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Over Max's narration of the preceding decades of his life, he offers outsider's snapshots of San Francisco and all of America across the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Throughout, Greer uses the literary device of reverse aging to interrogate the evolution of social conventions, the finitude of a human life, and the decay of memory. Max wants love. But his curse destines him to deception. He loses his wife, Alice, changes his name, and remains hidden from his own son to keep his true identity secret. Only his lifelong friend, Hughie, stands by Max and can see the person inside the anachronistic body. Like the best science fiction and myth, the novel uses its central conceit to reveal human prejudice and explode all assumptions of normalcy to profound effect.
Love is a destructive force in The Confessions of Max Tivoli. But Greer recognizes that in the failure of love is also hope. He artfully captures Max's fragile world with a delicacy that never crosses into sentimentality but also avoids the monumental scale of tragedy. As Max says near the end of the novel, "It is a brave and stupid thing, a beautiful thing to waste ones life for love." A journey with Max, while brave and beautiful, is hardly a waste. --Patrick O'Kelley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I read this one just after reading Behind the Scenes at the Museum , which was interesting, because both stories begin just before the birth of the narrator. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Victoria Craven
This is a beautifully written book. I'm not sure if it inspired the Benjamin Button movie, but it's a similar story. Read morePublished 10 months ago by LaJoie
I learned a lot from it, I had never heard of the Orphan Trains before. I know about the ones during the war in Europe, but this was enlightening.Published 11 months ago by sylvia joram
Max Tivoli takes you into his deeply emotional and tragic world immediately. You ally yourself with the heartbreak of his fated life immediately and, though, difficult, stay with... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Georgia
Max showed courage, hope, and endurance in the love that had an expiration date from the very beginning. I go back to it and I marvel. I love this book.Published 14 months ago by Human
This is my second novel by this author. What a mind he has. The Impossible Lives of Gretta Wells took me into three different eras and I loved every minute of it. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Sally
This book grabbed my interest from page one and left me pondering the whole helplessness that is human life. Read morePublished 20 months ago by M. Mayhew
I simply have never read a novel so bittersweet and powerful. Reading these pages pulls you into every reality of life and love there is. You will recognize yourself on every page.Published 20 months ago by Karen