Daniel Villines's Reviews > Dubin's Lives

Dubin's Lives by Bernard Malamud
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's review
Jul 15, 2009

liked it
Read in September, 2009

I don’t believe that I have ever read a book that's kept me emotionally engaged for the entire duration of the story and I hated this story. It tells of a man that creates his own tragedy by means of selfish decisions and self-serving actions; a man who repeatedly chooses to “reward” himself rather than honoring his human obligations to his wife, his family, and his friends.

The story, however, is simply the sugar (or sour) coating of the message. It grabs your attention while serving up a bit of life. While Dubin’s decisions are disgraceful, the process of a man growing old is universal. I know. The slow loss of everything that is youth constantly progresses towards its inescapable conclusion and unpleasant milestones are reached along the way. The decisions that are made at these milestones are what Dublin so tragically (but captivatingly) got wrong. The fact that Malamud captured a part of life’s progression and a few of these milestones made this a book worth reading.

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Quotes Daniel Liked

Bernard Malamud
“A man is an island in the only sense that matters, not an easy way to be. We live in mystery, a cosmos of separate lonely bodies, men, insects, stars. It is all loneliness and men know it best.”
Bernard Malamud, Dubin's Lives

Reading Progress

08/16/2009 page 25
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