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The Man Who Saw Everything
Cover of The Man Who Saw Everything
The Man Who Saw Everything
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***LONGLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE 2019***

Brought to you by Penguin.

Electrifying and audacious, an unmissable new novel about old and new Europe, old and new love, from the twice-Man Booker-shortlisted author of Hot Milk and Swimming Home
'The man who had nearly run me over had touched my hair, as if he were touching a statue or something without a heartbeat...'
In 1988 Saul Adler (a narcissistic, young historian) is hit by a car on the Abbey Road. He is apparently fine; he gets up and goes to see his art student girlfriend, Jennifer Moreau. They have sex then break up, but not before she has photographed Saul crossing the same Abbey Road.
Saul leaves to study in communist East Berlin, two months before the Wall comes down. There he will encounter - significantly - both his assigned translator and his translator's sister, who swears she has seen a jaguar prowling the city. He will fall in love and brood upon his difficult, authoritarian father. And he will befriend a hippy, Rainer, who may or may not be a Stasi agent, but will certainly return to haunt him in middle age.
Slipping slyly between time zones and leaving a spiralling trail, Deborah Levy's electrifying The Man Who Saw Everything examines what we see and what we fail to see, the grave crime of carelessness, the weight of history and our ruinous attempts to shrug it off.
'Levy writes on the high wire, unfalteringly' Marina Warner

***LONGLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE 2019***

Brought to you by Penguin.

Electrifying and audacious, an unmissable new novel about old and new Europe, old and new love, from the twice-Man Booker-shortlisted author of Hot Milk and Swimming Home
'The man who had nearly run me over had touched my hair, as if he were touching a statue or something without a heartbeat...'
In 1988 Saul Adler (a narcissistic, young historian) is hit by a car on the Abbey Road. He is apparently fine; he gets up and goes to see his art student girlfriend, Jennifer Moreau. They have sex then break up, but not before she has photographed Saul crossing the same Abbey Road.
Saul leaves to study in communist East Berlin, two months before the Wall comes down. There he will encounter - significantly - both his assigned translator and his translator's sister, who swears she has seen a jaguar prowling the city. He will fall in love and brood upon his difficult, authoritarian father. And he will befriend a hippy, Rainer, who may or may not be a Stasi agent, but will certainly return to haunt him in middle age.
Slipping slyly between time zones and leaving a spiralling trail, Deborah Levy's electrifying The Man Who Saw Everything examines what we see and what we fail to see, the grave crime of carelessness, the weight of history and our ruinous attempts to shrug it off.
'Levy writes on the high wire, unfalteringly' Marina Warner

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Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from August 19, 2019
    Booker Prize–finalist Levy (Hot Milk) explores the fragile connections and often vast chasms between self and others in this playful, destabilizing, and consistently surprising novel. The book’s first half, set in late 1988, unfolds fairly straightforwardly as young historian Saul Adler, living in London, prepares to travel to communist East Berlin to conduct academic research in exchange for writing a complimentary piece about East Germany’s economic miracle. He asks his girlfriend, a talented photographer, to take his photo in the famed Abbey Road crosswalk, as a gift for the Beatles-obsessed sister of his German translator. But as he crosses the road, he is hit by a car—and in many ways, his trip, and perhaps his entire life, changes course. In Germany, Saul both falls in love with and later betrays his translator, Walter, even as he suspects Walter is implicated in the East German surveillance machine. Jump forward to 2016, and another car accident in the same crosswalk upends everything the reader (not to mention Saul himself) has come to expect up to that point. The novel’s first half may read like a fairly conventional portrait of a narcissistic young man intent on sabotaging his romantic relationships, but the second half is both impressionistic and profound, interrogating divisions between East and West, past and present, fact and fiction, and even life and death. The greatest divide Levy plumbs, however, is the one between the self and other, as Saul reluctantly acknowledges both his culpability in his own life’s tragedies and his insignificance in others’ narratives. Levy’s novel brilliantly explores the parallels between personal and political history, and prompts questions about how one sees oneself—and what others see.

  • AudioFile Magazine Narrator George Blagden maintains a consistently calm tone as he takes listeners through all the uncertainties and dualities in this mesmerizing and addictive audiobook. The story shifts between two time periods: 1988 and 2016. Nothing is quite what it seems, and listeners do not know who or what is reliable. Employing subtle American, English, and German accents and quietly expressive tonal variations, Blagden creates original and compelling characters. The story revolves around Saul Adler, a historian. Saul is a bit of a cipher, but Blagden fully expresses his vulnerabilities and confusion. Themes of self-image, beauty, gender fluidity, fatherhood, and carelessness in relationships are explored in this intriguing listen. M.J. � AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine
  • Daily Telegraph An utterly beguiling fever dream of a novel... Its sheer technical bravura places it head and shoulder above pretty much everything else on the [Booker] longlist
  • Independent Writing so beautiful it stops the reader on the page
  • Sunday Telegraph A time-bending, location-hopping tale of love, truth and the power of seeing... Increasingly surreal and thoroughly gripping
  • New Statesman One of the big stories in English fiction this decade has been the return and triumph of Deborah Levy... You would call her example inspiring if it weren't clearly impossible to emulate
  • Mail on Sunday Charged with themes spanning memory and mortality, beauty and time, it's as electrifying as it is mysterious
  • Financial Times Intelligent and supple...a dizzying tale of life across time and borders
  • Evening Standard It's clever, raw and doesn't play by any rules
  • Kirkus (Starred review) Superbly crafted, enigmatic, tantalizing... Levy defies gravity in a daring, time-bending new novel... Head-spinning and playful, her writing offers sophistication and delightful artistry
  • Publishers Weekly Best Books 2019 One of the best books I have ever read
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    Penguin Books Ltd
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The Man Who Saw Everything
The Man Who Saw Everything
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