Regular price: $23.07

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

An extraordinary literary event, a major new novel by the PEN/Faulkner winner and acclaimed master, here is a sweeping, seductive, deeply moving story set in the years after World War II.

After his experiences as a young naval officer in battles off Okinawa, Philip Bowman returns to America and finds a position as a book editor. It is a time when publishing is still largely a private affair - a scattered family of small houses here and in Europe - a time of gatherings in fabled apartments and conversations that continue long into the night. In this world of dinners, deals, and literary careers, Bowman finds he fits in perfectly. But despite his success, love eludes him. His first marriage goes bad, another fails to happen, and finally he meets a woman who enthralls him and sets him on a course he could never have imagined for himself.

Romantic and haunting, All That Is explores a life unfolding in a world on the brink of change. It is a dazzling, sometimes devastating labyrinth of love and ambition, a fiercely intimate account of the great shocks and grand pleasures of being alive.

©2013 James Salter (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"The best novel I’ve read in years.  All That Is will be treasured by its readers. Salter’s vivid, lucid prose does exquisite justice to his subject - the relentless struggle to make good on our own humanity. Once again he has delivered to us a novel of the highest artistry." (Tim O’Brien, National Book Award-winning author of  The Things They Carried)
"A beautiful novel, with sufficient love, heartbreak, vengeance, identity confusion, longing, and euphoria of language to have satisfied Shakespeare." (John Irving,  New York Times best-selling author)
"Enthralling.... A vividly imagined and beautifully written evocation of a postwar world." (John Banville, Man Booker Prize-winning author)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    18
  • 4 Stars
    25
  • 3 Stars
    16
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    10

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    24
  • 4 Stars
    21
  • 3 Stars
    14
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    3

Story

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    17
  • 4 Stars
    22
  • 3 Stars
    12
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    12
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Like a Woody Allen movie, with fewer laughs

The people portrayed here are well-educated and well-to-do. The protagonist is an editor who's able to travel abroad often. The book's primarily about his relationship with the opposite sex. Various subplots cover other characters and, frankly, things are hard to follow. Not only that, but, while well-drawn, I found none of the characters compelling. They were interesting, sure, but not interesting enough for me to find the 10 hours I spent with them rewarding. Salter, of course, writes beautiful sentences; alas, that's not enough if the characters and plot fail to engage.

I had to force myself to finish this.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A writer's writer

Splendid, lush story telling. Beautiful thoughtful conversations with a myriad of interesting and well described characters. I love Salter's writing. It suggests a bygone appreciation of smallest details that make his characters, and the lives they lead almost jump off the page. A truly beautiful novel.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

The kudos are totally appropriate

Would you consider the audio edition of All That Is to be better than the print version?

Unfortunately, I cannot answer that question adequately, as my vision prevents me from reading a print version. The audio edition is my only choice. So having said that, I'd say yes, the audio edition definitely was better.

Yeah, I'm smirking.

What other book might you compare All That Is to and why?

The primary setting--the Big Apple just after WWII--reminded me of Mark Helprin's IN SUNLIGHT AND IN SHADOW. But the writing itself reminded me of the greats, such as John Irving, Richard Ford, Richard Russo, and Phillip Roth.

What does Joe Barrett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Joe Barrett does author James Salter the ultimate good turn by allowing the thoughtful prose to do its job without force or artifice. He voices both men and women without getting in the way of what needs to be said. He is a most considerate narrator, and yet the characters come brilliantly to life.

If you could take any character from All That Is out to dinner, who would it be and why?

I can't really discuss this without ruining a major event in the book. So without disclosing anything, I have to admit I'd love to take protagonist Phillip Bowman to dinner (I'll make him put it on his fancy publishing house expense report). I'd say to him, "Whoa! I totally didn't see that coming." And then I'd have to ask, "Did you have that planned all along? Do you ever feel bad about it? Or did it make you chuckle inside, this terrible thing that you did. And by the way, you don't mention it at all in the book, but did you ever lose any sleep about it?"

You see? I can't really answer that question without leaving review readers going, "Huh?"

So I'll just say this: If you like Roth, Irving, Updike...this book is a very good use of your Audible credit.

Any additional comments?

I have to admit that I initially had a difficult time getting into this book. I thought it was okay. But I wasn't just bowled over. Still, I kept going and, all of a sudden, discovered that I had to know what happens next.

Salter's prose is worthy of all the praise from notable reviewers. Listening to this book is time well spent.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Mary
  • Madeira Park, BC, Canada
  • 06-23-14

All That Isn't

Oh dear. Why did I ever accept a recommendation from Richard Ford? I've found his last three novels increasingly banal, so why would I think the novel he loved most in the past year to be anything than a reflection of the way he writes himself? Everybody talks about what fine sentences James Salter writes. That should have been the tip off. When all they can say anything good about is the sentences, don't expect a story. This is a book about two guys, very boring middleclass guys, who live humdrum lives but go through an astonishing number of women. It is quite old fashionedly heterosexual and male-oriented. The women parade through so quickly you don't get to know much more than their hair colour and their degree of sex appeal (high in every case.) There is no end of tedious sex. It ends in the middle of nowhere. Get me out of here.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • BG
  • NC
  • 07-05-13

The rhythm of Updike without the language

A long rambling story of a guy who is good, bad and indifferent. In the end I didn't much care for or about Phillip or any of the other characters one way or another.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

male romance novel

I had a hard time keeping the male characters apart, they are pretty indistinguishable from each other, all are mystified by their lives, even though you as a reader would like to give any one of them a dopeslap. And the women! Gawd. Blonde 'beautiful' wasps, with long legs and bosoms, and the dark haired....

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

just not my cup of tea

I am sorry to give this book so few stars. It may be a great book. I don't know. I've given it an hour and I am bored. I just don't want to stick with it.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful