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Harry: de verbeterde versie

3.34  ·  Rating Details ·  267 Ratings  ·  62 Reviews
Om een vrouw voor zich te winnen is een jonge weduwnaar niet helemaal oprecht tegenover zichzelf en tegenover haar.
Paperback, 317 pages
Published September 2008 by De Boekerij (first published 2006)
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Mar 31, 2008 eb rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Why in God's name are Joshua Ferris and John Banville blurbing this ludicrously bad novel? I'm not even going to get into the fake characters or the dull, lad lit plot. Let's talk about the fifth-rate prose! To pick one characteristic sentence: "That leaves fifty-three minutes and forty-one seconds, which inch past glacially, seeming to Harry to delight in their truculence." Bad enough that the seconds inch past glacially, which is how seconds inch in every hack novel. They also delight in their ...more
Jun 07, 2011 Kinga rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Here is what is wrong with this book:

1) Sarvas loves to write sentences.

It is as if he has only recently discovered this magical power within him and now he is on a roll. He gets so excited over those sentences he is writing that quite often he forgets he is writing a book. His poor protagonist Harry seems to be the biggest victim of Sarvas’ new found skill, he feels stabs of ‘pain’, ‘jealousy’, ‘irritation’, ‘anger’, then he feels waves of all those feelings. Finally, towards the end of a book
May 07, 2008 Andrea rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A pretentious masturbatory exercise in wallowing with little to recommend it. There is the glimmer of a good book, with some interesting ideas to explore, but it is unfortunately overlaid with a tedious, self-consciousness that gets in the way of itself.
Jun 21, 2012 Ginny_1807 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 20, 2013 Nood-Lesse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
FB = Facebook? No = Funny Book

Ci sono solo due romanzi che ho trovato altrettanto divertenti nella mia carriera di lettore: il primo, quello dei miei 20 anni, è Sognavo di essere Bukowski di Gino Armuzzi (La trasformazione di un ex bocconiano all'epoca della Milano da bere). Il secondo, quello dei miei 30, La versione di Barney di Mordecai Richler (Un uomo traccia il bilancio della propria esistenza prima di fare drammaticamente i conti con l'Alzheimer) E ora Harry rivisto, quello dei miei 40 (p
May 08, 2008 Pete rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to like "Harry, Revised" by Mark Sarvas. This is Sarvas's first published novel, and he's got a great lit blog at: I was rooting for him.

But while the book had heart, the fictional spell kept breaking. Whether it was a piece of awkward dialogue, or another improbable turn in the plot, or another cardboard cutout supporting character, or the clumsy overuse of certain words in the narrative (furtively, mien, tableau...did anyone edit this book?
Apr 29, 2008 Kevin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I will admit that it took me a few pages to acclimatize to Mark's writing style and I will also admit that it might not be for everyone. Troy Patterson seemed to become obsessed with it to the point of excluding everything else.

But what kept me going was Harry. Perhaps because I could relate. Not that I am a radiologist who married a wealthy and beautiful wife out of my league (my wife doesn't come from money), but that I often find myself spacing out and living inside my head. I can relate to
Mar 09, 2009 Kirsten rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I hate to contribute to the raft of unflattering commentary about this book, but I am so irked by the experience of reading it that I feel compelled to make a few comments. Overwrought and completely hollow, frankly. Doesn't justify complete sentences in this review. Makes me worry about the state of contemporary literature. Or more specifically the segment of publishing where books with 'zany' but mundane plots are celebrated. A protagonist is not sympathetic simply because he is moved to behav ...more
Apr 02, 2009 Toby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, rooster
This might actually be closer to 3.5 stars. It was well-written, and I laughed out loud on several occasions, but I'm not sure how well the book would hold up under further scrutiny. There's a sort of episodic sameyness to the plot (Harry tells a lie, things get hilariously awkward, lather, rinse repeat), and I'm still not sure if I'm really satisfied with the ending.

Still, the book made me cackle like an idiot at five in the morning in a crowded airport departure lounge. That's enough to merit
This book was an odd combination: a really interesting character study, wrapped in a bad sitcom plot. Not to not say that I'm above enjoying a bad sitcom, but it made for a weird tone. In the end, I'd say it was a black comedy, that did have some some flashes of truth and heart, which is generally all I need to enjoy and finish a book, but it lacked a certain spark that stops me from saying it's a must read.
Feb 29, 2008 Andrea rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: men who don't want to read about detectives or soldiers
I've read the Advance Reading Copy from Bloomsbury. Is there a male equivalent to chick lit, because this sits perfectly in that genre.
Oct 13, 2009 Deanna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Part of a bizarre streak in which it seemed that nearly every novel I picked up involved someone, under some set of circumstances, in a hotel room with a hooker.
Che piacere constatare che esistono ancora (bei) romanzi che non prevedono la presenza di:

a) poliziotti
b) avvocati
c) serial killer
d) "una serie di morti sospette/inquietanti omicidi apparentemente senza connessioni/cadaveri eccellenti"
e) orrendi squartamenti
f) complotti della Chiesa contro l'umanità
g) vampiri
h) ________________

Harry, rivisto narra la storia del radiologo californiano Harry Rent, 45 anni, mediocre, maldestro, imbranato, represso, la cui moglie Anna è appena morta per un intervent
Jun 16, 2009 Lindsay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up Mark Sarvas's debut novel, "Harry, Revised," ages ago, but it has languished on my shelf unread and unloved. However, there is just something exciting about a debut novel and the possibility of discovering a piece of writing that is truly wonderful. Not to mention, I am perpetually in envy of Sarvas and his job. In case you don't know him, Sarvas is a premier literary blogger and book critic - that's what he does for a living. So when the reviewer decided to put his own work out ther ...more
Sep 30, 2012 Adair rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
On the way to his wife Anna’s funereal, Harry Rent stops off at Café Retro for lunch in order to indulge his crush on Molly, a twenty-something waitress. Ordering a meal he doesn’t want just to impress her, Harry gets caught up in a fantasy of derring-do sexuality and is late for the ceremony. Is Harry stunned with grief, or is he just that shallow? The answer to both is yes. And this is the problem.

As the story unfolds, Harry attempts to come to terms with his wife’s death by reinventing himsel
Hal Brodsky
Aug 07, 2012 Hal Brodsky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, collection
This is a book I picked up because I liked the dust jacket. (I don't understand the cover photo, but it is certainly fascinating). I had never heard of the author or the book, but it just looked so literary!

Anyway, it is difficult to review this book without ruining the fun, but think is is fair to say it is a book about a man finally trying to grow up in his 4th decade. The protagonist is what the Jews would call "a nebish", a nice guy who is only partially here.... as he goes through his day
Jan 11, 2009 El rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 21st-centurylit
Harry Rent has just lost his wife in a cosmetic-surgery-gone-awry, but this isn't reason to feel bad for him. Harry is a completely unsympathetic character, rightly so. He lies, cheats, self-loathes, just to name a few, and all of which occur before, during and after his wife's death. Falling in love with a much younger woman, a woman at a cafe he visits, he decides to try to rectify his wrongs by revising himself; for help in this nature he turns to Dumas's The Count of Monte Cristo with hopes ...more
May 08, 2012 Thais rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cercherò di superare il ribrezzo per certe scelte traduttive e alcuni errori veri e propri e di dare un giudizio al libro nel suo insieme più che alle singole parole, anche se, lasciatemelo dire, è un peccato doversi irritare ogni tre pagine per parole "stonate".
In ogni caso, Harry è un personaggio straordinario, buffissimo, un antieroe goffo e impacciato che dopo la morte della moglie si ritrova a fare i conti con la propria coscienza, i propri desideri e una serie di situazioni che lo colgono
Hari Seldon
Oct 12, 2013 Hari Seldon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
To meet Harry Rent is to encounter one of the most likeable 'anti'-heroes in recent fiction. Recently widowed, Harry is an unassertive radiologist, incapable of firing his incompetent secretary, often lost in a fog of internalized thoughts and feelings. Oh, and a wee bit scared of his near-perfect wife Anna (dec).
He and Anna live in a "white box on stilts", terribly exclusive and terribly expensive. "Not to Harry's taste, but taste is never an issue with Harry. He can't be said to have taste, s
Lorin Cary
Nov 05, 2011 Lorin Cary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mark Sarvas's protagonist Harry is a lost soul. His wife has died and he slowly finds his way, although he doesn't know that he's grieving at first. Sarvas has some marvelous ways of showing us Harry as he flounders about, trying to help an overweight waitress at a restaurant in hopes of snagging the younger waitress. He shows us, for instance, Harry opening the storeroom where he has kept all the purchases which reflected his passions but which his wife ultimately disagreed with. At times Sarva ...more
La Stamberga dei Lettori
Questo libro generava in me una certa aspettativa, un po' perché il blog letterario dell'autore è molto noto e seguito in rete, un po' perché le poche anticipazioni che ne avevano preceduta l'uscita erano lusinghiere e intriganti. A cominciare, se posso dirlo, da una copertina dove freddezza ed eleganza si uniscono in perfetta misura. Quella sì, una delle più belle degli ultimi anni.

Eppure l'approccio non è stato dei più facili: come capita spesso, le grandi aspettative generano anche grandi cor
"As a regular reader of Mark Sarvas's litblog, I snapped this up as soon as it came out but was afraid to let me expectations rise too much. A first novel can be a tricky thing, and reading someone's voice in fiction for the first time is nothing like reading his essays.[return][return]But by the end of the first chapter, I was very optimistic--though still a bit cautious. Harry, a forty-something widower lusting after a young waitress, was perfectly drawn to be just the right combination of pat ...more
Jennifer Boyer
I am but 9 pages into this book, but have decided not to waste my limited reading time slogging through any more of it. The author has an impressive vocabulary, but reading this book is like listening to someone else tell you his or her dream with a depth of detail that implies you have nothing but time. (I go through this regularly with my 11 year old, who does not yet know how to edit a story. I see that the author has thanked Colin Dickerman for his editing services. I can only assume Colin D ...more
Jul 27, 2014 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't sure what to make of Harry Rent, the "hero" of the story, for the first few chapters. A bumbling doctor whose wife has just died during cosmetic surgery, I cringed when he began making advances, even in his mind, to a young waitress. As the novel continued I came to like him more and more, despite revelations of some terrible behavior on his part. Inspired to change his persona and his life, he cribs from The Count of Monte Cristo, asking himself, "What would Edmond Dantes do?" Chapters ...more
Mar 22, 2010 Karen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: c-okay
Not as funny as I'd been led to believe. The last chapter is excellent, but most of the book hardly relates at all -- as in, any random set of awkward wacky plans could have been dropped in there and the end would be the same. Also, I was surprised by the interpretation of the Count of Monte Cristo (one of my favorite books and the reason I picked this one up). While the general concept about revenge is intact, this book implied that Dantes sailed off broken and without his love at the end. I ha ...more
Mar 20, 2009 Jessie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm gonna go ahead and give this four stars because, well, I'm a sucker for the idea that we CAN revise ourselves. This is in some sense another man in midlife crisis who does embarrassing things book, but still... it's pretty charming. The idea that someone would read the Count of Monte Cristo as a sort of guidebook for fixing himself - and buy both the abridged and unabridged version to work from - just tickled me. Some of the commentaries I've read on the book had trouble with the narrator, b ...more
Jan 02, 2016 Joana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Este livro veio como oferta de um outro (que não me recordo). Não esperava grande coisa dele não só porque era oferta, mas também porque o género literário não era do meu interesse. No entanto, durante uma viagem aborrecidíssima de 4 horas até ao Norte, comecei a lê-lo.
No dia seguinte, durante a viagem de volta, acabei-o para grande tristeza minha.
Honestamente, hoje já não me recordo qual era o seu conteúdo ou o que é que me fez lê-lo tão desesperadamente, mas se o devorei de tal maneira era po
Lewis Manalo
They need a new category on Goodreads for "tried-to-read." I may try this again, but it really felt like lad lit with an older protagonist. I really like Sarvas' blog, and perhaps that's why I expected more from his novel. The present tense didn't really work for me either (felt like writing class writing), but he knows how to use free indirect style quite well. If you do like lad lit, then this may be your thing; however, it was not mine. I expect Sarvas has a promising career ahead of him, but ...more
Mar 28, 2009 Rachel rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Another book that's supposed to be top fiction from 2008. I've decided i just don't like books where the character makes bad/ridiculous choices over and over again - and we don't have enough insight into the character to have any sympathy or understanding of WHY they would keep putting themselves into these awkward situations. I didn't like the first part of this book at all - I wouldn't of finished it except i was on vacation and ran out of reading material. The second part was better - but did ...more
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Mark Sarvas's second novel, MEMENTO PARK, will be published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. His debut novel, HARRY, REVISED, was published in more than a dozen countries around the world, earning raves from Le Monde to The Australian. A finalist for the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association's 2008 Fiction Award and a Denver Post 2008 Good Read, HARRY, REVISED has been called "A rem ...more
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“Being found out, that's not the worst part, Harry now realizes. The anger, the pain, all the things that will inevitably follow this moment, they're just the fallout. This is the worst moment, the flash point, the cataclysm. For as Harry holds the eyes of his wife, he sees confusion in them--genuine puzzlement--and this is the deepest blow: the realization that until this moment it could not possibly have occurred to her that he would lie to her. But, of course, she doesn't know about all the little lies that preceded this grand one, the painstaking edifice of deceit that's about to collapse. He has hurled a brick through her trust, and although he may spend the rest of his life collecting every last shard, massaging the creaky, fractured pane back into a whole, it will always be warped, irregular, distorting the view on both sides.” 3 likes
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