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High Tide

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  142 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Told more or less in reverse chronological order, High Tide is the story of Ieva, her dead lover, her imprisoned husband, and the way their youthful decisions dramatically impacted the rest of their lives. Taking place over three decades, High Tide functions as a sort of psychological mystery, with the full scope of Ieva’s personal situation—and the relationship between ...more
Paperback, 310 pages
Published September 26th 2013 by Open Letter Books (first published January 1st 2008)
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I totally forgot I hadn't written a review of this. And I didn't make any notes. And I've read eight books since I finished it and now I'm really struggling to come up with anything that might resemble a passable review. Aargh! I suppose the important thing is that I loved it. Translated beautifully from the original Latvian, the story charts the life of a woman named Ieva, and is told in reverse chronological order (loosely; it jumps around a bit). It isn't a plot-led story, more a backwards ...more
Chad Post
Jun 28, 2012 Chad Post rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a pretty spectacular book. It relates--in reveres--the life-story of Ieva, tracing backwards from her present state of uncertainty and depression through the death of her lover, birth of her daughter, her trip abroad, etc. On a line-by-line level, the writing is incredible: sensitive, evocative, and sharp. And although it doesn't have the annoying "figure it out" sort of gamesmanship of a Memento or Irreversible, it's interesting to hit the point where everything from the beginning of ...more
Sarah Anne
High Tide is told in an interesting reverse chronological time frame that I really enjoyed. There were a number of things that were quite confusing but I basically had to tell myself to not worry about it too much because I would get the answers farther in. There was one thing that really puzzled me and I'm hoping that my group discussion can help me.

The book primarily follows a Latvian woman named Ieva through a series of regressive steps through her life. It also brings in her husband as a POV
Feb 04, 2013 Will rated it really liked it
Read and edited this intense book over the summer while working for Open Letter. A beautiful backwards-flowing narrative that weaves the stories of one woman's loves in and around life with all its complexities, the different faces, the different types of love, the love that is sad, the love that kills, the love that overflows, the sexual love, the pure love.

A remarkable book, can't wait to see it in print, fully edited. And, to wit, the first Latvian book I ever read, and I'm curious to read m
Dec 03, 2013 Kasandra rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
A lyrcial book.

The language in this book is quite lovely. You can feel the city move.... the frigid air... the emptiness... Yet I felt it slightly overwhelming.

The first part of the book titled, the the beginning, was almost the end. Abele tries so hard to convey a feeling and instead felt so completely isolated by this chapter. It's like one constant metaphor sentence after sentence, until the words mean nothing. I stopped mid-chapter and about a month later decided to just skipped the last few
The author has produced a very different book. It is bleak, atmospheric, a feeling of hopelessness.
It is also structurally presented in an almost reverse order as Ieva, her husband and lover's story is revealed.
Jaimie Lau
Oct 17, 2016 Jaimie Lau rated it liked it
As a reader, you want to know what has happened between Andrejs, Ieva and Aksels and this drives you through the book. The reverse chronological order structure gives you the motivation but unfortunately, by the end of it, I was little wiser than I was at the beginning. When it is all said and done, the character of Ieva comes across awfully, with the opinions shown through the POV chapters of Andrejs and Monta being more accurate than those put across from the author throughout the rest of ...more
Inara Cedrins
Jul 24, 2014 Inara Cedrins rated it did not like it
I reviewed the translation of Inga Abele’s High Tide as an expert reader for ALTA and found it to be full of egregious mistakes and style problems. Words are mistranslated or ‘interpreted’ with words or phrases that have a similar meaning but are off for the context. Paragraph breaks do not follow the original, but are arbitrarily made – a sentence or two lopped off at the end – and if this is being done, why aren’t the voluminous blocks of copy broken up to be more readable? Dialogue is not set ...more
Dec 25, 2015 Dita rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
3.5 zvaigzņotās zvaigznes

''Katram,kurš klātienē vērojis cilvēku dzimstam vai mirstam, kļūst skaidrs, ka dzīve nebūt nav joks. To var un vajag uztvert kā labu, izdevušos joku, bet pēc būtības tas nav joks.
Ja tevi sasniedzis gaismas kūlis, izrāvis no tumsas, tas ir nopietni.''

Tā kā pēc ļoti ilgiem laikiem biju nolēmusi, ka vajadzētu pārmaiņas pēc izlasīt arī kaut ko dzimtajā valodā, un pie reizes biju sagadījusies bibliotēkā un nebija nekas no I.Žoludes (kas bija mana pirmā izvēle), tad mani
Missy J
Aug 06, 2016 Missy J rated it liked it
According to Wikipedia, Latvia ranks second, after Switzerland, based on the environmental performance of the country's policies.

Now to the book.
Gloomy. Bleak. Depressing.

I read this as part of my book club that "traveled" to Latvia.
When I started reading this book last month, I was confused by what was happening and the thoughts of the narrator were so depressing that I put it down and read "A Prayer for Owen Meany" instead!

4 weeks later, I finished "A Prayer for Owen Meany," and return to th
Feb 05, 2013 Kaija rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 24, 2014 Amanda rated it really liked it
My first Goodreads giveaway book! Originally written in Latvian, High Tide follows Ieva in a reversed time line, or is time actually moving backwards? The story begins with a dream, but maybe it wasn't really a dream.

Overall, it was definitely an interesting story and not a narrative structure I'm used to. The writing was excellent, but in places maybe a little too dense/poetic to properly grasp, especially the first section. But everything after page 24 was much easier to get through, even tho
Aug 21, 2016 katie rated it really liked it
Wow. Just loved reading this book. It's written in reverse chronology, which was confusing at first, but I quickly got used to it and then I was totally drawn in to the story. Her writing style is wonderful, she writes in an almost spare, realist style, but it has a simple beauty and poetry even though she is writing about many serious and even depressing circumstances. Incredible translation from Latvian, it never felt forced or awkward at all.

I loved how she told the story in reverse. I was o
Jul 03, 2014 Daniel rated it really liked it
"High Tide" was not an easy read at first: Abele writes the story in reverse, and the initial chapters left me wanting some kind of purchase, be it a character or an idea. Then I got to the lengthy part devoted to Andrejs' story, which drew me in with its deep sadness and anger. As I read on, I fell further into Abele's story, until I read it as a thriller: with full attention and all possible speed towards the conclusion.

I feel like Abele cast a spell and captured me with mystical guile in the
Aaron (Typographical Era)
Mar 12, 2014 Aaron (Typographical Era) rated it really liked it
Would it be fair of me to simply call Inga Abele’s High Tide, and Kaija Straumanis’ translation of it, fantastic and leave it at that? No dearest internets, I supposed you’d never let me get off so easily. You always want more. Fine.

High Tide is a novel told in mostly reverse chronological order. If the first thought that pops into your head is Christopher Nolan’s Memento (bonus points to you if the first thought you had was Christopher Nolan’s Following) then you’ve sort of got the idea, but Ab
Aug 08, 2012 Will rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A future Open Letter release, translated title to be "High Tide," a great book, the cycle of life told in reverse chronology. Equal parts melancholy and joyful, but all the while beautifully written and wholly poignant. And I love this quote:
"It becomes clear to anyone who has been present for the birth or death of another person that life is no laughing matter. It can and must be treated as a good, successful joke, but in essence it’s not a joke.
If you’ve been touched by a ray of light, if it’s
Nov 26, 2015 metaphor rated it really liked it
Shelves: inga-Ābele
Existence asks too much of a person, too much of this complicated structure, this ball of nerves with a heart, brain, and eyes—how can it forget? It’s an endless struggle, a whirlwind of activity, tendencies, thoughts, instincts, responsibilities—and if not those, then at least the slightest inkling of them now and then.
How does that first crack in the structure of a person’s life form? Is it the moment when assumed moral obligation is replaced by reality?
When the clouds start to paint, the
Really gorgeous, lyrical prose. Structurally in retrograde, which I loved--you start with shattered shells of human beings and work backwards to the simpler times and breaking points. Given the soupcon of knowledge I have of Latvian history, I could probably argue that this is a nice allegorical parallel of Latvia as it made its way out of the Soviet Union.

I'm told this is the first Latvian novel to exist in English translation. That's both awesome and scary. More please!
World Literature Today
"High Tide is a challenging novel. It is not easy to read—the action jumps from present to past, then from past to present. And indeed, as the reader reaches the final page, she realizes that she could have begun on page 310 and read backward. It might have been easier." - Janet Mary Livesey, University of Oklahoma

This book was reviewed in the March 2014 issue of World Literature Today. Visit our site for the full review:
Chad Post
Jul 20, 2015 Chad Post rated it it was amazing
DISCLAIMER: I am the publisher of the book and thus spent approximately two years reading and editing and working on it. So take my review with a grain of salt, or the understanding that I am deeply invested in this text and know it quite well. Also, I would really appreciate it if you would purchase this book, since it would benefit Open Letter directly.
Pirmais Ābeles romāns, kuru izlasot nejūtos tā it kā es labprātīgi atļāvu sev salauzt dvēseli. Nelaimīgās pirmās 50 lappuses - labākās. Īstajā mirklī pseidointelektuālie vārdu virknējumi, parafrāzējot kādu prominentu latviešu literatūrzinātnieci.
Donna Wetzel
Oct 10, 2013 Donna Wetzel rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
It started out slowly but got much better. Interesting way to tell the story in reverse chronilogical order.
Una rated it liked it
Nov 08, 2013
Elina Mikelsteine
Elina Mikelsteine rated it liked it
Feb 14, 2013
Moray rated it it was amazing
Sep 26, 2015
Preet rated it liked it
May 15, 2015
Zane rated it really liked it
Aug 15, 2012
Violeta rated it it was amazing
Nov 12, 2013
Dita rated it liked it
Jan 05, 2016
Agita Briča
Agita Briča rated it really liked it
Jun 13, 2013
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Around the World ...: Discussion for High Tide by Inga Abele 19 40 Aug 21, 2016 08:53PM  
  • Svina garša
  • Epifānijas
  • Two or Three Years Later: Forty-Nine Digressions
  • Stum Stum: Stasti
  • Dvēseļu putenis
  • Mūžības skartie
  • Dzeja
  • Jelgava 94
  • Cilvēkam vajag suni
  • Pasakas par ziediem
  • Everything Happens as It Does
  • The End of Love
  • Zone
  • The Elusive Moth
  • Dolly City
  • Fieldwork in Ukrainian Sex
  • Dzīves svinēšana
  • Maidenhair

Prozaiķe, dramaturģe, dzejniece. Dzimusi 1972. gadā Rīgā. Sākusi studēt bioloģiju LU, tad aizbrauca no Rīgas, dzīvoja laukos, strādāja par zirgu treneri. Beigusi Latvijas Kultūras akadēmijas Teātra un TV dramaturģijas nodaļu (2001).

Savos stāstos un lugās dramatiski un ekspresīvi attēlojusi lauku un pilsētas vidi un cilvēkus. Luga "Tumšie brieži" 2001. gadā vienlaikus iestudēta divos Latvijas profe
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“Mīlestība nav tavā varā. Tā atnāk un ir tevī. Un tu savādāk nevari. Tu atkal esi viena gabala. Tev nav jautājumu.” 4 likes
“Šī pasaule ir manas mājas. Šeit es izvēlos cilvēku, kurš mani vēros daudz dienu un nakšu, – vai to sauc par mīlestību? Esmu piekususi. Priecīga. Tad – skumja. Saplosītiem vaibstiem, neglīta un laimīga. Jauna. Pusmūža. Un veca. Un kāds grib mani vērot. Arī tādu. Visādu. Vienmēr. Mīlestība. Varbūt tas ir vērojums?” 4 likes
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