From a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist, a ferociously intimate story of a family facing the ultimate question: How far will we go to save the people we love the most?
When Margaret's fiancé, John, is hospitalized for depression in 1960s London, she faces a choice: carry on with their plans despite what she now knows of his condition, or back away from the suffering it may bring her. She decides to marry him. Imagine Me Gone is the unforgettable story of what unfolds from this act of love and faith. At the heart of it is their eldest son, Michael, a brilliant, anxious music fanatic who makes sense of the world through parody. Over the span of decades, his younger siblings - the savvy and responsible Celia and the ambitious and tightly controlled Alec - struggle along with their mother to care for Michael's increasingly troubled and precarious existence.
Told in alternating points of view by all five members of the family, this searing, gut-wrenching, yet frequently hilarious novel brings alive with remarkable depth and poignancy the love of a mother for her children, the often inescapable devotion siblings feel toward one another, and the legacy of a father's pain in the life of a family.
With his striking emotional precision and lively, inventive language, Adam Haslett has given us something rare: a novel with the power to change how we see the most important people in our lives.
©2016 Hachette Audio (P)2016 Adam Haslett
"Spectacular.... You should buy this book, you should read it, and you should admire it.... [It] is the herald of a phenomenal career." (The New York Times Book Review)
"Exceedingly well written...a high-spirited, slyly astute exploration of our great bottoming out." (The Boston Globe)
"Haslett possesses a rich assortment of literary gifts: an instinctive empathy for his characters and an ability to map their inner lives in startling detail; a knack for graceful, evocative prose; and a determination to trace the hidden arithmetic of relationships." (New York Times)
enjoyed this on my long drives- cars are boring and this novel was deeply moved me exploring mental illness and how it effects those closest
Excellent narrators. They did a great job of conveying the current mindset of the characters, which changes throughout the book (example: Michael on meds and off meds). The narrators didn't sound like they were reading at all.
A sense of melancholy and foreboding pervades this book, which is primarily what held my interest—the knowledge that something bad will happen, but having yet to discover what, when, how, and why. The writing is strong. I especially liked that the story is told through the alternating points of view of the different family members; an interesting and effective approach, particularly in this case, as it enables the reader to see how the circumstances affect each family member, in turn. I'm not sure I can say I "enjoyed" it per se—this book addresses mental illness and the toll it takes on the victim and everyone close to that person, so although enlightening, it's also quite depressing. Well done, but unless someone is seeking to understand what people suffering from mental illness go through, to "walk a mile in their shoes," I don't know that I would go out of my way to recommend it.
Yes, indeed. Listening to the different narrators really drove the story.
Alec. He reminds me of myself: youngest child and different yet headstrong. He tried his best to makes everything perfect despite the feeling of the world crashing around him.
No not that I recall.
Yes! This book moved my soul. Over the course of the 3 days it took to complete it, I laughed, cried and called my siblings to reminds them how much they are loved. I have also told my significant other how much he is loved. This story made me FEEL. It has been quite some time since a story invoked such a response from me.
Michael's episodes and musings come off as comical and almost cute because they are told from his perspective, so the grave reality of a scary, debilitating disease that is causing these episodes really snuck up on me unexpectedly as the story unfolded. By the last few chapters, I was really wondering how it all was going to end. The end wasn't swimming in grief, it wasn't cathartic, it was almost numb. Michael's death is almost like still birth, ache and worry through gestation and pregnancy, but at the end one lays empty handed in the maternity ward.
I'm glad Alec had Seth. It was hard to listen to their first night after their date. The tension and mental battle one has with oneself to let go and let another person in, it's so familiar, even if I am not a man or a homosexual. For some reason this is my favorite part of the book. I reached this part only a couple days after the Orlando attack, completely losing it part way through.
I am not quite sure I understand Celia. She wants Paul and everyone else to acknowledge her struggle the way she acknowledges it. Not sure why they stayed together and how they stayed together for so long. I don't think she ever acknowledged that her mother had to deal with her husband's illness and someone in the house had to stay strong, unwillingly becoming a bully at times. But in the end, her and Paul's relationship seem to mimic her parents'.
I will come back to this book again. I am sad it ended.
Great performances by the readers. Though finishing too quickly and tidily, the story is still nonetheless touching with great character development. Trigger warning: mental illness.
I'm not sure where to even start this review other than to say I was very disappointed in the meat of the story. The seriousness of depression and the effects of it on these characters seemed to be overshadowed by a kaleidoscope of other things, the writer seemed to have a lot to say and wasn't sure how to wrap it all up in one story.
An overall accurate portrayal of the pain of mental illness, along with the extreme challenges that those nearest go through. Characters are given real depth as the story follows them through their own experience of major life events and their complicated relationships with each other.
Great title. Didn't expect the sexual stuff. Some insights about mental illness. Some touching reflections about how a mother feels toward her mentally ill son.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.