Inside

Paperback | June 16, 2012

byAlix Ohlin

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Shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, and selected as an Oprah's Book Club Summer Reading Pick, an Amazon.ca Best Book, and an iTunes Store Best Book

When Grace, a highly competent and devoted therapist in Montreal, stumbles across a man in the snowy woods who has failed to hang himself, her instinct to help immediately kicks in. Before long, however, she realizes that her feelings for this charismatic, extremely guarded stranger are far from straightforward.

At the same time, her troubled teenage patient, Annie, runs away and soon will reinvent herself in New York as an aspiring and ruthless actress, as unencumbered as humanly possible by any personal attachments. And Mitch, Grace's ex-husband, a therapist as well, leaves the woman he's desperately in love with to attend to a struggling native community in the bleak Arctic. We follow these four compelling, complex characters from Montreal and New York to Hollywood and Rwanda, each of them with a consciousness that is utterly distinct and urgently convincing. With a razor-sharp emotional intelligence, Inside poignantly explores the manifold dangers and imperatives of making ourselves available to, and indeed responsible for, those dearest to us.

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Can we ever truly help the people we love? What about strangers? And if we try, what will that help cost us? Alix Ohlin’s beautiful first novel, shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller as well as the Rogers Writers’ Trust prizes, captures lives that are damaged and hopeful, as ordinary people struggle to help those around them. At the centre ...

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Shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, and selected as an Oprah's Book Club Summer Reading Pick, an Amazon.ca Best Book, and an iTunes Store Best BookWhen Grace, a highly competent and devoted therapist in Montreal, stumbles across a man in the snowy woods who has failed to hang himself...

Alix Ohlin is the author of two novels, Inside and The Missing Person, and two story collections, Babylon and Other Stories and Signs and Wonders. Her work has appeared in Best American Short Stories, Best New American Voices, and on NPR's "Selected Shorts." Born and raised in Montreal, she now lives in Easton, Pennsylvania and teaches...

other books by Alix Ohlin

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Kobo ebook|Jul 11 2012

$16.79 online$21.80list price(save 22%)
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see all books by Alix Ohlin
Format:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 9.25 × 6.25 × 0.69 inPublished:June 16, 2012Publisher:House Of Anansi Press IncLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1770892060

ISBN - 13:9781770892064

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Customer Reviews of Inside

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Easy read Good, easy, light read.
Date published: 2016-11-07
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Ugh. If you enjoy novels that natter on without a strong point, and turn out to be depressing and seemingly, neverending, and you want to tear it up in little pieces and use it as a firelighter in a campfire this summer, then this book is for you!
Date published: 2015-04-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Inside A difficult look at others lives. It makes you look at your own authenticity. Hard and heartbreaking.
Date published: 2015-01-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Inside Loved the Montreal setting and the characters whose lives were intertwined. Enjoyed it!
Date published: 2014-09-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyable read I liked how the author tied all the characters together in one way or another. I also enjoyed the references to Canadian cities. Definitely recommend!
Date published: 2014-05-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyable read This book didn't leave me feeling warm inside but it was a very well crafted, thought provoking piece of literature. It made me contemplate how much pain people can endure by either allowing others too far inside themselves or by blocking them out. Well done!
Date published: 2014-02-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyable read Reading "Inside" was like being in a stream of consciousness travelling through the characters' minds. Their stories meander and cross paths in a way that is unpredictable but in the end, makes sense. The characters are breathing, thinking and complex. Their stories are not always pretty, but are believable.
Date published: 2014-01-24
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Enjoyable read I found this book a little slow and hard to get into. However, I persevered and it did become more interesting
Date published: 2014-01-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Enjoyable read really enjoyed this book. Would recommend!
Date published: 2014-01-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Enjoyable read An overall good book. I always enjoy books that weave together the lives of strangers. Very interesting characters.
Date published: 2014-01-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyable read Iliked this book it made me really think about going under the knife if I had to
Date published: 2014-01-23
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Enjoyable read This wasn't a bad read but not as good as I would have hoped. It was a bit hard to follow.
Date published: 2014-01-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyable read Great read, hard to put down. John Grisham has another winner.
Date published: 2014-01-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyable read Thought provoking. Deeply emotional. Well written. Can't put it down.
Date published: 2014-01-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyable read Overall a good, easy read that draws you in. A little disappointed with the loose ends left at the end but perhaps this means a sequel?...
Date published: 2014-01-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Enjoyable read I am still unsure of this book, even after reading it. I feel like I have to read it again to fully get the jest of it, but feel like I wouldn't enjoy reading it again. It's very slow off the start..
Date published: 2014-01-23
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Enjoyable read What a disappointment. This was a very depressing book, everyone is broken. I will not read anything again by Alix Ohlin.
Date published: 2014-01-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyable read Excellent Storytelling, beautifully descriptive of Montreal. A great Canadian read.
Date published: 2014-01-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyable read this book is splendid it can not be much better but can be fairly hard to understand.
Date published: 2014-01-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyable read The complexities of persons that interest us brought to light in this novel. We can't always help those we want to but it make for an interesting life when we try.
Date published: 2014-01-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Enjoyable read Draws you in a meditative and intimite way. Good plot and character development but then almost ends in a rush leaving some things that coukd have gone deeper.
Date published: 2014-01-23
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Inside The first three chapters of Inside read like self-contained short stories. Each chapter features characters and settings with no apparent connection to those in the others. By chapter three, I asked myself, "Did I pick up a short story collection here?" and I checked the cover to confirm that Inside is a novel. Indeed, it is, but we don' start to see the connections until chapter four. Ohlin takes a risk with this approach; readers disconnect if not fed well enough, soon enough. I hung in there to see how everything would connect, but would everyone? The book describes the intersecting lives of a Montreal therapist, her ex-husband, and one of her patients. Each story line involves people inserting themselves into the lives of another (invading?) in a way that feels uncomfortable, even unnatural, even unbelievable to an introvert like me. None of these people lead happy, fulfilled lives. They seek compensation for their flaws through needy and manipulative interactions with others. By the end of the novel, they don't evolve much despite living through circumstances that could have provided valuable life lessons. I was left feeling unsatisfied, like I had never really stepped inside the characters to learn to understand them, never mind like them. This book received good reviews in The Globe and Mail and Quill and Quire, but The New York Times eviscerated it. All are right in their own way. This book has weaknesses, and I didn't love it, but this book has strengths, and I didn't hate it. Read it yourself to see which way you fall.
Date published: 2013-09-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Read it! This is a great book! Some people might find it depressing but really it is about the human condition, how we are vulnerable, not invincible. These characters are real...maybe the situations are not always plausible but it draws you in. You want to know more and sometimes you get more and sometimes you still want more. I kept wanting more. I zoomed through this book. I pick a lot of books that win awards or get short- or long-listed and this is another like that. It definitely deserves what it gets. If you are into therapy and knowing yourself more, you will really enjoy this book. I loved it!
Date published: 2013-05-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not what I expected The main character in this novel left me wishing the author had loved her more. There were many incidental participants in the story but they weren't strong enough to really impact Grace's life. A psychologist whose patients and partners were well drawn but whose impact on all of them was limp. A decent read, but not the emotional puzzle I anticipated.
Date published: 2013-01-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A captivating read. Can we ever truly help the people we love? What about strangers? And if we try, what will that help cost us? Alix Ohlin’s beautiful first novel, shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller as well as the Rogers Writers’ Trust prizes, captures lives that are damaged and hopeful, as ordinary people struggle to help those around them. At the centre of Inside is Grace, a dedicated psychotherapist, who, on a snowy morning in Montreal stumbles across an attempted suicide on Mount Royale, and finds herself drawn into the life of the man she saves. Inside grows from here to tell the stories of Mitch, Grace’s ex-husband; Annie, her troubled young patient; and Tug, the man in the snow who is haunted by the horrors of the Rwandan genocide. Their stories are braided together and told over the course of a decade in prose that, even at its most grim, is filled with light and humanity. Ohlin is a bright new talent whose confidence and voice has put her in the ranks of Canada’s best veteran writers. There are no easy answers in Inside. Ohlin recognizes that we often make the most defining choices of our lives without knowing why, and then spend years searching for meaning. For Grace, Mitch, Annie, and Tug, finding that meaning is sometimes impossible, but the wonder of Inside comes from the attempt, and the grace that comes with the acceptance of life as it is.
Date published: 2012-12-05

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Editorial Reviews

".. the next big thing in North American literature." - Terry Rigelhof"Ohlin displays a profound empathy for people at their least rational -- and most human." - Stephan Lee, Entertainment Weekly"... wondrously engrossing ..." - Boston Globe"... vividly pictorial ... Ohlin has as unsettling an old soul as Leonard Cohen's." - T. F. Rigelhof, Globe and Mail"... [Alix] Ohlin makes us care ..." - Carol Ross Williamson, Guelph Mercury"... [a] twisty, clever and captivating read ... this cunning writer yanks you inside her world." - Mary Pols, San Francisco Chronicle"Can any of us really save another person? Or is each of us solely responsible for his or her own life? That's the question lurking behind Alix Ohlin's astute novel." - Leigh Newman, Oprah Magazine"... a superb second novel ... next to brilliant phrases and scenes of laugh-eliciting satiric jabs, there are brutal, heartbreaking circumstances." - Brett Josef Grubisic, National Post"... a serious literary talent." - Claire Hopley, Washington Times"Ohlin writes in elegant prose that is flush with wit and style, as clever and as smooth as Lorrie Moore." - Sean Carman, The Rumpus"Ohlin knows what she's doing, and it dawns that what's true of all good fiction applies even more emphatically here: Inside, though fully satisfying the first time through, all but demands a second reading. It's something most readers will be more than happy to do." - Ian McGillis, Montreal Gazette"... [an] extremely readable blend of poignancy and sardonic humour ..." - Dory Cerny, Quill and Quire"Alix Ohlin's writing is brilliant. Readers will enjoy 'Inside' and will finish anticipating Ohlin's future works; wanting to see how far she can go." - Digital Journal