The Confessions of Max Tivoli

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9780571220229: The Confessions of Max Tivoli

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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Review:

Out of the womb in 1871, Max Tivoli looked to all the world like a tiny 70-year-old man. But inside the aged body was an infant. Victim of a rare disease, Max grows physically younger as his mind matures. In Andrew Sean Greer's finely crafted novel, The Confessions of Max Tivoli, Max narrates his life story from the vantage point of his late fifties, though his body is that of a 12-year-old boy. He has known since a young age that he is destined to die at 70, and he wears a golden "1941" as a constant reminder of the year he will finally perish in an infant form. His mother, a Carolina belle concerned over her son's troubling appearance, curses Max with "The Rule": "Be what they think you are." Max fails to keep this Rule only a handful of times in his life, but it is the burden of living by it that wounds him and slowly alienates him from the people he loves.

Over Max's narration of the preceding decades of his life, he offers outsider's snapshots of San Francisco and all of America across the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Throughout, Greer uses the literary device of reverse aging to interrogate the evolution of social conventions, the finitude of a human life, and the decay of memory. Max wants love. But his curse destines him to deception. He loses his wife, Alice, changes his name, and remains hidden from his own son to keep his true identity secret. Only his lifelong friend, Hughie, stands by Max and can see the person inside the anachronistic body. Like the best science fiction and myth, the novel uses its central conceit to reveal human prejudice and explode all assumptions of normalcy to profound effect.

Love is a destructive force in The Confessions of Max Tivoli. But Greer recognizes that in the failure of love is also hope. He artfully captures Max's fragile world with a delicacy that never crosses into sentimentality but also avoids the monumental scale of tragedy. As Max says near the end of the novel, "It is a brave and stupid thing, a beautiful thing to waste ones life for love." A journey with Max, while brave and beautiful, is hardly a waste. --Patrick O'Kelley

From the Inside Flap:

"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 of his 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...[a] deft new modern master."--Elle.com
"[It] 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 Me (Picador) and most recently a novel, The Path of Minor Planets (Picador). He lives in San Francisco.

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Descripción FABER FABER, United Kingdom, 2005. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Main.. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Nº de ref. de la librería AA99780571220229

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Descripción FABER FABER, United Kingdom, 2005. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Main.. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Nº de ref. de la librería AA99780571220229

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Descripción Faber and Faber, 2005. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. No.1 BESTSELLERS - great prices, friendly customer service â€" all orders are dispatched next working day. Nº de ref. de la librería mon0000433097

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