Kerfe's Reviews > Lives Other Than My Own: A Memoir

Lives Other Than My Own by Emmanuel Carrère
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's review
Jan 28, 2012

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bookshelves: non-fiction, biography-memoir
Read in January, 2012

Having read the tsunami chapter as a story in the NY Times Magazine, I took this book out of the library in anticipation of more of the same. Unfortunately, the bulk of the book concerns another story altogether, that of the death of his wife's sister, and it does not live up to the short and different narrative that begins the book.

The sister is a judge, so I did learn some interesting things about the French court system and how it differs from our own. But I just don't think there was enough of a story in the sister's life and death to justify a book. She seemed like a good person, and it's sad and all, but that's about it.

I also think the author intrudes too much--in the end it's all about him. And I thought many of his ideas were pretty wacky, like his belief that cancer is a psychosomatic illness.

Read the tsunami story in the Times and leave it at that.

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