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Life Is About Losing Everything
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Life Is About Losing Everything

3.33 of 5 stars 3.33  ·  rating details  ·  101 ratings  ·  22 reviews
From the author of the wildly controversial books Liar and Paul's Case comes one of the most anticipated — and perhaps, in some quarters, feared — books of the year. This is author Lynn Crosbie at her most honest, most cutting, most hilarious, and most heartbreaking. The stories told here are a repository of a seven-year period in the author's life; they are also a gymnasi ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published May 2012 by House of Anansi Press
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Heather Clitheroe
To start: I had glanced at a review and though that this was a book of short stories, not a book of micro fiction. So yes, I was a bit dismayed when I started reading. It feels like a plotless book - though you get a sense of what is happening (somebody dies, somebody is terribly unhappy and seems to be upset about being fat, loses her job - or does she? - and drinks a lot), it's a chaotic jumble. The book is described as 'part fiction, part fantastical memoir,' and the more I read, the more I t ...more
Jun 12, 2012 Jane added it
Shelves: 2012
Hard to read. Hard to put down.
This book is nuts. I mean that in the best way possible. Crosbie, who is best known as a pop culture writer for the Globe and Mail, gives us a a funny and at times heartbreaking look at her real and fantasy life over the better part of a recent decade. Or maybe it's more apt to say for Crosbie the worst part of a recent decade.

This collection of short stories seems disjointed because at first it seems like you are following along with the same person, but then you are unsure of whether the narra
Richard Toth
Crosbie, nearly half a century old, writes a coming-of-age book about this and that. She writes a lot about relationships and "dating" (for that read "screwing") and about various people she has met. Ho hum. This book reminds me of a recent contestant on Jeopardy, who, during the first silly "interview" break, talked about a book she has been writing for twenty-six years, a book that she started writing when she was six. She mentioned that it has over a thousand characters "all based on real peo ...more
This was a beautifully written book that was like a long, dark, and somehow isolating hallway. A hallway to which I will choose never to return, I think.
Carol-Anne Nielson
I read this one after Dorothy L'Amour, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I should have expected a challenging read and more than a bit of craziness, and that's what's here. I think the author writes far from the conventional lyrical realism that fills bookshelves, and that' a plus. She challenges us with ugliness, immorality, a difficult style, and a really unusual approach to telling a story. (Which means it's by no mean for everyone, and also puzzling. But if you want only digestive biscuits in ...more
Paula Dembeck
This is a very difficult book written by a prize winning author who writes a regular column for pop culture in the Globe and Mail. It is a candid chronicle of seven years in her life in which she details sexual abuse, promiscuity, and drug use. She began the book as a way to deal with the loss of two men she was close to: a boyfriend who died suddenly and a high school friend who died many years before. She is also trying to deal with the fact she is sliding toward middle age with all its inhere ...more
Lynn Crosbie’s Life Is About Losing Everything is a gritty song cycle melding a dizzying array of short story, poetry, microfiction, memoir and more. The story traces a path through depression, addictive behaviours and destructive relationships, seeming to circle back repetitiously but always – sometimes imperceptibly, but always – moving forward.

Read my complete review here:
I thoroughly enjoyed 'Queen Rat' and 'Liar' but after about a third of this one, I've had enough. A thoughtful, ruthless editor would have made this a much better book.
Brian Francis
I had a hard time forming my thoughts about Lynn Crosbie’s Life is About Losing Everything That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the book. I did. Crosbie writes beautifully and while Life is at times pretty bleak, there’s no shortage of humour – or heart. It feels incredibly personal.

There’s no real “story” to it (those looking for a solid narrative will be frustrated), but rather, the book is a series of impressions that Crosbie imparts on the reader in mini chapters. The end result is a book that t
This was such a strange book, and a tricky one to categorize. It's got elements of fiction, creative non-fiction and memoir, written in a lyrical almost-poetic style. The stories are often plotless, but interesting little fragments from the seedier side of life. This is the first book I've read by Lynn Crosbie, who might be the long-lost illegitimate love child of Charles Bukowski and Allen Ginsberg.

Even though I liked this book quite a bit, I think it was a bit too long. It would have been bet
I was given this book as a gift at Christmas. I've read more than half of it but since I was not enjoying it I have put it aside. The author is a journalist who often writes a column for the Globe & Mail on pop culture. This book is semi fiction and semi autobiographical...I found it impossible to tell which essays fell into which category. Since I am not that interested in 'sex, drugs and rock and roll', I found myself growing impatient with this self absorbed person.
Beautifully written in tiny, punctuated moments, unfortunately surrounded by such overwhelming selfishness and self-destruction that I found myself, more often than not, becoming angry at the author or simply not caring about what she was doing to herself or those around her. An interesting exercise, but one I would not recommend. Certainly wouldn't recommend sitting down and reading straight through. Best taken in small doses.
Nov 22, 2012 Nicki rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
Didn't really like it. There is no beginning, middle ,or end, just a series of short stories that are part fantasy ,part auto biographical,,part poetry. . Lots of failed relationships, pets that replace relationships and drug addled musings. Would make a good pick-up and put down book since it can be read in any order and the individual entries are short.
Jul 29, 2012 Alexis rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
Micro-fiction/poetry/vignettes of fact and fiction of the life of Lynn Crosbie. Disjoineted, poetic and full of pop culture.

I'm not big on experimental writing and that's okay. I did manage to finish this entire book, have loved her past books, and would read her again. I just didn't love this book.
It wasn't all bad, but after 160 pages, I'd had enough. Unfortunate, as I am a fan of Crosbie's pop culture column in The Globe. I tried. But glad to see, though, that she made it out of that previous scene alive, and each of us are all the more lucky for that.
Not an easy book to read. Very disjointed & hard to keep track of the characters. Maybe the book is written in this way because the character is feeling disjointed, but I didn't enjoy the style. I would not recommend this book.
Shonna Froebel
Nov 19, 2012 Shonna Froebel marked it as did-not-finish
Shelves: canadian
I just couldn't get into this book, and decided to stop trying.
Sending it off to my mom to see if she or any of her friends are interested.
Stef D

Oddly written, this book is not for everyone. Choppy short stories that may not seem to piece together yet suggest her brilliance.

I made a valid attempt to read this book but it was beyond choppy I gave up after page 20
Leah Horlick
I couldn't finish it, but was really engaged by the first few sections.
Beth Thompson
Beautifully written, but not what I like to read.
Marinacastilhw marked it as to-read
Aug 08, 2015
Aidan Gowland
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Aug 07, 2015
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Jun 07, 2015
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Lynn Crosbie is a Canadian poet and novelist. She teaches at the University of Toronto.

She received her Ph.D in English from the University of Toronto, writing her thesis on the work of the American poet Anne Sexton.

Crosbie has lectured on and written about visual art at the AGO, the Power Plant, and OCAD University (where she taught for six years.) She is an award-winning journalist and regular c
More about Lynn Crosbie...
Liar: A Poem Missing Children Where Did You Sleep Last Night Paul's Case Queen Rat: New and Selected Poems

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