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[PDF] The Man Who Saw Everything AUTHOR Deborah Levy


REVIEW The Man Who Saw Everything

The Man Who Saw Everything

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. I loved this novel it is impossible to explain WHY it is good without spoiling it which I worry will deflate readerly expectation The first 98 pages are a very good slightly surreal novel about Saul Adler a beautiful young man who travels to East Berlin and falls in unexpected love The last 102 pages are incredibly ambitious and incredibly good they turn every scene in the first half of the novel on their heads complicate it and explain it Think TRUST EXERCISE mixed with Cusk seek it out Cheating for the Chicken Man gift for his translator's sister a Beatles fanatic who will be his host Saul's The Last Runaway girlfriend will shoot a photograph of him standing. I loved this novel it is impossible to explain WHY it is On Tidy Endings good without spoiling it which I worry will deflate readerly expectation The first 98 pages are a very Flat World Navigation good slightly surreal novel about Saul Adler a beautiful young man who travels to East Berlin and falls in unexpected love The last 102 pages are incredibly ambitious and incredibly A House of My Own Stories from My Life good they turn every scene in the first half of the novel on their heads complicate it and explain it Think TRUST EXERCISE mixed with Cusk seek it out

READ ´ TALKLOBBY.CO.UK Í Deborah Levy

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 The Man Who Saw Everything is about the difficulty of seeing ourselves and others clearly It greets the specters that come back to haunt old and new love previous. Nominated for the Booker Prize 2019Nominated for the Goldsmiths Prize 2019Deborah Levy s new novel certainly tells a captivating story but what makes this book so fantastic is her smashing ha narrative concept Our narrator is Saul a British historian and expert on Eastern European communism After his girlfriend Jennifer breaks up with him 28 year old Saul travels to the GDR as part of his research It s 1988 but mysteriously Saul already seems to know that the wall will come down only one year later which brings us to the narrative concept This is a book in two parts and both start with Saul being hit by a car on Abbey Road while trying to cross the street on the famous zebra crossing Saul crashes into the wing mirror which shatters its reflective glass entering his head I had gazed at my reflection in his wing mirror and my reflection had fallen into me In part 1 of the book the events described above occur after the accident but in part 2 it s 2016 and Saul has to be hospitalized and undergoes surgerey Suffering from sepsis and drugged with morphine all his memories the reflections of himself and others are still there but they are shattered and Saul is struggling to put them back together He conflates people and scenes lead by feelings and perceived similarities and connections but those around him correct his efforts again and again with their own subjective views I have experienced a situation where one of my relatives suffered a head injury followed by major surgery and sepsis and I feel like their mental state of trying to re connect the dots after waking from a coma is extremely well renderd by Levy Saul tries to remember what happened with him and Jennifer what he experienced in Berlin almost 30 years ago and the repercussions of these events thus uestioning part 1 Throughout the whole book Levy works with the term spectre which seems to signify the subjective meaning feelings and associations that become attached to people and events in our minds and memories profoundly and often sub consciously shaping our perception These spectres are also used to connect people and events in Saul s life after the accident The family of Saul s Jewish mother had to flee Nazi Germany his father is part of the struggling British working class So did his mother flee the fascists and married a communist Is the father an authoritarian figure just like the GDR is an authoritarian fatherland Did Saul want to cut all ties with his working class background while the worker s and peasant s state was holding its citizens hostage Did Jennifer a photographer really see him through her camera and did his friends in the GDR really listen to him or were they just taking notes for the Stasi In which timeline do those dogs turtles toy trains cherry tree petals and funerals belong and why can they time travelThis book is fairly easy to read and to follow but it is packed with little twists and riddles the biggest of all possibly being who this Saul Adler actually is we see and fragmentary reflections and while many aspects of his personality come together others remain ambiguous or even contradictory but then again our reflection in the mirror is never flawless A beautiful touching book about human connection and identity that fingers crossed will go on to win some prizes Cheating for the Chicken Man grazed by an oncoming car which changes the trajectory of his life The Man Who Saw Everything is about the difficulty of seeing ourselves and others clearly It The Last Runaway greets the specters that come back to haunt old and new love previous. Nominated for the Booker Prize 2019Nominated for the Goldsmiths Prize 2019Deborah Levy s new novel certainly tells a captivating story but what makes this book so fantastic is her smashing ha narrative concept Our narrator is Saul a British historian and expert on Eastern European communism After his On Tidy Endings girlfriend Jennifer breaks up with him 28 year old Saul travels to the GDR as part of his research It s 1988 but mysteriously Saul already seems to know that the wall will come down only one year later which brings us to the narrative concept This is a book in two parts and both start with Saul being hit by a car on Abbey Road while trying to cross the street on the famous zebra crossing Saul crashes into the wing mirror which shatters its reflective Flat World Navigation glass entering his head I had A House of My Own Stories from My Life gazed at my reflection in his wing mirror and my reflection had fallen into me In part 1 of the book the events described above occur after the accident but in part 2 it s 2016 and Saul has to be hospitalized and undergoes surgerey Suffering from sepsis and drugged with morphine all his memories the reflections of himself and others are still there but they are shattered and Saul is struggling to put them back together He conflates people and scenes lead by feelings and perceived similarities and connections but those around him correct his efforts again and again with their own subjective views I have experienced a situation where one of my relatives suffered a head injury followed by major surgery and sepsis and I feel like their mental state of trying to re connect the dots after waking from a coma is extremely well renderd by Levy Saul tries to remember what happened with him and Jennifer what he experienced in Berlin almost 30 years ago and the repercussions of these events thus uestioning part 1 Throughout the whole book Levy works with the term spectre which seems to signify the subjective meaning feelings and associations that become attached to people and events in our minds and memories profoundly and often sub consciously shaping our perception These spectres are also used to connect people and events in Saul s life after the accident The family of Saul s Jewish mother had to flee Nazi Germany his father is part of the struggling British working class So did his mother flee the fascists and married a communist Is the father an authoritarian figure just like the GDR is an authoritarian fatherland Did Saul want to cut all ties with his working class background while the worker s and peasant s state was holding its citizens hostage Did Jennifer a photographer really see him through her camera and did his friends in the GDR really listen to him or were they just taking notes for the Stasi In which timeline do those dogs turtles toy trains cherry tree petals and funerals belong and why can they time travelThis book is fairly easy to read and to follow but it is packed with little twists and riddles the biggest of all possibly being who this Saul Adler actually is we see and fragmentary reflections and while many aspects of his personality come together others remain ambiguous or even contradictory but then again our reflection in the mirror is never flawless A beautiful touching book about human connection and identity that fingers crossed will Under Her Command (The Bosss Pet, go on to win some prizes

Deborah Levy Í 1 SUMMARY

And current incarnations of Europe conscious and unconscious transgressions and real and imagined betrayals while investigating the cyclic nature of history and its reinvention by people in power Here Levy traverses the vast reaches of the human imagination while artfully blurring sexual and political binaries feminine and masculin. LONGLISTED FOR THE 2019 BOOKER PRIZESaul Adler is shocked than bewildered when his girlfriend Jennifer Moreau not only flatly turns down his marriage proposal but tells him that they are finished and that he can grab his stuff and leave Here we get a glimpse of the prose that will follow because my marriage proposal had sunk to the bottom of the sea I was shipwrecked amongst the empty oyster shells with their jagged sharp edges and I could taste Jennifer Moreau on my fingers and lips Earlier in the day Saul had been hit by a car while crossing Abby Road the crossing made famous by the Beatle s Album cover which was their last record produced at EMI studios close by The old man who was driving the car Wolfgang stops to make sure he is ok A strange conversation ensues The man seems very interested in Saul and asks some personal uestions that seem inappropriate in the circumstances He also has a rectangular object which seems to be spitting out obscenities At the time Saul has no idea of the ramifications and just how much change this little accident will set in motionSaul is an historian and in three days he will travel to East Germany to write about its history and struggles with fascism It is 1988 and the Berlin Wall still splits the country in two separating the communists from the capitalists Saul is given access to the archives but in return he must write a favourable essay focussing on education and health care etcWe find very uickly that Saul was bullied badly growing up verbally from his father and physically from his brotherThings start to go a little surreal when Saul returns home and decides to order some flowers to be delivered to Jennifer He is looking for sunflowers on his third attempt a man who Saul believes to have given his name as Mike says he cannot understand the language he is talking in when asked what to write on the card Saul realises that he has been talking in German When he eventually finishes and thanks Mike the man says his name is not Mike The man tells Saul to take care just like the old man Wolfgang from the accident in the morningAs the narrative continues and strange little details start to pop up Things that are slightly different to his perception of them A photo that Jennifer took of him crossing Abby Road shows him barefoot but he is sure he was wearing shoes An old lady who lives in his building and has crippling arthritis using a zimmer frame to walk tells him she is going to a Polish shop to buy a poppy cake but he cannot recall a Polish shop being where she says it is Lost in thought for a few moments thinking about this he is then startled to see the old lady walking rapidly to the bus stop with no sign of any arthritis or the walking frameThis continues with every little detail every occurrence that Saul encounters being strangely even if only slightly nuanced from his initial perception At this point the reader must start to wonder if Saul has been injured in the crossing accident Maybe a form of concussionWhen he is in East Germany objects initiate memories that he seemingly knows nothing about The sight of a little red train I had seen that train before or dreamed it or even buried it and here it was returning like a spectre to torment me He also describes the unification of Germany and the fall of communism in Russia the end of the Cold War to his translator Walter exactly how it happens in the future Later he does the same with Walter s sister Luna again foretelling a future with complete confidence and certainty that he is correctThe second part of the book jumps to 2016 and I feel that if I told any of the narrative at this point it would rob the novel of its greatest strength It is extremely cleverly written and as the reader progresses through this second part of the novel light will be shed and understanding slowly is realised Levy s job of taking the reader inside Saul s head and experiencing what he is experiencing is simply superb The narrative is slowly pieced together from a fractured a word used extensively throughout this novel damaged mind The reader along with Saul must sort through these fragmented and sometimes contradictory memories to discover who he really is and what has happenedI may be a little biased because I love these types of novels A novel that you will return to and just like Saul pick up connections and points that you may have missed upon the first read Wonderful 5 Stars


10 thoughts on “The Man Who Saw Everything

  1. says:

    I loved this novel it is impossible to explain WHY it is good without spoiling it which I worry will deflate readerly expectation The first 98 pages are a very good slightly surreal novel about Saul Adler a beautiful young man who travels to East Berlin and falls in unexpected love The last 102 pages are incredibly ambitious and incredibly good they turn every scene in the first half of the novel on their heads

  2. says:

    On the Booker LonglistFor those readers who need to be on sure and certain ground in their reading this latest Deborah Levy novel is not for them Levy makes few compromises here she raises many uestions and often than not declines to provide any answers there are nebulous fragmented uncertain and unreliable realities memories and history In 1988 a young self obsessed Jewish historian Saul Adler is hit by a car on the Abbey Road t

  3. says:

    I was intrigued and puzzled from the very first paragraph beginning in London 1988Saul Adler says“I was thinking about how Jennifer Moreau had told me I was never to describe her beauty not to her or to anyone else When I asked her why I was

  4. says:

    Nominated for the Booker Prize 2019Nominated for the Goldsmiths Prize 2019Deborah Levy's new novel certainly tells a captivating story but what makes this book so fantastic is her smashing ha narrative concept Our narrator is Saul a British historian and expert on Eastern European communism After his girlfriend Jennifer breaks up with him 28

  5. says:

    Now unsurprisingly shortlisted for the 2019 Goldsmith Prize perhaps a better fit for this brilliant book than the Booker PrizeRe read following its longlisting for the 2019 Booker Prize and upgraded twice to 5 as this is a book which relays multiple re reads and has proved to be the most enigmatic and thought provoking on

  6. says:

    So this is a novel about how some people need to be careful crossing roads Basically that's all The rest is pointless meandering between locations times discussions between some random characters who do nothing for the plo

  7. says:

    It’s London in 1988 and Saul Adler a Jewish historian is preparing for a visit to East Berlin He’s been invited to visit the GDR on the understanding that he’ll write a glowing paper on the economic miracle he finds there As a gift for the sister of his German host who is known to be infatuated with the Beatles he’s asked his photographer girlfriend to take a picture of him crossing Abbey Road as John Paul Ringo

  8. says:

    Update Aug 11 Since my ARC disappears in a week and now that I am delighted to say it HAS made the Booker longlist I wanted to re read it and see if it held up as well as in my initial read and also see if I could glean even meaning on a second go round Reading it or less in a single sitting and with some foreknowledge of what tr

  9. says:

    LONGLISTED FOR THE 2019 BOOKER PRIZESaul Adler is shocked than bewildered when his girlfriend Jennifer Moreau not only flatly turns down his marriage proposal but tells him that they are finished and that he can grab his

  10. says:

    For the first half of The Man Who Saw Everything I was hooked It’s the 80s and beautiful Saul and peevish Jennifer have just broken up prior to Saul’s research trip to East Berlin Why does Saul hear a typewriter hammering in his head? What is the significance of Abbey Road? It seems like Saul can predict the future?This enigmatic intriguing story with dialogue just slightly off kilter repeating motifs and oneiric inconsisten

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