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Един незавършен живот
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Един незавършен живот

3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,720 Ratings  ·  316 Reviews
Можеш ли да простиш на жената, станала причина за загубата на единствения ти син? Айнър е главният герой в този суров и нежен роман, написан в традицията на най-доброто за американския Див запад. Когато снаха му Джийн се появява в ранчото му с внучката, за чието съществуване той не е подозирал, този горд мъж, ветеран от войната в Корея, трябва да надмогне болката, да проте ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published 2008 by Intense (first published 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Scott C
Jul 25, 2009 Scott C rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those interested in the west or who like well drawn characters
I recently wrote a review for another book, Northwest of Normal, in which the main character, Andy, made poor choices and didn't have what I thought were admirable character traits. One of the main characters in An Unfinished Life, Jean, fits into much the same mold. I never cared much for Andy or what happened to him, yet in this novel I cared what happened to Jean. In the other review I asked how an author makes a reader care and I pointed out that one way is through the character's traits. So ...more
Sep 24, 2015 Mmars rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes you can just tell from the first page that it’s going to be your kind of read. And that’s what happened to me in “An Unfinished Life.” Reminiscent of such favorites as Larry Watson's Let Him Go, Ivan Doig's Dancing at the Rascal FairO.E. Rolvaag's Giants in the Earth this is a story of hard lives lived close to the land of the Upper Plains.

It’s a story of pain and separation and getting back up on your feet. Because that’s just what you do. Life knocks you down. You get back up.

Apr 24, 2008 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book had me at hello. In the fashion of Plainsong, Snow Falling on Cedars and the short stories of Rick Bass the west is brought to life.
Feb 08, 2015 Gela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I liked the novel, it is well written and the title is perfect. I actually saw the movie first, years before, and picked up the book before I realized it seemed familiar. I enjoyed both. I love the characters. They're believable. They all may have issues, slight character flaws and so on. When I say this of course I'm talking about Jean and Einar. Of course surviving a tragedy and years of blame tends to do that to use all. Einar and Jean are both broken.... Their life Unfinished. Mitch is a str ...more
May 18, 2015 Ann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
An author I was previously unaware of, Mark Spragg writes like a dream.

An Unfinished Life contains a cast of quirky individuals who immediately became part of my consciousness. Nine-year-old Griff is the centre of the story and through her eyes I experienced life with a mother who has bad taste in men. Griff's morning ritual sets the tone of the tale wonderfully. Her small expectations transported this story straight to my heart.

Griff's grandfather and his best friend bring to mind some of Lar
Sheri Roark
Sep 12, 2009 Sheri Roark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Usually I read the book before I see the movie. This time I did it in the reverse. Pro's and Con's to that approach. Pro-I wasn't disappointed in the movie because I had seen it before. Pro - I was able to visualize the characters quite clearly having seen them brought to life on screen. Con - The actors were in my head the whole time. So I couldn't interpret the author's characters in my imagination. Morgan Freeman wasn't bad in my head, but J-Lo drove me nuts.

Anyway, on to the review.... The f
Apr 14, 2012 Ron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the finest books written about growing up in the West is Mark Spragg's memoir, "Where Rivers Change Direction." He's also a talented screenwriter whose "Everything That Rises" is a touching film about a rancher father and young son. So I've found myself expecting probably too much from his fiction. "The Fruit of Stone" and "An Unfinished Life" seem to lack the sparkling brilliance and deep truth of his earlier work, and I wish it wasn't so. When Spragg is good, he breaks your heart.

"An Un
Audrey Terry
Jan 09, 2014 Audrey Terry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm pretty sure there's not a synopsis needed from me, so I won't indulge. I'd previously seen the movie, and just got around to reading the book this week. I actually enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. On screen, the plot seemed a little too "lifetime", but on paper it really came to life for me. Griff is easily my favorite character. Mostly because for being 10, she's got a lot of life experience already.... And she reminded me a little of myself when I was a kid. Mostly the scene w ...more
Missy J
Apr 17, 2016 Missy J rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful Wyoming.

A solid 3.5 stars for this book!

It took some time for me to get used to the tone of this book, however the second half of the book really gripped my attention.

Sometimes books have a certain mood about them, which is mostly brought about through an author's unique prose. To me, the writing of this book wasn't something to write home about, but the characters in the story definitely added a lot of color and shade to an otherwise bland plot.

Each chapter is told by a different ch
Aug 31, 2009 Luanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wyoming-the-west
Endearing and unusual multi-generation characters set in Wyoming. Spragg has a gift with both place and people, I could feel the air of the land and the characters' breath as I read.
Jayme(the ghost reader)
This is the first book I read by this author. I wasn't sure how I would like this book. The story is told from a nine year old's point of view. She has never had a stable home. Her mother is living with a man that abuses them. She packs every day hoping they would leave. One day, they do leave and they run to Wyoming where the girl's grandfather lives. Where nowhere else to go, Griff, the girl and her mom live there just until her mother can find a job. What I like about this story is that Griff ...more
Dec 01, 2015 Jay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“An Unfinished Life” had a lot of things that I like going on. First and foremost, there’s the setting, a ranch and small town in Wyoming. Spragg has beautiful descriptions of the land and the life there. There are a couple of likeable yet crusty old guys. There’s the precocious kid. There are the one-liners from the old guys and the kid – funny and pithy in their way. And there’s the story, a single mother going to do things her way, but she needs a little help from her past to get restarted. T ...more
Bistra Ivanova
Feb 03, 2011 Bistra Ivanova rated it it was ok
Shelves: abandoned, fiction
Не че е чак толкова трагично лоша, но книгата е дразнещо еднопластова. Типично американска, такава, каквато познавам Америка. Една твърде плоска история, в която всичко е ясно от самото начало.

Тя се събира с все един и същ тип мъже, които живеят в каравана, пият и я бият. Един ден взема дъщеря си и си тръгва завинаги от поредния. Няма пари, няма къде да иде, затова се сеща за своя роден край и за ранчото на свекър й, бащата на починалия й съпруг, който не бил като другите. Свекърът не може да й
Book Concierge
Jun 04, 2012 Book Concierge rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Audio book performed by Tony Amendola and Judith Marx

Jane Gilkyson has finally decided to leave her abusive boyfriend. With her 10-year-old daughter, Griff, she takes off in her ancient car, headed for the Pacific Ocean. But when the car dies and she’s left stranded, she has nowhere to turn but to her father-in-law, a man who blames her for the death of his son, and who is living his life in bitterness and misery on a small ranch in Ishawooa, Wyoming. Einar Gilkyson would probably be dead by now
Dawn Michelle
Nov 24, 2010 Dawn Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Read~October 29, 2010
4 Stars

Basically, I am giving this book 4 stars for two reasons. #1 is that this is a really well-written book. The author is able to convincingly convey the emotions of each character, which isn't always the easiest thing to do, especially when one of the characters is a 10 year old girl.
#2 is because of said girl. Griff. The author has created an amazing character in this child. SHE is what MAKES this story. Griff is what MADE me continue reading this story!

This I
May 22, 2010 Donald rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I consider myself a consistent reader, finishing about a book a week. I have a regular routine. It is unusual that I stay up past midnight to read. I read this story in a single sitting, starting at about 7:00pm and ending, well, pretty early.

I agree with much in the other reviews here. I found this story to be a very visual experience, a testament to Spragg's talent in describing the Wyoming landscape. The characters are interesting and believable, but not always predictable (in other words, ve
Apr 16, 2015 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mark Spragg's writing style is reminiscent of Kent Haruf, an author who I count as one of my favorites. A style that is unpretentious and authentic, allowing the words on the page tell the story while the author fades into the background.

A story of family and friendship and the paths to forgiveness but all the while refraining from becoming a sentimental, mawkish pile of goo. My kind of book.
it's more like 3.5 stars. the book is great, beautifully written, very real characters, highly evocative.
the story's themes seem to revolve around freedom, or more specifically freedom from pain. all of the characters were dealing with some kind of emotional/psychological or physical issue that kept them from being completely whole. Einar lost his son to a car accident, Jean is running from an abusive boyfriend, Griff hasn't had a stable home, Mitch is physically disabled. through a series of e
Bookmarks Magazine

An Unfinished Life follows on the heels of Spragg's memoir about growing up on a Wyoming ranch, Where Rivers Change Direction, and his Western debut, The Fruits of Stone. This latest effort, which raises comparisons to Kent Haruf's Plainsong and Eventide (*** July/Aug 2004), delves into the world of fractured families. Memorable secondary characters contribute a great deal of spirit to this emotionally charged story of love, loss, betrayal, and reconciliation. Although most critics adored An Unf

There are some fantastic reviews here that I can't really add much to. I love adult fiction written from the point of view of a child - which a large part of this is. Peace Like a River is another one that does this so effectively. I look forward to seeing the movie that was made from this. The casting looks like a good match.

Update: Watched the movie finally. It followed very closely with the book - even using the same dialogue. However, it is a sketchy version of the book so the impact is much
Nov 02, 2015 Alan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-books
I started out with 4 stars because I felt the story could do without the cussing but the story and writing and my attachment to the characters overrode the cussing.
Jul 16, 2015 Overthemoon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What I loved most about this book was the simple almost sparse writing that somehow managed to give so much insight to the characters. A really lovely story about healing and forgiveness.
Lana Hasper
Although well-written, I disliked the character of Jean ALOT & the plot read like a cliche`d Hollywood script - oh, and it is a movie! from 2007! starring Robert Redford, Morgan Freeman and JLo. Stick a fork in me, I'm done. ...more
Jonathan Kramer
Oct 31, 2014 Jonathan Kramer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mark Spragg is a very talented author who's narrative style is concise, pacing is beautiful and dialog about as good as it can possibly be. I could have read this in one or two sittings, but decided to stretch it out over a few days. It's also so well crafted that the film matches it perfectly; Mark could easily write directly for screen. The film which stars Morgan Freeman as Mitch, and JLo as Jean is well done, though I have to say I enjoyed the book equally as much. Needless to say I'm going ...more
Ronald Roumanis
Jun 17, 2014 Ronald Roumanis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction

An Unfinished Life
I’m rounding my grade of 7/10 up to 4 stars out of five. There are a few memorable characters in this novel and on their strength, the story works. But there are some pathetically one-dimensional characters who need more depth. Also, the plot is frought with cliches and seems a little "Lifetime." Even though no one spoiled the ending for me, I had to keep telling myself,"OK, enjoy the story. So what if there is only one conceivable solution to the plot."

Jean is a very attracti
Apr 16, 2014 Lori rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The character Griff is the true beauty of this book. The scenes with the 9 year old and her newly discovered Grandfather are irresistible, so much that I overlooked the "bear". This might be my Great Plains bias but it seemed out of place that the bear should exist at all. Unless the animal was on protected land (within Yellowstone Park) a prairie dude like Einar would have shot to kill, not shot to wound. Even if he didn't have a permit to hunt, I'm pretty sure one can kill a bear on protected ...more
Apr 21, 2014 Uintah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Uintah by: Sonnet
Shelves: fiction
I was taken by the realism of the characters' voices, especially Roy's, whose is spine-chilling, but cannot be dismissed as simply disgusting or evil. Jean is the enigma, although I had the sense that the author intended Einar to be. She's real through and through, and yet it would take a considerably more detailed prequel than the brief chapter casually addressing her own history to explain how she came to be who she is in her 30's, as this story unfolds around and because of her. The writing s ...more
R. Ellis
Jun 17, 2014 R. Ellis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was set to give this book a full 5 stars, mainly because
I'd already seen the excellent movie. But I think this is
one of those rare instances in which the movie is actually
better. However, since author Mark Spragg and his wife wrote
the screenplay, I don't mind so much. ;-)

To the book's credit, all the subtle thoughts of the taciturn
characters are right there in print, requiring absolutely no
thought on the part of the reader. You may even pick up some
information that you might miss by just
Leah Markum
Nine-year-old Griff and her mom Jean flee Jean's abusive and delusional boyfriend in an Iowa trailer house and hit a westward road. The whims of the road changes their whim to drive to the Pacific coast, and they instead stop in Ishiwooa, Wyoming where Griff's grandfather lives on a ranch. Jean and Einar don't get along, but Griff is elated with the change of pace. She gets to do useful things around the property and befriends her grandfather's crippled best friend, Mitch. This story weaves the ...more
Laurel Wicke
I'm torn on this one. I can't recommend it due to some language, but it's a story about broken people seeking some kind of redemption, and the ugliness, while still ugly, felt honest. Set in my homestate of Wyoming, this book had me at Bighorn Mountains, and I recognized the sparse but upfront conversation of the old cowboy, Einer. 10 year old Griff is certainly a character worth rooting for, and Spragg paints her from her rich emotional inner life out. The characters won me over, all but the ab ...more
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Around the World ...: Discussion for An Unfinished Life 5 27 Oct 08, 2015 02:22PM  
  • Eventide (Plainsong, #2)
  • The Meadow
  • The Work of Wolves
  • This House of Sky: Landscapes of a Western Mind
  • A Cat Named Darwin: Embracing the Bond Between Man and Pet
  • Off to the Side: A Memoir
  • The Big Rock Candy Mountain
  • The Turtle Warrior
  • White Crosses
  • Divining Women
  • The Douglas Notebooks
  • The Ha-Ha
  • Lost Nation
  • Far Bright Star
  • Verbena
  • Jewelweed
  • The Jump-Off Creek
  • The Clearing
Mark Spragg is the author of Where Rivers Change Direction, a memoir that won the Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers award, and the novels The Fruit of Stone and An Unfinished Life, which was chosen by the Rocky Mountain News as the Best Book of 2004. All three were top-ten Book Sense selections and have been translated into fifteen languages. He lives with his wife, Virginia, in Wyomi ...more
More about Mark Spragg...

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