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Един незавършен живот
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Един незавършен живот

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  2,165 ratings  ·  267 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 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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.
Sheri Roark
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
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
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
Bistra Ivanova
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
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
Audrey Terry
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
Dawn Michelle

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 IS
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
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
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.
Ronald Roumanis

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
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
Read a long time ago, but memory serves me that I was captivated not only with the writing but with the depth of emotion and healing that occured in the characters in the book. Well worth the read. I would have to reread to see if it is a five or not. Sad that my memory just isn't what it used to be. Grateful for Goodreads because there is at least a current record of what I am reading and my opinions at this point in time.

"In an extraordinary tale of love and forgiveness, Mark Spragg brings us this novel of a complex, prodigal homecoming. After escaping the last of a long string of abusive boyfriends, Jean Gilkyson and her ten-year-old daughter Griff have nowhere left to go. Nowhere except Ishawooa, Wyoming, where Jean's estranged father-in-law, Einar, still blames her for the death of his son. Though Einar isn’t glad to see either of them, Griff falls in love with his sprawling ranch and quiet way of li
Apr 21, 2014 Uintah rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
J'ai beaucoup aimé cette oeuvre de Mark Spragg ! Les personnages de Mitch et de Griff m'ont énormément marqués et le récit est tout simplement merveilleux. Un récit sur le pardon qui laisse une trace indélibile dans la mémoire !

« J'en suis tout d'abord ressortie émue. Chacun des personnages a su me faire sourire, me mettre les larmes aux yeux. Dès la première page, nous rencontrons Einar, le père de Griffin. Il vit seul dans son ranch du Wyoming, marqué par le deuil de son fils et de sa femme.
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
I instantly loved this book, and it held my interest all the way through as might be noted by the two day reading time. I read twenty four chapters the first day and stopped at chapter 25 when I sensed something scary was about to happen and it was too close to my bedtime to read it. I read the other thirteen chapters this afternoon. I'd give it six stars, as it surpasses many of my five star favorites.

An Unfinished Life is full of real, likable characters. It's a safe place. Jean finally wakes
Jonathan Kramer
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
This is one of the best books I've read this year. An excellent story with lean prose and great characters. The book blurbs compare Spragg to Kent Haruf, another great "western" writer, but this book at least beats out the ones I've read by Haruf.
The story line begins with Griff Gylkinson and her mother, Jean, fleeing an (another) abusive relationship. When their vehicle breaks down somewhere in western Iowa, they are forced to turn to Jean's father-in-law for a place to stay until she can get b
Griff and her mom, Jean, head to Wyoming. Griff has convinced her mom to leave her physically abusive boyfriend and not go back. They head west and end up at the ranch of Griff's grandfather. Griff didn't know her father who died before she was born. She didn't know she had a grandfather.

Tension runs high between Jean and her father-in-law, both of whom are struggling to live with guilt over having failed to protected a loved one. Griff, unaware of the big issues, only knows that she feels like

The very best thing about this book is the epigraph:

These wrinkles are nothing.
These gray hairs are nothing.
This stomach which sags
With old food, these bruised
and swollen ankles,
my darkening brain,
they are nothing.
I am the same boy
my mother used to kiss.

- Mark Strand

What folllows those beautiful words is a classic redemption tale, in which a child is the catalyst for reconciliation and a new start. The story had some depth and some nicely done prose. There were descriptive bits that felt as rea
J'avoue avoir trouvé la trame de ce roman assez classique, ce qui rend la lecture très fluide. Une histoire de seconde chance et de rédemption, avec une femme qui fuit une relation violente avec sa fille, et retourne au pays d'où elle vient. Un retour aux sources, chez le père du mari qu'elle a tragiquement perdu... Les personnages ont tout perdu. Ou c'est ce qu'ils croient.

Mais au-delà de cette base plutôt déjà vue, il y a tellement de bonnes choses... Avant tout, l'écriture de Mark Spragg, dan
Une vie inachevée nous plonge dans une petite bourgade isolée au fin fond du Wyoming. Einar, un vieil homme bourru et taciturne subit sa vie depuis la mort accidentelle de son fils. Il en veut terriblement à sa belle-fille d’avoir survécu à l’accident et la tient responsable de la mort de son fils. Incapable de surpasser son chagrin, l’arrivée inopinée de Jean et de sa petite-fille Griff, dont il ne connaissait pas l’existence, viendra bousculer ses habitudes et celle de son fidèle ami Mitch. Gr ...more
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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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