Liviu's Reviews > How to Paint a Dead Man

How to Paint a Dead Man by Sarah Hall
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Sep 08, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2009_release_read, mainstream, read_2009, top_25_2009_novels, aq_more_favorites

Just superb; have a full review on FBC, while a minireview here:

After learning about How to Paint a Dead Man in the Booker Longlist, its cover and blurb attracted me so I bought it on publication day here in the US last week and I read it soon after, this being a novel that once you immerse in you cannot leave and read anything else, at least fiction, once it ends you are sad that it did so and want more, so you have to reread it at least once...

"How to Paint a Dead Man" is a deceptively short novel as page count goes at about 270, but it packs so much imagery, lyricism and emotion to be almost overwhelming at times and compelling many rereads of earlier paragraphs, as well as a reread of the whole when done.

The novel is divided in four viewpoints "The Mirror Crisis", "Translated from the Bottle Journals", "The Fool on the Hill" and "The Divine Vision of Annette Tambroni", that follow each other with regularity seven times, while towards the end they invert a little in two more sequences, to end with "The Mirror Crisis" in a brilliant life-affirming way, with an epilogue "How to Paint a Dead Man" from an Italian manual.

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