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2 Burnside Literature- A to Z

The Confessions of Max Tivoli

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The Confessions of Max Tivoli Cover

ISBN13: 9780571220229
ISBN10: 0571220223
Condition:
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

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)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Max Tivoli is writing the story of his life. He is nearly seventy years old, but he looks as if he is only seven - for Max is ageing backwards. The tragedy of Max's life was to fall in love at seventeen with Alice, a girl his own age - but to her, Max looks like an unappealingly middle-aged man. However when Max reaches the age of thirty-five, with an appearance to match, he has his second chance at love. But tragedy befalls this star-crossed couple, and desperate measures are required.

Review:

"Heartrending...beautifully written...this is a rich and mesmerizing fable. Time will not reverse its impact." People (4-star critic's choice)

Review:

"The Confessions of Max Tivoli leaves its readers in much the same state as its narrator: bewildered by the sheer unlikely strangeness of life and feeling somehow both younger and wiser on that account." Chris Lehmann, The Washington Post

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:

"[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:

"[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:

"The Confessions of Max Tivoli is a wondrous novel, shimmering with simultaneous chords of sadness, loss and enchantment. The book also fascinates in its textured view of pre-quake San Francisco, a city of 'gilt-edged gas lamps and velvet walls.' [Greer has] arrived, brilliantly, with an unforgettable novel." Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"Enchanting....Like Proust, Greer presents life as essentially a solitude, an ever-renewed exile from the present, a shifting set of gorgeous mirages that nothing but descriptive genius can hold fast. Max writes, 'Life is short, and full of sorrows, and I loved it.' His poignantly awry existence, set out with such a wealth of verbal flourishes and gilded touches, serves as a heightened version of the strangeness, the muted disharmony, of being human." John Updike, The New Yorker

Synopsis:

Max Tivoli is writing the story of his life. He is nearly seventy years old, but he looks as if he is only seven - for Max is ageing backwards. The tragedy of Max's life was to fall in love at seventeen with Alice, a girl his own age - but to her, Max looks like an unappealingly middle-aged man. However when Max reaches the age of thirty-five, with an appearance to match, he has his second chance at love. But tragedy befalls this star-crossed couple, and desperate measures are required.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Igal, May 23, 2007 (view all comments by Igal)
It's not often we get a second chance at something important, but protagonist Max Tivoli, born in the latter half of the 19th century, gets three tries at Alice, the love of his life, first as a stand-in for her deceased father, then as her husband, and finally as her adopted son. This is because Max has an exceedingly rare condition: his body ages backwards. Max's obsession with Alice and his desire to keep his secret obliterate everything else in his life. Family, friends, other lovers, the idea that he might do something with the time allotted to him than pursue this one woman, and many of his other needs, all must suffer to make room for the one insatiable need to be with Alice.

Greer does veer into melodrama and purplish prose in his account of how wisdom is not necessarily granted to anyone by default, no matter what their experience of the world, but this is a first-person account and so we are experiencing Max's sentimentality, Max's oddly apolitical soul, and Max's simplistic and sometimes blind approach to life. Some of Greer's writing is absolutely beautiful and moving, literature in the best sense, and a little will make you cringe, but that may be the intended effect.

Overall an original and worthwhile novel.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(7 of 15 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780571220229
Author:
Greer, Andrew Sean
Publisher:
Libri
Binding:
TRADE PAPER

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Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Confessions of Max Tivoli Sale Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.98 In Stock
Product details pages MACMILLAN PUBLISHING SERVICES - English 9780571220229 Reviews:
"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" by , "Heartrending...beautifully written...this is a rich and mesmerizing fable. Time will not reverse its impact."
"Review" by , "The Confessions of Max Tivoli leaves its readers in much the same state as its narrator: bewildered by the sheer unlikely strangeness of life and feeling somehow both younger and wiser on that account."
"Review" by , "Resplendently poetic and loftily sorrowing....Enchanting, in the perfumed, dandified style of disenchantment brought to grandeur by Proust and Nabokov."
"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 , "[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 , "The Confessions of Max Tivoli is a wondrous novel, shimmering with simultaneous chords of sadness, loss and enchantment. The book also fascinates in its textured view of pre-quake San Francisco, a city of 'gilt-edged gas lamps and velvet walls.' [Greer has] arrived, brilliantly, with an unforgettable novel."
"Review" by , "Enchanting....Like Proust, Greer presents life as essentially a solitude, an ever-renewed exile from the present, a shifting set of gorgeous mirages that nothing but descriptive genius can hold fast. Max writes, 'Life is short, and full of sorrows, and I loved it.' His poignantly awry existence, set out with such a wealth of verbal flourishes and gilded touches, serves as a heightened version of the strangeness, the muted disharmony, of being human."
"Synopsis" by , Max Tivoli is writing the story of his life. He is nearly seventy years old, but he looks as if he is only seven - for Max is ageing backwards. The tragedy of Max's life was to fall in love at seventeen with Alice, a girl his own age - but to her, Max looks like an unappealingly middle-aged man. However when Max reaches the age of thirty-five, with an appearance to match, he has his second chance at love. But tragedy befalls this star-crossed couple, and desperate measures are required.
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