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Live a Little: Book summary and reviews of Live a Little by Howard Jacobson

Live a Little

by Howard Jacobson

Live a Little by Howard Jacobson X
Live a Little by Howard Jacobson
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  • Published in USA  Sep 2019
    304 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

From Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Finkler Question and J, and one of "our funniest writers alive" (Allison Pearson): a wickedly observed novel of old age and new love.

At the age of ninety-something, Beryl Dusinbery is forgetting everything – including her own children. She spends her days stitching morbid samplers and tormenting her two long-suffering carers, Nastya and Euphoria, with tangled stories of her husbands and love affairs.

Shimi Carmelli can do up his own buttons, walks without the aid of a frame and speaks without spitting. Among the widows of North London, he's whispered about as the last of the eligible bachelors. Unlike Beryl, he forgets nothing – especially not the shame of a childhood incident that has hung over him ever since.

There's very little life remaining for either of them, but perhaps just enough to heal some of the hurt inflicted along the way, and find new meaning in what's left. Told with Jacobson's trademark wit and style, Live a Little is equal parts funny, irreverent and tender – a novel to make you consider all the paths not taken, and whether you could still change course.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Memories—elusive, shattered, or tormenting—are central to a tender story of unlikely love...Wise, witty, and deftly crafted." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"[A] deliciously entertaining, rollicking dark comedy...Jacobson's appealing tale will delight readers." - Publishers Weekly

"Delightful and enlightening...A charming romp and wise meditation on timeless love." - Booklist

"For all of its moments of bleakness, and the occasional flicker of genuine terror, it's rarely less than bitterly funny in its determination to face up to the obliteration that awaits us all." - The Guardian (UK)

"Jacobson's prose is nimble and elegant. The message this novel contains is a simple, affecting one, about the capacity to determine one's future, no matter how late...To live a little, it means to say, is no small thing. And it's persuasive—after all, if we manage to live a little longer, we might have the privilege of enjoying more novels such as this one." - Sunday Times (UK)

The information about Live a Little shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Author Information

Howard Jacobson Author Biography

Photo: Jenny Jacobson

An award-winning writer and broadcaster, Howard Jacobson was born in Manchester, brought up in Prestwich and was educated at Stand Grammar School in Whitefield, and Downing College, Cambridge, where he studied under F. R. Leavis. He lectured for three years at the University of Sydney before returning to teach at Selwyn College, Cambridge. His novels include The Mighty Walzer (winner of the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize), Kalooki Nights (longlisted for the Man Booker Prize) and, most recently, the highly acclaimed The Act of Love. Howard Jacobson lives in London.

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