Little Life

No cover

Little Life (2022, Pan Macmillan)

736 pages

English language

Published Dec. 18, 2022 by Pan Macmillan.

ISBN:
978-1-5290-7721-6
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4 stars (22 reviews)

4 editions

Review of 'Little Life' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

it was a veryyy long read for me (2 years, switched to audio for the last two thirds).

The appeal of the book I guess is that it's a very tragic fairy tail where the reader is allowed to fully absorb all the presented suffering and dissolve in it.
I guess that was the reason why I had a hard time reading it. The writing is so good, like really good but it felt a lot of times like a chore because of the many episodes and throw backs of such extreme emotions.

Other than that, I just didn't really like the setting and I didn't (want to ?) relate to the characters and their specific views on careers and class and their ways of relating to each other.

It was a good challenge and exercise for endurance and curiosity. And I do feel kind of accomplished finishing it hahaha …

Review of 'Little Life' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

I put this book down after around 500 pages or so and finally picked it back up to finish reading. It was like one of those friends you can go years without talking to, but when you do it's like you just met yesterday. That's how close the characters are. It's a taxing, intense book and superbly written. If it had a plot, I likely would have finished it in the first go.

Review of 'Little Life' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

I LOVED this book, but it's not for everyone.

It's the story of four guy friends who meet in college and it spans three decades. It's touching - but also disturbing. The disturbing part is why I say it might not be for everyone, because there are some pretty horrific abuse scenes. But I still think about the characters and feel it was - in a way - a beautiful story about giving and receiving love, and friendship that endures.

Review of 'Little Life' on 'Goodreads'

2 stars

I don't want to include spoilers here, but the reason I gave 2 stars is:

(1) I'm not sure I've ever read a book more desperately in need of an editor. This easily could have been cut down to 400 pages by removing pointless tangents and repetitions of similar plot points. Do we really need a detailed account of two characters going to the farmers' market and then making dinner, when nothing happens to move the plot forward? Especially when it's the 3rd or 4th appearance of a similar scene?

(2) Although one review (The New Yorker?) that I read claimed "this isn't misery porn," I would heartily disagree. If you want to read a tale of horrifying child abuse, I think "Ruby" by Cynthia Bond is another recent novel that does a better job of addressing this topic. But maybe the question is, "Do you really want to read …

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Subjects

  • Fiction, family life
  • Fiction, coming of age
  • New york (n.y.), fiction

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