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  the all of it

 
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the all of it (paperback)

One of my favorite author-novelists is Ann Patchett, and this non-Ann Patchett book is the book that inspired her to open a bookstore. I read it and immediately bought four more copies to give to friends who read, with the instructions that you don’t have to read this, and I won’t ask questions.
They all read it, loved it, raved, and thanked me. If you don’t read fiction but are at all fiction-curious, get it. It’s only 145 pages long and you’ll read it during a week’s worth of television commercials.
If you’re a regular fictionist, you’ll blast through it in two days and wish it were twice as long.
It takes place in Scotland---no, Ireland. It involves salmon fishing, an old man fisherman, and adolescents, and --- well, here are some better book reviewer’s better book reviews:

An elegantly written, compact, and often subtle take of morality and passion that gives voice to an age-old concern in a fresh way. —New York Times Book Review

One of the year’s finest novels, a moral story of the most complex sort. —Newsweek

A beautiful miniature, written by an author with a love of language and a flair for storytelling. —St. Louis Post-Dispatch

What a beautiful little novel—perfection itself….A distinct and glorious triumph. —Guy Davenport

Beautiful in its simplicity and directness, a gem of a novel. —The Boston Globe

The story it tells makes one’s breath quicken. What an extraordinary novel! I wouldn’t say there are many novels of moral passion around….but when one reads one, one remembers what a novel can be. –Paula Fox

Jeannette Haien’s first novel possesses the clear tone and unpretentious manner which only the best writing achieves….It cannot be too highly recommended. – The Literary Review

I have no plans to branch out any more than we already have with non-bike books, but this one is a prize. If you read a lot, get it. If you don’t but you’d like to, it’s only 145 pages, and they go fast, and you’ll be glad you read it.



Average Customer Review: 5 of 5 | Total Reviews: 1   Write a review.

  3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
 
The All Of It September 22, 2012
Reviewer: Charlie Hunt from Pleasanton, CA United States  
The All Of It Is an excellent book, I enjoyed it thoroughly.  The short 145 page novel takes place in the rural County Mayo of Ireland at the time when cars are a novelty; maybe the 1930s.  The genius of the book is in the moral puzzle presented between an elderly couple and the local Catholic priest.  The dialogue that takes place between this couple and "The Father" is understated and poignant.  The sharing between the couple and The Father is  two way, allowing each of the characters to be developed using the common speech of the Irish.  The telling of the story in this Irish setting, with the local language, steeped in time, tradition and religion add flavor to the moral problem presented.  

If you are going up to the Mendocino Coast for a long foggy weekend of relaxation, this book would be an excellent selection.

This book is not a downer.  You feel good when reading it, and afterwards.

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