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The Man Who Saw Everything
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Archive: Other Books > The Man Who Saw Everything by Deborah Levy -- 5 stars + ♥

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Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7758 comments The Man Who Saw Everything by Deborah Levy
5 stars + ♥

My quest to find another book that I love as much as Normal People continues and I hit the absolute jackpot with The Man Who Saw Everything. While the topic is completely different from Normal People, it was a book that I became completely immersed in and I can't stop thinking about it.

I don't want to give away too much about the plot because the beauty in the book is how the story unfolds and reveals itself. The very thumbnail sketch is that the books tells about two times in the life of Saul Adler, the first half in 1988 East Berlin, before the fall of the wall, and the second half in 2016 London.

Let me just go ahead and jump on the Deborah Levy fan-wagon. Good lord this woman can write. Immediately before this book, I read Hot Milk (also longlisted for the Booker Prize) and while I loved her writing, the story of a fraught mother-daughter relationship did not reach out and grab me. The Man Who Saw Everything reached out and grabbed me from the first page (though, I would like it to have a different title, please).

The entire book was compelling, but it was the second half that really got me. (view spoiler) And I thought the ending was perfect.

Unlike Normal People, which had me reading the whole thing in a single sitting as I flew through the story of the two main characters, The Man Who Saw Everything had me reading slower. I wanted to take little breaks and think about each of the short chapters. I read several of them a couple times in a row, really thinking about what was being said versus what was being done and how that fit into the greater story. Like Normal People, I want to immediately read the whole thing again to pick up on the little things that I am sure I missed.

If one good thing comes out of this quarantine, it will be that I have read some books that I would not normally read. And they have blown me away.


Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7758 comments Also, I have always thought that a woman was on the cover of this book. Only as I started reading it did I look closer and realize it is a man. Which fits perfectly with the story and makes me love the cover more!


Nicole D. | 1482 comments I loved this book, but almost loved that you loved it even more. Almost ...


Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7758 comments Nicole D. wrote: "I loved this book, but almost loved that you loved it even more. Almost ..."

You are crushing it with your recs to me lately! I think my next three books in the queue all come from your glowing endorsement.


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