The Man Who Saw Everything

The Man Who Saw Everything

Book - 2019
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"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."-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: [Toronto] : Hamish Hamilton, 2019
ISBN: 9780735236448
Branch Call Number: LEV
Characteristics: 199 pages ; 22 cm


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Dec 19, 2020

An unreliable narrator and dislikable main character. Levy's insights are not really that profound. I did not finish the book and wonder how it made the Booker long list.

Mar 01, 2020

I was compelled to gulp down the prose, mellow sweet, tangy bitter at the time. But when the story came out whole, what's lingered taste bland. I doubt if individuals' traumatic experience needs such an elaborately psychic perception and chaotic drama to reveal the past and impact the future.
When subjective manipulation (e.g. allusion, interwoven time and space) is excessive and convoluted, the objective (e.g. totalitarian, queerness) power effect is diverted and weakened.

TSCPL_ChrisB Jan 15, 2020

The Man Who Saw Everything is one of those books that only supplies more questions the deeper one looks. For readers who find thrill in trying to piece everything together, this book is well worth the experience. It is clever and mysterious. It's a stylish novel, even if many of its allusions may be elusive. It's every part entertaining as it is intelligent. Perhaps the puzzle could've been a little easier to solve—personally, I like to feel like I have a solution, even if that answer is wrong—but there was pleasure and enjoyment in trying to fit the pieces together.

Colleenita Jan 06, 2020

Why only 2.5 star rating? Needs comment vis a vis the positive reviews.
After reading, I think this novel us brilliant.

Dec 25, 2019

1988 Communist Berlin, Saul Adler (genderqueer), Beatles Abbey Road, and an accident that bridges two time periods mark this unusual novel as interesting, head scratching, and immersive.

Sep 19, 2019

booker 2019 longlist

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