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The Vanishing Hours

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  162 ratings  ·  31 reviews
'Shot through with compassion . . . this dreamlike, winding tale is a joy.' A. L. KENNEDY

'Moving and unconventionally wise' Guardian


This was how I heard the most important story of my life, the thing that decided me, the story that determined who I was in the end.

At a hotel bar in a quiet English town, two strangers meet by chance and share their stories. Hers is of an i
...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published July 18th 2019 by Doubleday
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Average rating 3.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  162 ratings  ·  31 reviews


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Stephen
Apr 18, 2021 rated it liked it
interesting novel of relationship and interactions of lost love and life
Milkysilvermoon
Feb 20, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sie ist Ende 60, einsam und genießt die Gartenarbeit. Er ist in seinen Siebzigern und ein ehemaliger Schauspieler. In einer englischen Hotelbar treffen die beiden zufällig aufeinander. Der Mann erzählt ihr dort die Geschichte einer langen Suche.

„Die Jahre ohne uns“ ist ein Roman von Barney Norris.

Meine Meinung:
Der Roman besteht aus drei Teilen, denen jeweils ein Zitat aus der Literatur vorangestellt ist. Der erste und der dritte Teil werden aus der Sicht der Frau, der zweite aus der Sicht des Ma
...more
Somersetlovestoread
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Some people flit around the world at speed collecting t-shirts and ticking off bucket list destinations. Others have such vivid imaginations and observe so minutely that standing still allows their minds to soak up experience and perceptions in a way the rest of us will never achieve.
"I ran the hot tap till it stung the back of my hand, then put the plug in and squeezed a bit of Fairy into the sink. I scrubbed the plate and the knife and the cup with the washing-up brush, then rinsed them under
...more
Len Northfield
Aug 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-reads
A wonderful, deep, and deeply human book. A story of love and loss (in all its forms), of fear, and regret, and recovery, and reconciliation. Barney Norris writes a tap-root to the heart of us all. Magic.
Geoffrey Gudgion
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great writing drew me in; there's an economy of words which is brilliant. At first I wondered if it was going to be just about two sad people meeting in a bar and telling their life stories, but the tale takes some bizarre twists and holds you to the end. Thoughtful and in places moving. ...more
Frau Honig liest
Die Idee des Buches und viele Ansätze haben mir sehr gut gefallen! Auch verwendet der Autor wunderschöne Worte. Wegen seiner Art zu schreiben habe ich mir von ganzem Herzen gewünscht, das Buch zu lieben! Leider konnte ich das nicht. Es hat mich größtenteils ziemlich verwirrt und ich hatte wirklich Probleme, die Gedankenstränge zu verfolgen. Wir landen in vielen verschiedenen Windungen der Leben der Protagonisten und ich hatte das Gefühl, mich in diesen Widnungen zu verlieren und verzweifelt den ...more
Dawn
May 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
Beautifully written and crafted. Interesting content that may take some time to digest...
Emma Newrick
Feb 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
“I picked up my glass, and stood, and walked over to where the man was sitting. This was how I heard the most important story of my life, the thing that decided me, the story that determined who I was in the end”

Beautifully written. Perfect for a Sunday afternoon.
Alan
Sep 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'I slipped across the world, through time, until a sense of vertigo overwhelmed me, until I could hardly engage with anything. You can't imagine how many lives I've lived, how many different worlds I've woken to.'

Barney Norris' third novel continues the impressive body of work from this relatively young author. It is quiet, reflective piece of writing which leaves the reader never quite sure exactly what just happened.

A woman walks into a hotel bar after a hospital appointment. As a child, her f
...more
yellowdog
Feb 12, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fließende Erinnerungen

Es beginnt mit den Erinnerungen einer Frau in England. Das umfasst zum Beispiel die Gedanken an ihren Vater, der verschwand als sie sieben Jahre alt war. Später wurde sie auch von ihrem Mann verlassen.
Als sie in einer Bar eine Mann trifft, wechselt der Plot in dessen Erzählung. Und es ist eine ziemlich obskure Geschichte, die er erzählt.
In dritten Teil des Buches übernimmt wieder die Frau und formuliert ihre Reaktion auf das Gehörte.

Was dieses Buch so stark macht, ist der
...more
Angelika Altenhoevel
Zum Inhalt:
In einer Hotelbar treffen sich zwei Menschen, ein Mann und eine Frau, bei schon in den Siebzigern und sie erzählen sich die Geschichte ihres Lebens. Wir dürfen die beiden durch ihr Leben begleiten und erfahren viel über die eigentlich wesentlichen Dinge.
Meine Meinung:
Was mich am meisten an dem Buch gefallen hat, ist die wortgewaltige Art der Erzählung. Ich habe das Buch wirklich genossen und kann das Buch jedem empfehlen. Die Geschichte berührt auf eine ganz besondere Art ohne dass ma
...more
Laura
Feb 08, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Durch Zufall treffen sie sich, in einer Hotelbar in einer kleinen englischen Stadt: ein Mann und eine Frau in ihren Sechzigern, zwei Fremde, die einander ihre Geschichten erzählen. Sie ist einsam, ihr Leben ist voller unerfüllter Träume, ihre Tage verlaufen stets gleich, einzig bei der Arbeit im Garten findet sie zu sich. Er ist ehemaliger Schauspieler, und seine Geschichte ist die einer endlosen Suche nach jemandem, den er verloren hat. Seit Jahrzehnten führt er ein haltloses Leben im Dazwische ...more
Mark Ludmon
Feb 13, 2021 rated it liked it
At turns contemplative and quirky, The Vanishing Hours is hard to pin down. It opens with a woman examining the devastating impact of her father walking out on the family when she was a child - a chapter full of sadness, depression and loss. It then shifts to the story of a man she meets in a bar - a bizarre fantastical story that hints at mental health problems but explores identity and compassion. Lots of memorable and interesting elements but disappointingly woolly as a whole, especially as B ...more
Mary Crawford
Dec 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
An unusual book which starts with the life of a woman whose husband walked out on her years ago, her father also left his mother. This woman meets a man in a bar and he begins to tell her about his life and his story of walking through doors to different experiences at various points in his life. The book tell us about choices, difficult situations, repeated mistakes and wrong assumptions. Found it hard to follow on occasion but really liked the writing.
Rachel
Apr 17, 2021 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars. I think Norris has a wonderfully lyrical way of writing but the story was dull. It felt like chapter one could have been halved and some of the voices didn’t ring true. I know he was retelling the story but still the voices could have been clearer. I think the message behind it is a strong one, to care and connect with our life and others but I found my mind drifting constantly and had to reread passages.
Daren Kearl
Aug 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I wasn’t quite sure about this short novel as initially the tone and narrative was a familiar one of loss and coping. But in the second section we get to hear multiple snippets of narrative with no conclusions as a man in a bar relates his Quantum Leap life and I felt it was going on too long with no end in sight. The final section brings the two together with a wonderful conclusion, however, that is profound and life affirming.
Pam Keevil
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
Disappointing. I'd expected more from the reviews. The portrayal of two people in late middle age, particularly the woman was unconvincing and patronizing. The time shifts started well but petered out. I did like some of the insightful ways Norris describes life and love, especially his comment on the frantic nature of our twenty something lives. ...more
Sophie
Jun 10, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
DNF at only 39 pages. Just couldn’t get into it. Guess I just didn’t like the style of writing. Seemed like lots of words and very long sentences that weren’t really telling much of a story. Disappointed.
Shirley
Mar 21, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short book at only 208 pages, this is an intriguing story. The tale told by the man seems so unbelievable that it draws the reader into wondering how the author will resolve the reasons for his seemingly false claims. The ending, however, is perfect.
David Freeman
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful meditation on loss and the stories we tell ourselves. Wonderfully written and engrossing, I finished it in a day.
Garry Nixon
Aug 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
How we can behave unforgiveably when we're young, to be forgiven when older. How we see our own lives through the suffering and travails of others. A beautiful and unsentimental love story. ...more
Heather Noble
Feb 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Just so engrossing with understated emotion somehow making the reader feel these characters are known to them. Loved Five rivers too.
N
Feb 15, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: modern-fiction
Weird and sometimes interesting.
Beth Cooksey
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This captured my imagination from the very beginning.
Nadia Naviwala
Jan 04, 2021 rated it did not like it
Book meanders endlessly and has no plot.
Natalie
Nov 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Interesting story, just took a while to get into it
Blüten Honig
Feb 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ein grandioses Buch. Unglaubliche Lebensweisheit, die tief bewegt.
Jackie Udale
Aug 17, 2019 rated it did not like it
Do not understand all the hype for this book, sorry but it was one of the most boring books I have ever read - nearly gave up several times but was hoping it would get better 🙁
Buchdoktor
Jan 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Zwei Fremde treffen aufeinander, beide um die 70 Jahre alt. Aus der Ichperspektive erzählt die weibliche Person von Höhen und Tiefen im Leben, vom Scheitern und Neuanfangen. Weil sie geordnete Systeme und Worte liebt, besteht ihr Text aus Assoziationen zu Schlagwörtern. Damit möchte sie vermitteln, dass es lohnt, sich zu erinnern. Ihr Springen von einem Begriff zum anderen könnte jedoch beispielhaft für das assoziierende Erinnern alter Menschen stehen.

Dass ihre Idee der Enzyklopädie verknüpfter
...more
Lynn Walworth
Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful, clever book that explores themes of life, love, loss and abandonment ..and so much more in such a sensitive and moving way. Like these characters we all live in a real world that sometimes deals us hardship , bewildering events and tragedy which we find challenging and traumatic. Ultimately the hope and recovery we experience is the key
Loved it
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