willaful's Reviews > The Beginner's Goodbye

The Beginner's Goodbye by Anne Tyler
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
May 31, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: special-needs-emotional-or-mental, special-needs-physical
Read from May 30 to 31, 2012

Tyler always writes a good story but this one was pretty thin, both figuratively and literally. The narrator publishes short how-to "Beginner's" books and when a co-worker suggests he might find one helpful, he responds "Actually consult one of our books? [...] Those books are not meant to be used. [...] Well, not in any serious way. They're more like... gestures. Things you give to other people." This itself seems like that kind of book, one meant to be sold in gift displays more than actually read.

Plus, it shares so many elements with The Accidental Tourist, I kept feeling like Tyler was plagiarising herself. (And though I don't remember The Amateur Marriage well, I suspect it also contributed.) And I found the narrator Aaron implausible; he's supposed to be thirty-six, but he and everyone he knows sound like they're sixty.
4 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Beginner's Goodbye.
Sign In »

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Shelly (new)

Shelly I read The Accidental Tourist years ago and liked it, and thought about this, but if it's similar, why bother?

willaful I wouldn't; Tyler has written much more worthwhile books.

back to top