What You Have Left: A Novel and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $15.99
  • Save: $2.01 (13%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
What You Have Left has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Eligible for Amazon's FREE Super Saver/Prime Shipping, 24/7 Customer Service, and package tracking. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.
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

What You Have Left Paperback – April 5, 2011


See all 16 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback, April 5, 2011
$13.98
$0.90 $0.01
Audio, Cassette
"Please retry"
$29.99

Frequently Bought Together

What You Have Left + Long Drive Home: A Novel
Price for both: $26.02

Buy the selected items together
  • Long Drive Home: A Novel $12.04

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; Reprint edition (April 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451643195
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451643190
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 6.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,059,712 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Loss and redemption take center stage in story writer Allison's beautifully written debut novel. When five-year-old Holly's mother dies suddenly in the summer of 1976, Holly's father, Wylie, leaves her in the care of her grandfather, Cal, and disappears. Holly's coming-of-age on her grandfather's South Carolina dairy farm is a turbulent one, producing a volatile woman with drinking and gambling problems. She does manage, however, to land a good husband in Cal's contractor, Lyle, and the two have a daughter. Meanwhile, Wylie drinks himself close to death and works odd jobs, while Cal endures the deaths of his wife and daughter with stoic dignity. But an Alzheimer's diagnosis proves too much to bear, leaving Cal to put his affairs in order before making an early, quiet exit. It's more than 15 years later before Holly and Wylie reunite, providing the deeply felt emotional core of this earnest novel. Characters' tension-fraught relationships are well played, and Allison is adept at navigating a labyrinthine web of psychological underpinnings. Though the structure has its stymied moments (chapters are chronologically jumbled and are told in various voices, narrative styles and tenses), the nonlinear narrative gives Allison a trove of angles, and he nails all of them. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Allison's engaging debut dissects the guilt and betrayal embedded in the history of one South Carolina family. Shifting narrators relate the saga of four generations, beginning in 1991 when Holly is 20, struggling with the fact that her grandfather Cal is planning to overdose rather than fall victim to Alzheimer's. Cal raised Holly after her mother Maddy died in an accident and her father Wylie disappeared, unable to cope with his grief. Allison flashes back to the early years of Maddy and Wylie's marriage, when they dreamed of entering the NASCAR circuit, then jumps to Holly's somewhat troubled marriage to Lyle after Cal dies. Eventually the aging Wylie becomes the narrator as grandfather to Holly and Lyle's daughter, and the facts surrounding his subsequent disappearance and lack of communication over the years are seen through yet another lens. Allison clearly empathizes with his characters' foibles and manages always to find some measure of humor when they repeatedly let each other down. Deborah Donovan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Will Allison was born in Columbia, South Carolina, and now lives with his family outside New York in South Orange, New Jersey. A contributing editor at the literary magazine One Story, he previously worked as executive editor of Story and editor-at-large of Zoetrope: All-Story. He has taught creative writing at Columbia University, The Ohio State University, Butler University, Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis, and at the One Story Workshop for Writers in Brooklyn. He has also served on the staff of the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley. He received a BA in English and political science from Case Western Reserve University and an MA in English and an MFA in creative writing from Ohio State. He is the grateful recipient of grants, fellowships, and scholarships from the Indiana Arts Commission, Arts Council of Indianapolis, Ohio Arts Council, and the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference (including a 1996 work-study scholarship and the 2008 Allan Collins Fellowship in Fiction). His first novel, What You Have Left, was published in 2007 by Free Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. Paperback and audio editions were published in 2008, and a paperback reissue came out in April 2011. His second novel, the New York Times bestseller Long Drive Home, was published by Free Press in May 2011 (hardcover) and February 2012 (paperback).

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
18
4 star
3
3 star
2
2 star
2
1 star
0
See all 25 customer reviews
Will Allison's style of writing is simple yet smart.
AK
The author has chosen to employ a cross-cutting of chapters that zooms back and forth in time through the viewpoints of several characters.
Richard Cumming
I felt a sense of haunting sadness when I finished the book.
Judith J. Mcgregor

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Richard Cumming on June 21, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This small book (only 200 some pages) was crafted with care. You can tell that the author has sweated and suffered over every single word. It's almost perfect.

Allison's debut novel serves notice of a new literary star among us. It's the story of a woman's search for her lost father. She's really looking for herself. Along the way, she rediscovers the mother that she cannot reclaim, only reconsider.

There are some mighty fine characters on the side but this book belongs to the daughter, Holly, and her dad, Wylie. The author has chosen to employ a cross-cutting of chapters that zooms back and forth in time through the viewpoints of several characters.

It's a bold tactic that really adds to the effect of this supple, slyly witty concoction. Fans of coming of age epics, NASCAR, and South Carolina need to turn their friends on to this one.

I predict big things for Will Allison. Now, if he could only write faster! Just kidding. The next book will be well worth the wait.
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
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Peter C. Dully Jr. on June 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Having just finished Will Allison's debut What You Have Left, I was left with a feeling of loss myself. A sliver of a novel, it went by all too quickly, and this adds to the thematic wallop of the story, as loss after loss plays its way through the consciousnesses of the well-wrought and reflective characters. I suppose, on the good foot, the brevity invites re-reading, but I think I'll wait a bit so as not to dillute the delicious feeling of regret left by the novel's first reading.

The regret palpable in the story is complicated by a sensitive series of portrayals of what it's like to love damaged and/or unavailable people--a feeling familiar to any potential reader (read: any human), at once accessible and wistfully distant. Mr. Allison knows his characters so well that even the most casual comment or gesture adds to the accretion of regret which locks together stories which take place over the span of almost forty years in South Carolina. While the characters are all members of the same family, more or less, it is the hurt and loss which binds them, not only to their own relatives, but more significantly, to the present paths which inspire their present behaviors. The characters are huge without overstatement, and the prose is so insightful as to hurt.

I'll be impatient, no doubt, waiting for Mr. Allison's second novel. As I finished the book, I was reminded of other debuts--McInerney's Bright Lights, Big City and Foer's Everything's Illuminated. The books are radically different in content, but they crackle with the clear precision and promise of the announcement of a major talent. While McInerney's debut seems dated now, I can't imagine Mr. Allison's will twenty or a hundred and twenty years from now. Do yourself a favor and read it; I'd bet in retrospect, you'll feel as if you were at the Kingdome on May 29th, 1995. Except Allison goes five for five.
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
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Victoria Sher on June 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Allison's emotionally powerful novel takes its characters through difficult ethical questions: what should you do when your beloved grandfather wants to commit suicide; what should you do when you think you've accidentally killed someone; how do you deal with your addiction and its effect on your family; how do you deal with your spouse's equally destructive addiction; how can you achieve emotional closure without seeking revenge? The questions stay with you beyond the page, so fully are the characters and their problems realized. By the end, you've gone through four generations and in the process explored with each character what ultimately is important in a life - the "what you have left" of the title. A very fine and rich book.
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
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D. Morris on December 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
My son and I were at the library and had just finished choosing about twenty books about inventing and inventions. I sent him to a chair so he could thumb through his borrowed treasures and I headed off to the fiction stacks. I snaked up and down among the stacks, picking things up and putting them down just as quickly--waiting for the book that called to me. This was it. It sounded interesting, eclectic, substantial and worth the precious moments I can carve out of my days. Surprisingly, a homeschooling mother has very little time to read for her own pleasure, therefore I'm exceedingly picky about my reading material.

The story is no doubt well written and I think that Allison has a knack for word-craft. The back and forth structure of the
novel was interesting and seamless, drawing parallels and connections between the characters beautifully, but in the end I never really felt emotionally connected to or invested in the characters.

It's really the story of how Holly came to terms with her mother's sudden death and her father's abandonment of her on the day of the funeral. That childhood confusion and desperation is the vein that runs though the entire story. Unfortunately, I hated Holly. I didn't find myself wishing her well, rather I wished she'd just grow the heck up and stop treating everyone around her like crap already. I couldn't understand why her boyfriend turned husband put up with her garbage for so long. She didn't deserve the love and devotion that Lyle showered upon her. Maybe it's because Allison is a guy and it's just naturally easier to write from the same sex perspective, but Lyle's story was so much more engrossing and I found myself wishing for his voice to pop in.
Read more ›
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


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?