Pretend All Your Life
In the eerie winter after New York's most famous day, enigmatic egoist Dr. Richard Gallin has no end of troubles. A success on his own terms-Park Avenue plastic surgeon, father, art collector, libertine-Gallin is suddenly hard-pressed to hold on to his place in a post-9/11 world he hardly recognizes. And it's not just Richard Gallin whose identity is in flux. The turmoil i...more
I don't read much fiction these days. I was however offered an opportunity to read a new work of fiction by Joseph Mackin entitled "Pretend All Your Life." From the top let me say that this is an adult book and deals with several adult issues including murder, sex, grief, and the overall bleakness of the human condition.
Centering around the life of Dr. Gallin, a New Y0rk City plastic surgeon, the book is set six months af ...more
The protagonist in both books is a medical professional, but Joseph Mackin’s protagonist, Dr. Gallin, is a plastic surgeon rather than a neurosurgeon. The novel reflects this speci ...more
I really liked this book but there were two things that kept me from giving it 4 stars.
What was the purpose of the chapter, almost at the end, about Andrea? I kept thinking she was going to play a role, any role, in the development of the story. I was left hanging. It was as though the author thought, 'Well, I need to wrap up the loose ends with Andrea', then threw in that chapter. If it had been included right after Gallin left, it might have mad ...more
The prose is lithe and becoming, sly but always honest. He will tell you things you know but don't say, and things you say but don't know. And if you listen right, there's a heart in this story that beats ...more
Remember all the dark thoughts many people harbored after 9/11--despair, grief, revenge, survival, protection and opportunity? In Pretend All Your Life, erudite wordsmith Joseph Mackin thoroughly taps into them. At times unsettling, Pretend All Your Life is pierced with hopeful moments. It delves into loss and reinvention. There are also those who saw 9/11 as the chance to try new projects, personas, careers, starts. Dr. Richard Gallin is an art collector, plastic surgeon and man with vast wealt ...more
The basic plot is simple: six disastrous days in the life of Dr. Richard Gallin, a plastic surgeon living in post-9/11 New York City. Dr. Gallin is not a likeable character, so that by the end of the first cha ...more
There are a lot of great themes: beauty, right/wrong, secrets. I would enjoy reading this book again to see the progression of those themes. He also has an expansive v ...more
The website for Pretend All Your Life can be found at www ...more