For me the book was difficult to follow since the author jumps frequently between time periods. I am also not sure if the book is a love story, as Max states, or if the book is about selfishness and obsession. I also do not like stories that are downers, and this story is definitely a downer. However, the book is well written and interesting not withstanding the fore mentioned.
The writing was prose. Every description came alive in my mind. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and will be seeking more by Greer.
The story was engaging and believable, even though the premise was sheer fantasy. You soon forgot the mechanics and just enjoyed the story.
This is a wonderful, big hearted book, which includes detailed and evocative descriptions of life in San Francisco before, during and after the earthquake of 1906. Filled with rich characters and a written narrator of questionable ethics but deep reflections, it is a pleasure to hear. And the audio narration takes an already delicious book and makes it unmissable. The subtly of the reading, the clarity of the character voices placed me in the story and Max Tivoli in my memory for ever. Don't miss this great story, superbly read!
Hmmm...this book kept losing my attention, reclaiming it, and losing it again. Not boring, but meandering. Not a new concept either, Martin Amis handled the notion definetvely in Times Arrow.
I couldn't help thinking that the whiny, martyr-like Max was going to feel much more at home as a whiny, petulant child.
All of that said it passes afew hours, and the narration is engaging enough. For a story with such a definate direction, it really does feel like an entire lifetinme has passed by the end.
Good for impressing the kind of girls who require one to appear "sensitive". Maybe. Your granny would probably like it tho.
After 3 1/2 hours I couldn't stand it anymore. The premise intrigued me but aside for the interesting historical details, the book is about the sexual longings of a man born looking aged who appears younger and younger as he gets older. After a childhood in seclusion he falls in love with a young girl when he's 17 but appears to be middle-aged so instead embarks on an affair with her widowed mother until he gets a chance to try to convince the girl he's young too (appearing only like a pedophile trying to seduce the daughter of his lover). Yuck! He apparently spends the rest of the book trying to find her (the horified mother moves away with her daughter when she finds out) and woo her. The narator's voice strikes me as whiny and as much as I hate wasting money by not finishing a book, I'm done with this one.
Gen-Xer, software engineer, and lifelong avid reader. Soft spots for sci-fi, fantasy, and history, but I'll read anything good.
You might be surprised that this book preceded the move "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button", which was made after I read it (in 2008), and that the two works are unconnected. Except, of course, for the central plot idea, which Greer might have also borrowed from F. Scott Fitzgerald: a child is born in an old man's body and from there ages backwards.
Despite the sci-fi premise, the writing is quite lyrical and character-focused. Greer, admirably, doesn't give Max any easy outs from his situation or even try to invent a reason for it. Max is trapped in a body that can't be explained to others, and his relationships are, by necessity, ones of deception. Only one childhood friend knows the truth. Greer gives Max's lonely perspective genuine poignancy, whether he's speaking of being an adolescent trapped in a 55 year old's body, navigating social relationships that are over his head, an old man weary of being seen as a child, or a young adult briefly his real age, conscious of the pain he must one day cause others. Greer also captures the familiarity of the world passing by in turn-of-the-century San Francisco, and these small, nostalgic details give the story an aching sense of life's transience. Time never stands still, even when it goes the wrong way.
Still, there were times when I got a little frustrated with the torment that Max inflicts on himself (and others) over his one less-than-true love and wished the story would go down some other avenues.
All in all, a lovely, understated, melancholy memoir. I still haven't seen Benjamin Button, so I don't know how it compares.
I have just finished listening to The Confessions of Max Tivoli for the second time. This book is wonderfully performed. It is both a sad and triumphant story with twists and turns that make you keep coming back for more.
I really enjoyed this book. The story kept me wanting more and the narration kept me listening. Excellent! Max's story is heartbreaking...but I highly recommend. BTW...this is not the story of Brad Pitt's movie Benjamin Buttons, it's 10Xs better... similar circumstance but entirely different storyline.
A good listen. A story of perhaps misdirected love that works on many levels. The period settings are richly described, characters are developed appropriately, and the novel is compelling, with enough surprises to keep you listening.