A Whole Life by Robert SeethalerA Whole Life by Robert Seethaler

A Whole Life

byRobert SeethalerTranslated byCharlotte Collins

Paperback | October 3, 2015

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Shortlisted for The 2017 National Translation Award

Shortlisted for The 2017 International Dublin Literary Award

Shortlisted for The 2016 Man Booker International Prize

Andreas lives his whole life in the Austrian Alps, where he arrives as a young boy taken in by a farming family. He is a man of very few words and so, when he falls in love with Marie, he doesn't ask for her hand in marriage, but instead has some of his friends light her name at dusk across the mountain. When Marie dies in an avalanche, pregnant with their first child, Andreas' heart is broken. He leaves his valley just once more, to fight in WWII - where he is taken prisoner in the Caucasus - and returns to find that modernity has reached his remote haven . . .

Like John Williams' Stoner or Denis Johnson's Train Dreams, A Whole Life is a tender book about finding dignity and beauty in solitude. An exquisite novel about a simple life, it has already demonstrated its power to move thousands of readers with a message of solace and truth. It looks at the moments, big and small, that make us what we are.

ROBERT SEETHALER is an Austrian living in Berlin. He is the bestselling author of four novels, including The Tobacconist, which has sold more than 200,000 copies in Germany, and A Whole Life, which has sold more than 100,000 copies in Germany. He also works as an actor, most recently in Paolo Sorrentino's Youth.Charlotte Collins studie...
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Title:A Whole LifeFormat:PaperbackDimensions:160 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 1.11 inPublished:October 3, 2015Publisher:House Of Anansi Press IncLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:148700074X

ISBN - 13:9781487000745

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Well done. 4.5 stars. So moving in a quiet way; the seemingly insignificant events that connect us but leave an indelible mark on our lives. I profoundly enjoyed this. Writing at its best that will stay with me a long time.
Date published: 2017-05-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Spare and moving Seethaler covers almost the entirety of man's life by using spare language and constructing a character with an uncomplicated, marginal life in a small Austrian village. He has a light touch with psychological examination, focusing instead on Andreas' response to difficult, even painful situations. Beautifully written and with great pacing.
Date published: 2017-03-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of the best this year I read this book because it was short listed for the Booker prize and was not disappointed. Wished it had won. The simple story of one man's life. The narrative is short on details which makes the story well paced. At one point the character spends years in a Russian prisoner of war camp. The episode is told in a few pages rather than expanded into a whole book, although his struggles could have been as long as "A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich". And what a love story!
Date published: 2016-12-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Simple yet Poetic A Whole Life spans the life of its protagonist as he grapples with love and loss, time and change in the mountains that are his home. A quick read, yet a deep and moving one. The novel uses language that is at the same time simplistic and poetic to convey its basic truths about life.
Date published: 2015-11-20

Editorial Reviews

"Every nuance, every word, every sentence - everything is precisely in place. An admirable achievement for such a slim volume." - Elmar Krekeler, Die Welt"[Seethaler has] succeeded in crafting a book which has to be described as more poignant and harrowing than anything written in a very long time." - Christoph Schröder, taz"A magnificent author who moves us so profoundly with an unforgettable book." - Elke Heidenreich, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung"Do yourself a favour and read this book. It is food for the soul - so quiet,so subtle, yet with resounding reverberations." - Christine Westermann, WDR"The delicate, elegant song of a fulfilled life . . . Full of wonder." - Literarische Welt"Robert Seethaler's quietly mesmerizing novel - elemental in both tone and subject - shows what joy and nobility can be found in a life of hardship, patience and bereavement. It is at once heart-rending and heart-warming. A Whole Life, for all its gentleness, is a very powerful book." - Jim Crace"It's refreshing to read a story marked by quiet, concentrated attention . . . a reaction to all around us that is prolix, narcissistic and mindlessly technology-worshipping. What is perhaps most remarkable about this remarkable novel is the way that it continually weaves past, present and future into a single fabric. A deeply moving book" - Sunday Times "Seethaler shows that for even the most ordinary people, life is an extraordinary adventure - and he does so tenderly and memorably." - Mail on Sunday"The story of Andreas Egger is both heartbreaking and uplifting.the beauty of this slim volume makes the reader pause and think about what it means to be alive." - Linda Diebel, Toronto Star"[A] quiet reflection on solitude, transformation and contentment. a lovely story, and stands as a testament to the fact only we can define our happiness, and life is what you make it." - Katrina Sklepowich, Winnipeg Free Press"Every word has a place. Words evoke an imagery that is imprinted in the reader's mind. [a]poignant song of a fulfilled life" - Sukasa Reads blog"The Austrian writer Robert Seethaler's A Whole Life is a lovely contemplation of a life in solitude in a remote valley, into which the modern world slowly intrudes." - Ian McEwan, Sunday Times