I’m lying here in a bed, my head full of regret, with only a little bird flitting through a tree to comfort me. Friends want to visit, but I refuse them. So my carer, Sheila, has given me a task to keep me occupied. An A to Z list. Think of a part of my body for each letter. Tell a little tale about it. When I reach H for heart, what will I say? How we loved to string crocheted hearts in trees? How our hearts steadily unravelled?
So I begin with A. Adam’s apple. Will you be there to catch me when I fall?
©2015 James Hannah (P)2015 Audible, Ltd
"I loved The A-Z of You and Me. James Hannah has an unerring eye for the tiniest detail within the biggest picture. This wry and tender love story is powerful, lyrical and moving." (Catherine O'Flynn, author of Costa prize-winning What Was Lost)
"Wonderfully quirky and contemporary. Hannah's writing has the accomplished feel of a far more experienced novelist." (Guardian)
Just an ordinary guy who has some bad experiences early in his life, makes some bad choices, has more bad experiences and continues to make bad choices and ends up in a nursing home at a relatively young age. The ordinariness of the story is what sets it apart from so many other novels. I have known many people just like this guy. People living an ordinary life and then looking back at what went wrong.
I didn't read the print version. I really enjoyed listening to this book, though.
In terms of what I've read, it's a unique story and stands alone.
I like that the depiction of his characters is convincing . Mr. Noble has a pleasant voice, his timing is relaxed, and his narration is thoughtful. Between the excellent quality of the writing and Peter Noble's performance, the story went by very quickly and always held my attention.
"Previews in reflection: sometimes you have no choice but to skip to the end of the story"
The author has my appreciation for a good story. I feel that I got a peek inside the head of a young man who could be have been my brother, father, or any number of friends, during that transitional window of time between the irreverent immortality of youth to the realization of adulthood.
"Thought provoking, tender story."
The author takes the reader deep into the psyche of the main character and slowly reveals the story of his life: the difficulties, loves and hates. The pace is rather ponderous, but this seems eminently appropriate. I found it compelling as I gained a better understanding of the characters and the complex relationships between them; of the problems, anguish, regret and compassion, such as affect many of us in our own experiences throughout life.
"Every minute is beyond value"
There are a huge amount of 'death books'on the market and it is very difficult to pick out the good stories from those that are simply sentimental and mawkish. This one is quite simply an excellent book that doesn't try to elevate the main character to the position of sainthood and doesn't try to resolve his life story with an earth shattering conclusion.
Ivo is a youngish man tragically dying in a hospice, contemplating his past life and his strange transition from a living to a dying person. We learn that he has made a huge amount of mistakes in the past, some of which have had devastating consequences but nothing he has done has been beyond the capacity of any ordinary human being. We could all be Ivo and we all probably know one. There are some parts that stirred my emotions and made him seem incredibly real. For example his acute attachment to his crocheted blanket and his self consciousness about wearing an oxygen mask and it leaving marks on his face. The story is peppered with a rich sense of humour and a set of characters that are just as strong and vivid as the main man. Despite his dire position, Ivo's relationship with his sister and childhood friends is strained to the point where they do not visit him, and the story behind that tension is beautifully spun out throughout the book.
Peter Noble's reading is pitch perfect and I am full of admiration for the way he tackles some very demanding elements. James Hannah has written a remarkable book not least because it is told from the perspective of a man on the brink of death yet I can still visualise him as a vibrant young person.
This book is a cut above the rest. Just read or listen to it and you will be convinced.
"No junky wants the life they have"
A well written book with many positives,and some lovely moments of the best in humanity expressed with understanding and tenderness, and a very interesting way of taking us through someone's life and memories. The problem for me is that I intensely disliked that some one, his self perpetrated victimhood and his disregard for all the blessings in his life. The total self destruction and all the collateral damage inflicted on the innocent showed a total disrespect for all that is of real value; in pursuit of banalities and inanities to fulfil his life. I just could not empathise with him in any level before his last predicament.
On the other hand most of the female Characters in this book are what made it possible for me to finish the book. His nurse Sheila is one of those people you meet in the worst moments of your life; she is the one that helps you to the other side, whichever that may be, if you been there you will recognize her, she is always there helping, soothing the pain, from the Alpha to the Omega.
The narration by Peter Noble of this book is superb.
Report Inappropriate Content