Bigger than Life: A Murder, a Memoir (American Lives) and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $17.95
  • Save: $2.37 (13%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 2 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Bigger than Life: A Murde... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: The previous owners name is on the first page. It has crisp pages, a tight binding. The cover has some minor wear, but otherwise the book is excellent. 100% Money Back Guarantee. Shipped to Thousands of happy customers.FAST SHIPPING! Ships direct from Amazon. Free shipping on orders over $35! Tracking number provided with every order.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Bigger than Life: A Murder, a Memoir (American Lives) Paperback – July 1, 2011


See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$15.58
$9.83 $5.83

Best Books of the Year
See the Best Books of 2014
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.


Frequently Bought Together

Bigger than Life: A Murder, a Memoir (American Lives) + The Object Parade: Essays
Price for both: $33.12

Buy the selected items together
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Year
Best Books of 2014
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Product Details

  • Series: American Lives
  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Bison Books (July 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803232675
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803232679
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,930,215 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Nelson Gross, a [New Jersey] businessman and politician, lived his life with abundant enthusiasm. When he was murdered in 1997, in a holdup that went horribly wrong, his death punched a hole in the lives of his family, including his daughter, Dinah. In one sense, her book can be seen as therapy, a way of purging a decade's worth of inner turmoil. But the story also explores a broader issue, the way the death of one man can affect the lives of many people. The narrative uses Gross' death as a fulcrum, seesawing back and forth from the years before the murder, when the author was trying to come to terms with her parents' divorce, to the years after the murder, as Lenney tried to restore her life to normality and find a way to explain to her young children what happened to their grandfather and why. It's an unusual structure, perhaps not as accessible as a more traditional linear one, but it captures effectively the jumbled nature of the author's life before and after her father's murder. Not a typical "survivor's autobiography," but a deeply affecting one. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"Before his murder, Dinah Lenney's father was "Bigger than Life" but looms larger in death."--Elissa Schappell, "Vanity Fair"--Elissa Schappell"Vanity Fair" (04/01/2007)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
13
4 star
1
3 star
2
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 16 customer reviews
Great, honest, brave memoir, wonderful writer.
K. Forward
I sat down to read this book and I couldn't get up, This book is mesmerizing and it stays with you long after you put it down.
T. Rosenthal
Dinah Lenney is a magnificent writer -- clear and truthful and observant.
Tallulah

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jane Petteway on March 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I'm not a fan of memoirs, but I happened to be in a bookstore when Dinah Lenney read a chapter of "Bigger Than Life"--was immediately hooked, purchased a copy--and was very glad I did. The book fulfilled all the promise of that chapter. Nelson Gross is a fascinating character. A child of divorce, Lenney captures the quest for her father's love with humor and unending self-awareness. His tragic murder, just as their adult relationship is evolving, is bitterly ironic--but Lenney's insight brings the relationship full circle and reassures us that connections are made, ties do bind. Read it in a single afternoon--and it's still with me.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Nerd Girl on February 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The botched robbery and murder of the writer's father propels her into intelligent, compassionate, funny, unsparing examinations of family entanglements, her own role as mother, class issues, narcissism, inheritance, suffering, what we withhold from each other and what it is possible to reveal. The prose is penetrating, great hearted, and deals with grief, but the narrator is not sensationalistic, ever, and does not suffer fools gladly. There is no self pity or maudlin weepiness here. Full of deep feeling the prose is lively and energized. A wake up call to mind and heart, this book deals with tragedy yet is not tragic in tone, but packed with pleasure and pain. The writing is graceful and super lucid, relentlessly questioning what it means to be mortal and human.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Steve Goldstein on March 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dinah Lenney's memoir of the murder of her father is well-paced and truly riveting. It draws you in and tells her story in small bite-size vignettes that each stand alone as short-stories that add up to tell a bigger story. It is a unique style of autobiography and it is hard to put down. Although the central premise is tragic, it is also sweet, at times funny, and always relatable. Her story is unique, and yet in many ways it is the story of anyone who has had a complicated relationship with one or both of their parents, which is all of us.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael on April 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book is woven with rich characters who jump off the page. Lenney gives you some insight into her remarkable curious and ever questioning mind about life, relationships, and her world and the people in it. A terrific study of human nature with a keen eye towards the minute detail that defines us all, within the structure of this ever inquiring memoir lies a murder story that had an impact upon a womans life and a generation that follows. If you never read a memoir (any memoir for that matter) this is one that you must add to your library. If you read it over and over again you will find new nuances of character in its simplicity and you might even at the end begin to look at a portion of your life as a memoir. There is one in all of us!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By B. McGrath on April 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I so admire those who can write about the most (potentially) sentimental thoughts or ironies without a trace of melodrama. Families sustain and drain us: Lenney infuses her reportage with such personal detail, showing (not telling) how we hurt and love each other, fathers and sons and mothers and daughters -- and strangers. Lenney shows also how so many aspects of life are completely out of our control, not fair or explicable, yet we find grace in small exchanges, in memories and talismans and trying every day. The murder, although central to the story, is not the whole story because it is Dinah and who she is, where she is and how she got there. I enjoyed spending the time with her, an author frank and compelling as she tells her story.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By H. Evans on April 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a very deep and beautiful read. By the end of the book, I felt I personally knew the characters in her life. I especially loved Lenney's devotion to her children and her quest to make sense of the tragedy so she might offer them hope. There's some really beautiful scenes in the book and it's worth checking out.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tallulah on May 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book grabbed me from page one and I could not close it until I finished it. Dinah Lenney is a magnificent writer -- clear and truthful and observant. It's as good as "The Year of Magical Thinking."
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Erika Schickel on May 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book is brave, funny, honest and insightful. The murder of Lenney's father is a jumping-off point for a post-mortem examination of her dysfunctional family, and in this sense it is about all messy American families and the pleasures and pain found therein. Lenney is all voice - she riffs and rants, deftly weaving a story that keeps you hooked. Her prose is a delicious, shiny candy shell for the softer, sweeter stuff within: her deep affection for her children, her husband, her trying first family and the father she struggled to know and love.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?