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Someone: A Novel | [Alice McDermott]

Someone: A Novel

An ordinary life - its sharp pains and unexpected joys, its bursts of clarity and moments of confusion - lived by an ordinary woman: this is the subject of Someone, Alice McDermott’s extraordinary return, seven years after the publication of After This. Scattered recollections - of childhood, adolescence, motherhood, old age - come together in this transformative narrative, stitched into a vibrant whole by McDermott’s deft, lyrical voice.
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Publisher's Summary

A fully realized portrait of one woman’s life in all its complexity, by the National Book Award-winning author.

An ordinary life - its sharp pains and unexpected joys, its bursts of clarity and moments of confusion - lived by an ordinary woman: this is the subject of Someone, Alice McDermott’s extraordinary return, seven years after the publication of After This. Scattered recollections - of childhood, adolescence, motherhood, old age - come together in this transformative narrative, stitched into a vibrant whole by McDermott’s deft, lyrical voice.

Our first glimpse of Marie is as a child: a girl in glasses waiting on a Brooklyn stoop for her beloved father to come home from work. A seemingly innocuous encounter with a young woman named Pegeen sets the bittersweet tone of this remarkable novel. Pegeen describes herself as an “amadan,” a fool; indeed, soon after her chat with Marie, Pegeen tumbles down her own basement stairs. The magic of McDermott’s novel lies in how it reveals us all as fools for this or that, in one way or another. Marie’s first heartbreak and her eventual marriage; her brother’s brief stint as a Catholic priest, subsequent loss of faith, and eventual breakdown; the Second World War; her parents’ deaths; the births and lives of Marie’s children; the changing world of her Irish-American enclave in Brooklyn - McDermott sketches all of it with sympathy and insight.

Includes a bonus conversation between Alice McDermott and her editor, Jonathan Galassi.

©2013 Alice McDermott (P)2012 Macmillan Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (177 )
5 star
 (42)
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3.8 (141 )
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3.7 (140 )
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Performance
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  •  
    jaye GREENWICH, CT, United States 01-03-15
    jaye GREENWICH, CT, United States 01-03-15 Member Since 2012

    AUDIBLE MAKES READING POSSIBLE AND EASY FOR ME...I AM VISUALLY IMPAIRED. I WISH THEY HAD ALL THE BOOKS I WANT I WOULD SNAP THEM UP!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    130
    ratings
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    215
    210
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    7
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    Performance
    Story
    "MUNDANE"
    Would you try another book from Alice McDermott and/or Kate Reading?

    IF THEIR WAS A REAL PLOT.


    Would you recommend Someone to your friends? Why or why not?

    NO.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    NOTHING STOOD OUT. KIND OF MUNDANE.


    Was Someone worth the listening time?

    NOT REALLY. IT WAS PRETTY BORING IMHO.


    Any additional comments?

    IF IT WAS PEPPED UP IT MITE MAKE A GOOD MOVIE. BUT IT WOULD HAVE TO BE PEPPED UP A LOT!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chrissie Brussels, Belgium 06-05-15
    Chrissie Brussels, Belgium 06-05-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    222
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    93
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    "Not for ME"

    McDermott's writing doesn’t work for ME, at least not here, not in this book! I didn't relate, and that is strange since this is a book about women, all women, what we share. Not the famous, not the outstanding but the ordinary, albeit ”Western" woman. I think it tries to say too much. It washes out; it becomes too general.

    The jokes, the girl-talk, the first love, how we relate to our husbands, the birth of our children, religious contemplations. It is all here, but I didn't relate......and I don't think I am all that different from other ordinary women! There is a remove, a distance.

    The storyline hops around in time. It isn’t hard to follow once you are into the book and know who is who, but this device doesn’t add to the book, so why is it used?

    The lines have certainly NOT been destroyed by the audiobook's talented narrator, Kate Reading, who is of course Kathryn Ann Fleming. She died tragically in 2006. You simply cannot beat her narrations. For me at least, a good narrator cannot turn an empty book into a good one.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Cryan Virginia 11-28-13
    R. Cryan Virginia 11-28-13 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    6
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    "Boring"

    This is the most boring book I've ever listened to. The book is boring; the reader is boring. And the reference to a song about the white cliffs of Dover in the years right after WWI is a jarring anachronism that reveals the author's laziness.

    0 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shari Deerfield Beach, FL, United States 10-06-13
    Shari Deerfield Beach, FL, United States 10-06-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A real snooze fest"
    Would you ever listen to anything by Alice McDermott again?

    No


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Very few


    Any additional comments?

    There was nothing that sparked my interest or stirred my emotions......just flat and blah!

    0 of 4 people found this review helpful

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