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Staring at Lakes: A Memoir of Love, Melancholy and Magical Thinking Paperback – July 2, 2013

3.6 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

'Hilarious, and tender, and mad, and harrowing, and wistful, and always beautifully written. A wonderful book' Kevin Barry, author of City of Bohane 'This frank and unflinching memoir offers a fascinating insight into the mind of the author of two of the finest Irish novels of the eighties' Pat McCabe, author of The Butcher Boy and Breakfast on Pluto 'This memoir grabs you from the outset and holds you right to the end. Harding traverses the human soul and excavates its deepest secrets. His language sings. Extraordinary' Deirdre Purcell, author of Pearl and Diamonds and Holes in My Shoes 'It's rare for a memoir to demand such intense emotional involvement, and rarer still for it to be so fully rewarded.' Sunday Times I read this book in one sitting ... it held me and wouldn't let it go -- Mary McEvoy Irish Independent Engaging Irish Examiner Compelling Sunday Business Post Difficult to put down Irish Times

About the Author

Michael Harding is a short story-writer, novelist, and playwright and the author of Bird in the SnowPriest, and The Trouble With Sarah Gullion.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Hachette Books; First Edition edition (July 2, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 144474349X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444743494
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,767,990 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Chelsea on September 10, 2013
Format: Paperback
I struggle to see how the reviews for this are so good, barring a group text message from the author to his family to give it five stars. It's a poorly written, juvenile diatribe of self-obsessed, misogynistic crap that somehow masks itself as literature. It's been a while since I read anything so poor, and in truth I only finished it in the hope that there might be an admission that the whole thing was an intentional parody. No such luck.

Don't bother. Spend your time reading an actual book rather than this glorified rag.
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By dikwal on March 30, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is self indulgence running amok. The book is all over the place and going nowhere. I bought it on the strength of the author's appearance on an Irish TV show. The quality of this show,overall,should have been a warning.If you read this and feel any empathy with the central protagonist you think differently from me.
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Format: Paperback
I greatly enjoyed this book with its richness of description and metaphors. I especially liked Michael's ability to weave the many aspects of his memoir into a very readable whole as he effortlessly moved backwards abd forwards in time, from experience to experience, place to place and from person to person.
I admire his honesty about his feelings and actions and the way he expressed how, on reflection, he handled different aspects of his life. I also loved the descriptions of the landscape and lakes of Leitrim, Fermanagh and Westmeath - it makes me want to revisit them again.
Well done Michael,
Con Hurley, Union Hall, West Cork
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found the writing OK, the main character steeped in self absorption who walked over everybody to seek self satisfaction...whatever that turned out to be. He had the gall to bring a child into the equation? Selfish @!?@!!.
"A Memoir of Love (? his self love), Melancholy (felling sorry for himself...grow up!) and as to where the Magical Thinking" came in....beats me. The guy is a total narcissist.
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By Jack on September 16, 2013
Format: Paperback
If time was refunded for reading a book, I'd be filling out the form. Very strange, for an island so rich in literary genius such as Ireland, that this book made it to the publishers. It reads like a rough first draft of a mundane life told poorly by a self-obsessed, spoiled, first world narcissist pining for a life he never knew. The depiction of India is farcical, likewise his old man fantasies of the young women he leers over in the coffee shops of Mullingar. There are many great Irish authors, Harding will never be one of them.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
One of the worst books I have ever read
No continuity
Not worth the time spent to do a proper review
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Much more like listening to a Storyteller than reading a book. Once I had got that bit, I thoroughly enjoyed this short story....which is to be continued in November, I believe.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This book is a depressing read and i don't say that because it's about depression but because it's so self centred and melancholy
We learn only about the author himself nothing about his wife and family and actually very little about his battle to overcome this disease
Staring at the walls is a better title or staying in bed
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