The Life to Come

The Life to Come The dazzling new novel from Michelle de Kretser author of Questions of Travel bestseller and winner of the Miles Franklin Award Set in Sydney Paris and Sri Lanka The Life to Come is a mesmerising

  • Title: The Life to Come
  • Author: Michelle de Kretser
  • ISBN: 9781760296704
  • Page: 411
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The dazzling new novel from Michelle de Kretser, author of Questions of Travel, bestseller and winner of the Miles Franklin Award Set in Sydney, Paris and Sri Lanka, The Life to Come is a mesmerising novel about the stories we tell and don t tell ourselves as individuals, as societies and as nations It feels at once firmly classic and exhilaratingly contemporary.Pippa isThe dazzling new novel from Michelle de Kretser, author of Questions of Travel, bestseller and winner of the Miles Franklin Award Set in Sydney, Paris and Sri Lanka, The Life to Come is a mesmerising novel about the stories we tell and don t tell ourselves as individuals, as societies and as nations It feels at once firmly classic and exhilaratingly contemporary.Pippa is a writer who longs for success Celeste tries to convince herself that her feelings for her married lover are reciprocated Ash makes strategic use of his childhood in Sri Lanka but blots out the memory of a tragedy from that time Driven by riveting stories and unforgettable characters, here is a dazzling meditation on intimacy, loneliness and our flawed perception of other people.Profoundly moving as well as bitingly funny, The Life to Come reveals how the shadows cast by both the past and the future can transform, distort and undo the present This extraordinary novel by Miles Franklin winning author Michelle de Kretser will strike to your soul I so much admire Michelle de Kretser s formidable technique her characters feel alive, and she can create a sweeping narrative which encompasses years, and yet still retain the sharp, almost hallucinatory detail Hilary Mantel Michelle de Kretser knows how to construct a gripping story She writes quickly and lightly of wonderful and terrible things A master storyteller A.S Byatt of those rare writers whose work balances substance with style Her writing is very witty, but it also goes deep, informed at every point by a benign and far reaching intelligence Kerryn Goldsworthy, Sydney Morning Herald a dazzlingly accomplished author who commands all the strokes Her repertoire stretches from a hallucinatory sense of place to a mastery of suspense, sophisticated verbal artistry and a formidable skill in navigating those twisty paths where history and psychology entwine Boyd Tonkin, Independent

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      Posted by:Michelle de Kretser
      Published :2019-01-08T08:59:54+00:00

    1 thought on “The Life to Come”

    1. “But imagination had nothing to do with reason: its promise of change came from the same hidden, tidal source as catastrophe and luck. It was a lever that would provide whatever shift Pippa required. There would be cracking open and mess; things would be different, if not necessarily better. After a while, life would return to its monotonous groove.”The Life To Come is the fifth full-length novel by award-winning Sri Lankan-born Australian author, Michelle de Kretser. This novel in five part [...]

    2. With glorious prose and masterful character development, this is a story about stories - the stories we tell ourselves about our own lives. The book is divided into five chapters, each focussing on a different character, at a different time, and locations including Sydney, Paris and Colombo. The common factor that ties them all together is a character named Pippa. And the really interesting thing about Pippa, apart from the fact that she's not very likeable, is that she really is a secondary cha [...]

    3. Loved this - an honest, funny and moving portrait of modern life. de Kretser's characters are often unlikable, but only because she's so unsparing in her portraits of them - every flaw goes under the microscope. It took me a while to settle into the structure, which jumps around in time a bit and shifts focus quite suddenly, but this really is an impressive achievement.

    4. Loved this to pieces - best thing I've read all year and the perfect antidote to some lightweight tosh I'd just read. It's snarkey, funny, pointed and compassionate and one of the great Sydney novels. A treat that deserves to be read again and again.

    5. I feel like I need to preface this by saying that Literary Fiction is typically not my thing. I was given this book as a Christmas present from a client so I wanted to get into it right away rather than forget about it on the shelf ;)de Krester is a talent and I did appreciate her writing and use of language. It just isn't a style that really grabbed me or commanded my attention. It is kind of like a book of short stories, with the concessional cross over of characters - except for Pippa who is [...]

    6. While I ended up enjoying this book, it took me a while to get into it. I found I had to reread sections just so I understood what was happening.

    7. The Life to Come is a novel that is very much open to the interpretation of each individual reader. More like five connected novellas instead of one continuous novel, Pippa is the anchor for all of them, a character I both loathed and loved in equal measure. Interestingly, upon reflection once I finished, I found that I liked Pippa best when I was in her story, the part called Pippa Passes. When viewed from each of the other character’s perspectives, I didn’t like her very much at all. I’m [...]

    8. I don't enjoy Michelle de Kretser's novels as novels. In that they are not enchanting stories that sweep across time and space to leave you panting, spent, and full of wonder.Instead, her books are marvellous insights into human nature, incisive views into culture. I recognised the most shameful parts of myself (and others!) over and over. De Kretser SEES our society, as an artist is meant to see: she pulls off the veil of hypocrisy and posturing, to uncover white Australia's poisonous attitudes [...]

    9. 4 1/2 stars rounded up. Such a joy to read!! So many triggers brought up forgotten errors of choice, speech, and identified so closely with one of the characters, it was scary!! It was almost as if I was on the page, and if Michelle had been MY neighbour , I too might have been excercisedReminds me : of apropos of nothing, this fabulous book :Read The Dark Flood Risesby Margaret DrabbleMaybe the extra 1/2 star is just for the glorious memories of a sparkling Sydney day, at the Harbour and surrou [...]

    10. At different times in our lives, we view the life to come in different ways.  Children and adolescents often yearn for a future where they are ‘grown up’ and can act with independence and agency; young adults with a mixture of confidence and trepidation anticipate a future with adventure or a career, hoping to have or do things that they think will bring satisfaction while also expecting eventually to find a loved one with whom to share their lives.  As the years go by, the antic [...]

    11. Don't read the blurb before reading this book! The blurb misrepresents the story and sets up an expectation that is not met. Comparing the blurb with the story bothered me for the first 300 pages. Then I suddenly let it go and got into the spirit of the book. The blurb introduces three characters but there is only one main character. Her name is Pippa and I found her difficult to like or to care about. Her flat mate George and her husband's family were far more interesting than her. I found it h [...]

    12. I found this a thoroughly engaging read. I couldn't wait to get back to it each time I had to put it aside. It's smart, politically engaged, timely and funny; a book for writers and for people who love books and especially for those with a particular interest in contemporary Australian society and Australian Literature.

    13. The Life to Come (Allen & Unwin Books 2017) is the latest novel by Australian author Michelle de Kretser, and as we have come to expect from this writer, it is another complex and intricate story with many intriguing layers and a cast of finely-drawn characters. I was fortunate to hear Michelle speak recently at an Avid Reader Bookshop event in Brisbane, and her thoughtful and intelligent consideration of her own writing – and of the Australian literary scene – were every bit as compelli [...]

    14. 4.5 stars from me. I thoroughly enjoy this book and de Kretser's wry observations of human behaviour. For me, this is a novel of manners for the new Millennium. I love the deceptively simple form which reveals so much about modern life. I enjoyed the structural technique of five essentially separate stories with the character of Pippa being the prevailing thread pervading each chapter. I really liked the way de Kretser explored how entrenched racism is in all cultures by providing examples as di [...]

    15. How shallow are we? Very, in this amazing and brilliantly written, and oft times comic satire of narcissism in the west.

    16. I loved where this book took me, so much so I wanted to start again when I finished, to go back and properly appreciate not just the writing but the vision. The only thing holding me back from the highest praise is the character Pippa, ostensibly the figure who binds the different sections of the book together. Simultaneously a satirical and inscrutable character - and that's no doubt the point - Pippa's own section and characterisation was comparatively thin. Again, probably deliberate, and I a [...]

    17. My response to this novel was very mixed. I usually don't like to have read the 'blurb' before I start a book but in this case, had I realised that it was a set of loosely connected narratives I would have been better prepared. As it was, I became interested in the characters in the first story, only to have them disappear - at least temporarily. Because I am a great admirer of de Kretser's work I think I also had expectations that were too high for this type of book to satisfy. The 'life to com [...]

    18. 3 1/2 stars from me. I really enjoyed the dark humour at the beginning of this novel and wished it had continued. Pippa was such an unpleasant character that I struggled through the cringe of her actions without this levity. These are certainly intense character portraits which simultaneously draw you in and repulse you.

    19. A brilliant observer and chronicler of people and their networks, inconsistencies and interactions. The book is divided into five sections which are quite distinct but connected by the character Pippa, who is sometimes central but at other times just passing through the lives presented within the section.De Kretser’s acerbic comments are often funny, sometimes harsh but quite honest, as she weaves her story through a couple of decades of Australian contemporary living and recent social changes [...]

    20. I really wanted to like this book but I just couldn’t. I know I am not enjoying a book when I just don’t care about any of the characters. I also found the jumping around from one subject to another quite distracting and It didn’t flow well for me. One of the few books I couldn’t finish.

    21. I was lucky enough to win this book from Allen & Unwin in a giveaway. It tells of relationships, insecurities, emotions and experiences through a number of different types of well-developed and engaging characters. The author has a lovely way with words with descriptive, sometimes quirky writing eg "Ash stood against a white wall like a prisoner about to be shot." Overall this was an enjoyable read focusing on characters and their relationships.

    22. While I really liked de Kretser's Questions of Travel I have to admit to struggling to read this one, I persevered mainly because I'd received a review copy from Text Publishing. The main reason has to be the lack of story, the book is tied together only by a loose linking of characters.Now I've finished and reflected on the book I can admire the writing, the style and referencing of the literary community both in Sydney and Paris, though none of this makes me love the book. The central characte [...]

    23. Thanks to and Allen & Unwin for the ARC. This was my first Michelle de Kretser, and I found it a lovely mediation on character and setting. The central character Pippa is set on a plinth and rotated, to be viewed from all angles by de Kretser's well-crafted prose. The evocations of Sri Lanka, Paris and Sydney ring true with sights, scents and sounds, but don't expect pace or a detailed plot. This is a delightful novel to meander through, streaked with humour, political commentary and reflec [...]

    24. I was really disappointed with this book as I have loved all the author’s previous novels. There did not seem to be any plot of any interest, and the characters seemed to have been created more as unlikable caricatures rather than reflecting real people. Somehow, the combination made me feel very uncomfortable, almost as if I, as the reader, was being treated with condescension and disdain which left me feeling angry. I have never had that reaction to a book before!

    25. This book seemed to be the most recommended on all those end-of-year lists of great reads by all the literary types, and received rave reviews in newspapers and journals.Thus does not always mean it suits my taste.I am so glad that I decided to overcome the memory of NOT enjoying de Krester’s last book, Questions of Travel, and follow the lead on this one. De Krester’s characters are never cosy - they don’t allow you to sit back and wallow in comfortable familiarity. They may seem familiar [...]

    26. This is a 4.5 for sure.I’m far too baby/sleep deprived to construct a review but (1) Pippas character was so much less interesting than those through which she was shown to us, I kept waiting for something more, whilst being fine with her western narcissism(eg I get that’s the point).(2) The final chapter felt really odd to me, it didn’t flow like the rest. I thought maybe focusing the final chapter ON Pippa would have worked better - it started to stray too far and wide.But SHIT! What wri [...]

    27. I won this book on a competition thanks to the publishers, Allen & Unwin, & author. I found the character based book a little confusing at times. It did not appear to be one story but a few stories about the different characters. The writing was very descriptive which I liked. There was many beautiful lines throughout the book and many great observations. The lack of any plots was disappointing and I found the book hard to get into.

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