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The Confessions of Max Tivoli

by

The Confessions of Max Tivoli Cover

ISBN13: 9780312423810
ISBN10: 0312423810
Condition: Underlined
All Product Details

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Awards

A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2004
A Chicago Tribune Best Book of 2004
A Newsday Favorite Book of 2004
A Miami Herald Noteworthy Book of 2004
A Christian Science Monitor Noteworthy Book of 2004
A Bookmarks Magazine Favorite Book of 2004
A Newcity Chicago Top 5 Book of 2004
A Journal News Best Book of 2004

Staff Pick

In this novel a boy is born with the physical features of a seventy-year-old man and is doomed to spend his life aging mentally while his body marches backwards and becomes younger and younger. The emotional honesty transcends the implausible plot line and creates a beautiful story about what it is to be human — an amazing, memorable read.
Recommended by Danielle, Powells.com

Review-A-Day

"The secret to Greer's success in Max Tivoli is his delightfully overwrought voice, his willingness to luxuriate in Victorian conceits of self-pity, love, and confession. For a modern author, it requires balancing on the razor's edge between parody and profundity, and Greer sways precariously between the two in a way that makes it impossible to take your eyes off him." Ron Charles, The Christian Science Book Monitor (read the entire Christian Science Monitor Review)

"The Confessions of Max Tivoli is a mediation on the body as a stranger, as a betrayer: 'I was never going to be safe in my body again; I would be stumbling until I died. I was becoming a child.' This devastating, heartbreaking novel, written in the lush, velvet-tongued voice of the damned, is an astonishment." Adrienne Miller, Esquire (read the entire Esquire review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

An extraordinarily haunting love story told in the voice of a man who appears to age backwards.

We are each the love of someone's life.

So begins The Confessions of Max Tivoli, a heartbreaking love story with a narrator like no other. At his birth, Max's father declares him a "nisse," a creature of Danish myth, as his baby son has the external physical appearance of an old, dying creature. Max grows older like any child, but his physical age appears to go backward — on the outside a very old man, but inside still a fearful child.

The story is told in three acts. First, young Max falls in love with a neighborhood girl, Alice, who ages as normally as any of us. Max, of course, does not; as a young man, he has an older man's body. But his curse is also his blessing: as he gets older, his body grows younger, so each successive time he finds his Alice, she does not recognize him. She takes him for a stranger, and Max is given another chance at love.

Set against the historical backdrop of San Francisco at the turn of the twentieth century, Max's life and confessions question the very nature of time, of appearance and reality, and of love itself. A beautiful and daring feat of the imagination, The Confessions of Max Tivoli reveals the world through the eyes of a "monster," a being who confounds the very certainties by which we live and in doing so embodies in extremis what it means to be human.

Review:

"Greer...writes marvelously nuanced prose; with its turn-of-the-century lilt and poetic flashes, it is the perfect medium for this weird, mesmerizing and heartbreaking tale." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

Review:

"[T]he delights are many, among them gossamer prose, vivid characterization, and historic snapshots of a fabulous American city. Old-fashioned narrative fun in a literary hall of mirrors." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Resplendently poetic and loftily sorrowing....Enchanting, in the perfumed, dandified style of disenchantment brought to grandeur by Proust and Nabokov." John Updike, The New Yorker

Review:

"Max's narrative...becomes a deeply poignant and mature commentary on life that strums the heartstrings again and again. It's positively captivating." Paula Luedtke, Booklist

Review:

"[A] serious work of literature, written with a precision of language and a depth of feeling that doesn't simply belie the book's quirky premise, it transforms it, elevates it from what could have been just another clever idea to a profound meditation on life, love and the inevitability of growing old....[Greer's near-flawless prose] often reads like poetry; the cadence and imagery create feelings more than simply describe them....Max Tivoli is entertaining and engaging enough to rival any fun, lighthearted fantasy paperback, while also so poetic, and so powerful, that it should please the most particular literary critic." Christopher Farah, Salon.com

Review:

"Max may be a monster, but he is a profoundly human one, a creature whose unusual disorder, far from making him a freak to be wondered at, simply magnifies his normal and recognizable emotions, sharpening their poignancy." Gary Krist, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"[S]tellar....[A] novel whose structure resembles one of those earthquake-sound buildings, the kind with just enough play between the pillars to sway instead of cracking." San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"Greer...never pushes the natural sentiment of the story over the edge into treacle. He thus transforms an idea that could very easily have been a mere novelty into something surprisingly and genuinely affecting." Library Journal

Review:

"With its evocative turn-of-the-century San Francisco setting, The Confessions of Max Tivoli is a strikingly original and beautifully told story that offers a fresh perspective on questions of love and age." BookPage

Synopsis:

A beautiful and daring feat of the imagination, The Confessions of Max Tivoli reveals the world through the eyes of "monster," a being who confounds the very certainties by which people live and in doing so embodies in extremis what it means to be human.

Synopsis:

"We are each the love of someone's life." So begins "The Confessions of Max Tivoli,"

a heartbreaking love story with a narrator like no other.

Born with the physical appearance of an elderly man, Max grows older mentally like any child, but his body appears to age backwards, growing younger every year. And yet, his physical curse proves to be a blessing, allowing him to try to win the heart of the same woman three times as at each successive encounter she fails to recognize him, taking him for a stranger, so giving Max another chance at love.

Set against the historical backdrop of San Francisco at the turn of the twentieth century," The Confessions of Max Tivoli "is a beautiful and daring feat of the imagination, questioning the very nature of love, time, and what it means to be human.

NATIONAL BESTSELLER * TODAY SHOW PICK

"Enchanting"--John Updike, "The New Yorker"

"Devastating, heartbreaking...an astonishment."--"Esquire "

"****"--"People"

"Quietly dazzling...keenly affecting."--"The New York Times Book Review"

"This year's break-out novel."--"Entertainment Weekly "

"A devastating new writer"-Michael Cunningham

"A fable of surpassing gravity and beauty."--"San Francisco Chronicle "

"One of the most talented writers around."--Michael Chabon

"Elegant and graceful."--"Miami Herald "

"Brilliantly conceived."--"Los Angeles Times"

"A breath-taking love story...a profound meditation on life."--"Salon.com "

"A writer of great daring and originality."--Peter Carey

"It leaves its readers ...both younger and wiser."--"Washington Post"

"What's most impressive about Greer's work is the emotional intensity...and the deep beauty ofhis prose"--"The Atlanta Journal Constitution "

"This is the kind of book that makes you laugh out loud, write notes in the margins and shed tears onto its pages."--Neil LaBute

"Surprisingly and genuinely affecting."--"Library Journal "

"Strikingly original and beautifully told."--"Bookpage "

"Weird and wonderful...Ýa¨ deft new modern master."--"Elle.com "

"ÝIt¨ strums the heartstrings again and again...positively captivating."--"Booklist"

"Mesmerizing and heartbreaking."--"Publishers Weekly"

"The delights are many....old-fashioned narrative fun in a literary hall of mirrors."

--"Kirkus Review "

"A mythic, Proustian romance...a brilliant story."--"The Times" (London)

Andrew Sean Greer is the author of the story collection "How It Was for M"e (Picador) and most recently a novel, "The Path of Minor Planets" (Picador). He lives in San Francisco.


Synopsis:

"We are each the love of someone's life." So begins The Confessions of Max Tivoli,

a heartbreaking love story with a narrator like no other.

Born with the physical appearance of an elderly man, Max grows older mentally like any child, but his body appears to age backwards, growing younger every year. And yet, his physical curse proves to be a blessing, allowing him to try to win the heart of the same woman three times as at each successive encounter she fails to recognize him, taking him for a stranger, so giving Max another chance at love.

Set against the historical backdrop of San Francisco at the turn of the twentieth century, The Confessions of Max Tivoli is a beautiful and daring feat of the imagination, questioning the very nature of love, time, and what it means to be human.

About the Author

Andrew Sean Greer was born in 1970 in Washington, DC, the son of two scientists. He studied writing with Robert Coover and Edmund White at Brown University, where he was the Commencement Speaker at his own graduation in 1992. After years in New York working as a chauffeur, theater tech, television extra and unsuccesful writer, he moved to Missoula, MT, where he received his MFA from the University of Montana. He then moved to Seattle, and two years later to San Francisco. He began to publish in magazines such as Esquire, The Paris Review and Story before releasing a collection of his stories, How It Was for Me. His first novel, The Path of Minor Planets, was published to much acclaim in October of 2001, and his second book, The Confessions of Max Tivoli, came out in February 2004 with FSG. Upon publication, John Updike compared his work to Proust and Nabokov in The New Yorker; in the Netherlands, reviewers have mentioned Kafka and Gogol; a dozen other translations are forthcoming. He lives in San Francisco. His identical twin brother, Michael Greer, is also a writer.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

exjerseygirl, January 1, 2010 (view all comments by exjerseygirl)
When I saw the trailer for"Benjamin Button", I thought more than a little of the plot was lifted from this book. A poetic, beautifully written story about a man who ages backward from old age to youth and loves and loses the same woman, again and again. As a child, he meets and falls in love with the young girl he will love the rest of his life, meeting her two more times over the years, only once when they seem to be close in age and can be together. A sad meditation on love and friendship that will stay with you.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
marypoint, June 23, 2009 (view all comments by marypoint)
Intriguing - great flow - love the language choice
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780312423810
Author:
Greer, Andrew Sean
Publisher:
Picador USA
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Historical
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
February 1, 2005
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8.29 x 5.44 x 0.81 in

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Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Fantasy » General
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture

The Confessions of Max Tivoli Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$3.95 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Picador USA - English 9780312423810 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

In this novel a boy is born with the physical features of a seventy-year-old man and is doomed to spend his life aging mentally while his body marches backwards and becomes younger and younger. The emotional honesty transcends the implausible plot line and creates a beautiful story about what it is to be human — an amazing, memorable read.

"Review A Day" by , "The secret to Greer's success in Max Tivoli is his delightfully overwrought voice, his willingness to luxuriate in Victorian conceits of self-pity, love, and confession. For a modern author, it requires balancing on the razor's edge between parody and profundity, and Greer sways precariously between the two in a way that makes it impossible to take your eyes off him." (read the entire Christian Science Monitor Review)
"Review A Day" by , "The Confessions of Max Tivoli is a mediation on the body as a stranger, as a betrayer: 'I was never going to be safe in my body again; I would be stumbling until I died. I was becoming a child.' This devastating, heartbreaking novel, written in the lush, velvet-tongued voice of the damned, is an astonishment." (read the entire Esquire review)
"Review" by , "Greer...writes marvelously nuanced prose; with its turn-of-the-century lilt and poetic flashes, it is the perfect medium for this weird, mesmerizing and heartbreaking tale."
"Review" by , "[T]he delights are many, among them gossamer prose, vivid characterization, and historic snapshots of a fabulous American city. Old-fashioned narrative fun in a literary hall of mirrors."
"Review" by , "Resplendently poetic and loftily sorrowing....Enchanting, in the perfumed, dandified style of disenchantment brought to grandeur by Proust and Nabokov."
"Review" by , "Max's narrative...becomes a deeply poignant and mature commentary on life that strums the heartstrings again and again. It's positively captivating."
"Review" by , "[A] serious work of literature, written with a precision of language and a depth of feeling that doesn't simply belie the book's quirky premise, it transforms it, elevates it from what could have been just another clever idea to a profound meditation on life, love and the inevitability of growing old....[Greer's near-flawless prose] often reads like poetry; the cadence and imagery create feelings more than simply describe them....Max Tivoli is entertaining and engaging enough to rival any fun, lighthearted fantasy paperback, while also so poetic, and so powerful, that it should please the most particular literary critic."
"Review" by , "Max may be a monster, but he is a profoundly human one, a creature whose unusual disorder, far from making him a freak to be wondered at, simply magnifies his normal and recognizable emotions, sharpening their poignancy."
"Review" by , "[S]tellar....[A] novel whose structure resembles one of those earthquake-sound buildings, the kind with just enough play between the pillars to sway instead of cracking."
"Review" by , "Greer...never pushes the natural sentiment of the story over the edge into treacle. He thus transforms an idea that could very easily have been a mere novelty into something surprisingly and genuinely affecting."
"Review" by , "With its evocative turn-of-the-century San Francisco setting, The Confessions of Max Tivoli is a strikingly original and beautifully told story that offers a fresh perspective on questions of love and age."
"Synopsis" by , A beautiful and daring feat of the imagination, The Confessions of Max Tivoli reveals the world through the eyes of "monster," a being who confounds the very certainties by which people live and in doing so embodies in extremis what it means to be human.
"Synopsis" by , "We are each the love of someone's life." So begins "The Confessions of Max Tivoli,"

a heartbreaking love story with a narrator like no other.

Born with the physical appearance of an elderly man, Max grows older mentally like any child, but his body appears to age backwards, growing younger every year. And yet, his physical curse proves to be a blessing, allowing him to try to win the heart of the same woman three times as at each successive encounter she fails to recognize him, taking him for a stranger, so giving Max another chance at love.

Set against the historical backdrop of San Francisco at the turn of the twentieth century," The Confessions of Max Tivoli "is a beautiful and daring feat of the imagination, questioning the very nature of love, time, and what it means to be human.

NATIONAL BESTSELLER * TODAY SHOW PICK

"Enchanting"--John Updike, "The New Yorker"

"Devastating, heartbreaking...an astonishment."--"Esquire "

"****"--"People"

"Quietly dazzling...keenly affecting."--"The New York Times Book Review"

"This year's break-out novel."--"Entertainment Weekly "

"A devastating new writer"-Michael Cunningham

"A fable of surpassing gravity and beauty."--"San Francisco Chronicle "

"One of the most talented writers around."--Michael Chabon

"Elegant and graceful."--"Miami Herald "

"Brilliantly conceived."--"Los Angeles Times"

"A breath-taking love story...a profound meditation on life."--"Salon.com "

"A writer of great daring and originality."--Peter Carey

"It leaves its readers ...both younger and wiser."--"Washington Post"

"What's most impressive about Greer's work is the emotional intensity...and the deep beauty ofhis prose"--"The Atlanta Journal Constitution "

"This is the kind of book that makes you laugh out loud, write notes in the margins and shed tears onto its pages."--Neil LaBute

"Surprisingly and genuinely affecting."--"Library Journal "

"Strikingly original and beautifully told."--"Bookpage "

"Weird and wonderful...Ýa¨ deft new modern master."--"Elle.com "

"ÝIt¨ strums the heartstrings again and again...positively captivating."--"Booklist"

"Mesmerizing and heartbreaking."--"Publishers Weekly"

"The delights are many....old-fashioned narrative fun in a literary hall of mirrors."

--"Kirkus Review "

"A mythic, Proustian romance...a brilliant story."--"The Times" (London)

Andrew Sean Greer is the author of the story collection "How It Was for M"e (Picador) and most recently a novel, "The Path of Minor Planets" (Picador). He lives in San Francisco.


"Synopsis" by ,
"We are each the love of someone's life." So begins The Confessions of Max Tivoli,

a heartbreaking love story with a narrator like no other.

Born with the physical appearance of an elderly man, Max grows older mentally like any child, but his body appears to age backwards, growing younger every year. And yet, his physical curse proves to be a blessing, allowing him to try to win the heart of the same woman three times as at each successive encounter she fails to recognize him, taking him for a stranger, so giving Max another chance at love.

Set against the historical backdrop of San Francisco at the turn of the twentieth century, The Confessions of Max Tivoli is a beautiful and daring feat of the imagination, questioning the very nature of love, time, and what it means to be human.

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