the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. A woman... more
- ARC for Novel Neighbor.I don't know how to go about writing a review for this book. I just didn't get it. It is either a bad book or it's way above my reading level. It was confusing and full of stories that felt they were all going to connect but really didn't. That may have been on purpose given the main character Beryl Dusinbery is older and forgetting major parts of her life."Here/there, life/death-same difference."The tone and feelings of the main character all came to a head for me in this... more
- It is unusual for me to give up and not finish a book. However, I was actually getting angry at the time I was wasting looking for a purpose in Jacobson's tedious and unsympathetic account of Beryl and her dementia. I "surrendered" before discovering how Beryl's story would link to that of the elderly Shimi. Apparently, his trying on his mother's underpants when he was a child would have some lasting impact on his lonely life. Ridiculous, not at all funny, and missing the philosophical astutenes... more
- This was the first Howard Jacobson book I’d read so I’m not sure if it’s his style, but I felt like I was being talked down to with all the words I didn’t know that were in this book. The dialogue between the two main characters also seemed very superficial and contrived, but Beryl’s dialogue with her carers made me laugh, so perhaps I’m just not intelligent enough for the rest of it. The story itself was quite sweet and enjoyable, but unfortunately the language and style kept taking... more
- Thanks to Random House UK and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.This review is based on my own personal enjoyment of the novel and not how well written it is.I'm not going to beat around the bush, I just wasn't feeling it. I loved some of the turns of phrase and the writing was witty, if rather caustically so, but I couldn't connect with this book. I enjoyed the writer's sense of humour but I couldn't engage with either of the main characters or the story. Ju... more
- I DNFed it at 30%. It's either confusing or really complex and I wasn't able to grab the meaning and connect to the characters.At the end of the day I think it's a matter of taste and expectations, mine were something witty and this book seemed deadly serious to me, and this wasn't my cup of tea.Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
- LIVE A LITTLE is the story of two nonagenarians looking back on their lives, and realizing that despite their age they still have a lot of life left. The narrative is somewhat disjointed, as one character struggles to remember her past in the order it happened. The storytelling is delicious, and I couldn't put it down. A definite must read for the fall!
- A delightful riff (that's really too slight a term—a tour de force, then), on lives lived, with wonderful language, nicely structured, and quite a few good belly-laughs. Jacobson's writing just flows so well. The plot here probably isn't going to be one that is sympathetic to the middle-aged or younger, but the resonances for the elderly are just delightful.
- I loved it - full review will follow!