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The Beginner's Goodbye [Kindle Edition]

Anne Tyler
4.5 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (4 Kundenrezensionen)

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The work of an artist at the peak of her powers... a brilliantly observed and mercifully unsentimental examination of the emotional arc of grief (Sarah Vine The Times)

Tyler strips away layers of everyday life to reveal the abyss of pain underneath but does so with such skill and sparkling wit it makes this a real celebration of life (Vanessa Berridge Daily Express)

This is what Tyler does better than almost any contemporary writer. She peers at the forgotten areas of the everyday, the bits that are hard to pinpoint, yet make up the bulk of our relationships. And this, ultimately, is why she is such a satisfying writer: she looks at people - at life - from the inside out (Lucy Atkins Sunday Times)

A simple, subtle and really honest account of how one man, Aaron, deals with the darkly comic death of his dumpy, clever and brilliant wife Dorothy... I finished it in one sitting (Alix Walker Stylist)

A perfectly judged and brilliantly executed novel of loss and recovery (Woman & Home)


“An absolute charmer of a novel about grief, healing, and the transcendent power of love . . . With sparkling prose and undeniable charm, Tyler gets at the beating heart of what it means to lose someone, to say goodbye, and to realize how we are all, perhaps, always ultimate beginners in the complex business of life . . . A dazzling meditation on marriage, community, and redemption.” Boston Globe

“A pleasure to read . . . Classic Tyler . . . The wonder of Anne Tyler is how consistently clear-eyed and truthful she remains about the nature of families and especially marriage.” Los Angeles Times

“Like a modern Jane Austen, Tyler creates small worlds where she depicts in minutest detail the intimate bonds of friendship and family.” USA Today
“Anne Tyler is one of our national treasures, and The Beginner’s Goodbye puts all of her skills on display: her warmth and wit, her generous embrace of her flawed characters, her clear-eyed observations about the inner workings of a marriage and the enduring bonds between brothers and sisters, husbands and wives.” —Jennifer Weiner
The Beginner’s Goodbye is the purest distillation of an Anne Tyler novel imaginable.” San Francisco Chronicle

“Anne Tyler has no peer. Her books just keep getting better and better. In The Beginner’s Goodbye, I was surprised, intrigued, and delighted at every turn.”  —Anita Shreve

“Anne Tyler never disappoints . . . Her insights about life, love, aging, marriage, siblings, grief, and unexpected happiness grow richer and deeper with each passing year and book.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“Over five decades of exuberant shape-shifting across the fictional landscape, Anne Tyler has cut the steady swath of a literary stalwart, writing novel after novel whose most memorable characters inhabit a cosmos all their own . . . What makes each story distinctive is the particular way its characters rebel against hereditary confines, cope with fateful crises, or forge relationships with new acquaintances who rock their world . . . Once again, Tyler exhibits her genius for the incisive, savory portrayal of marriage.” —Julia Glass, New York Times Book Review 
“This is what Tyler does better than almost any contemporary writer. She peers at the forgotten areas of the everyday, the bits that are hard to pinpoint, yet make up the bulk of our lives and relationships. And this, ultimately, is why she is such a satisfying writer: she looks at people—at life—from the inside out. This is a book not just about grief, but about hope . . . The Beginner’s Goodbye is diverting, certainly, but also deeply rewarding. There is, in short, no guilt in the pleasure of a new Tyler. We can only hope for many, many more.” Sunday Times (UK)

“Beautifully intricate. By the exquisitely romantic emotional climax, Aaron’s ordinary life has bloomed into an opera.” Entertainment Weekly
“Its insights will keep you up nights.  . . . Ranks high in the hierarchy of Tyler’s works. And what a lineup that is.” Chicago Tribune
“Warm, smart, deliciously written.” More magazine
“As always, Pulitzer Prize winner Tyler brilliantly explores a stunning range of human emotion, poignantly considering the challenges of death while creating lovable characters whose foibles capture our hearts. Essential reading.” Library Journal
“One of the things that makes Tyler’s work so radiant is that she seems to believe that people are inherently good and that, thanks to that goodness, ordinary lives can contain moments of great beauty, dignity, and hope. The Beginner’s Goodbye has all three . . . [Told] with characteristic warmth, sympathy and wisdom.” Daily Telegraph (UK)

“A scintillating gem of a novel . . . Exceptionally lithe and sparkling . . . A funny, sweet, and wise tale of lost and found love.” Booklist (starred)
“Elegant . . . An uplifting tale of love and forgiveness. By the end of this wonderful book, you’ve lived the lives and loves of these characters in the best possible way.” Publishers Weekly (starred, Pick of the Week)
“Anne Tyler writes about real life, and in common with the finest fiction writers, such as William Trevor and Alice Munro, she does not engage with fantasy, as she is well aware that the ordinary is sufficiently bizarre . . . She is effortless, wise yet never knowing, and establishes a sense of having thought deeply about the given facts of any story . . . She is also sympathetic without being sentimental . . . Yet again she has articulated the supreme difficulties of human communication in a calmly insightful exploration of love and truth, grief and reality.” Irish Times 


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 1789 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 209 Seiten
  • Verlag: Vintage Digital (5. April 2012)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Nicht aktiviert
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.5 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (4 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #128.207 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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2 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Anne Tyler ist wahrlich kein "Beginner"! 4. September 2012
Von Alex
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Als bekennender Anne Tyler-Fan habe ich schon längere Zeit auf ein neues Buch der Autorin gewartet. Zu Beginn der Lektüre beschlich mich vorübergehend die Befürchtung, dies wäre nun zu meinem Leidwesen mal ein Werk, das nicht als gelungen oder unterhalb ihres Niveaus zu bezeichnen wäre. Ich hatte Angst Aaron, die Hauptfigur des Romans, könne einfach ein Abklatsch von bereits besser in anderen Romanen gezeichneter Sonderlinge oder Eigenbrötler sein. Aber recht bald wurde mir klar, dass hier durchaus ein neues Thema aufgegriffen wurde, entwickelt in der der Autorin eigenen, subtilen Weise .

Aaron verliert durch einen tragischen Unfall seine Ehefrau und durchläuft einen schmerzhaften Prozess der Trauerarbeit, des "Goodbye". Während wir Aaron dabei als Leser begleiten, wird durch Rückblicke klar, dass die Ehe gar nicht so rosig war und die verstorbene Ehefrau, wie sicher auch Aaron selbst, eine nicht gerade einnehmend liebenswerte Person gewesen zu sein schien. Ein gelegenliches "Auftauchen" der Verstorbenen (was ich übrigens in keiner Weise als Versuch des Einbringens irgendeines parapsychologischen Phänomens verstanden habe) und die damit einhergehenden Dialoge mit der "Erschienenen" helfen Aaron langsam immer mehr Klarheit und Abstand zu gewinnen. Er kann endlich Abschied nehmen.

Auf der Rückseite des Buches befand sich ein Kommentar des Daily Mail zu diesem Roman, der meines Erachtens aufs Trefflichste ausdrückt, was für diese Geschichte gilt, aber eigentlich auch für alle anderen Tyler-Werke:
"Out of this everyday material she spins gold".
Sie braucht keine raffinierten Handlungen, das Alltägliche ist ihr bedeutsam genug und sie schafft es hervorragend, diese scheinbaren Banalitäten des Lebens absolut lesenswert und fesselnd zu erzählen.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Touching, easy read 12. Januar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
Slightly predictable, but an enjoyable, comforting read. The characters are well-defined and believable. The ending is just as one would want.
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1 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Anne Tyler enttaeuscht nie 30. April 2013
Von Frau
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
Eine kurze, sehr humorvolle Geschichte mit ueberraschendem Ende, ich habe das Buch sehr schnell ausgelesen, es lest sich sehr fluessig und hat mir gut gefallen.
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1 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen enjoyable 22. Juni 2012
Von Audrey
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
A typical Anne Tyler novel! The main character became gradually more interesting and likeable and the story more believable even though personally I am very sceptical about anything to do with "ghosts" and the like. Why did he have to be physically handicapped?
War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?
Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.1 von 5 Sternen  368 Rezensionen
86 von 90 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Tyler at her best 5. März 2012
Von Pasiphae - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
I have been reading Ann Tyler since 1979, and this is one of her best, a gentle portrait of grief and longing.

The plot synopsis is simple: Aaron's wife Dorothy dies, and as he works through his grief, he thinks he sees her now and then. That's really all there is to it. The charm of the book lies in its ability to mine the richness of everyday life for moments of pain, humor and illumination.

Aaron, a man with physical handicaps, has been fending off the care of others for most of his life. As a result he's had a mostly regular life. When he meets Dorothy, a stolid, socially clueless doctor eight or nine years his senior, he falls in immediate, dumbstruck love. I just couldn't get enough of how Aaron loved his wife, I adored his descriptions of her every little detail, the way he cherished up her looks, her plain wardrobe, her untidy ways and her blunt manner of expression. It made his pain so very real.

Aaron's life is full of whimsical, endearing people. He really is beloved, even though he prefers to push people away rather than admit to his pain. Having watched a widower work through the loss of a wife, I recognized Aaron's avoidance, his business for business's sake, the way he worked much harder at denying his grief than processing it. This is realistic, I think.

But of course, since this is an Anne Tyler book, he's going to work through it, because Tyler always gives her characters the room to change, learn, grow and find happiness. This is one of the reasons I love to read her. This is a spare little book, but it is fully realized and completely satisfying.

Very highly recommended.
114 von 122 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Gentle, moving story of grief and loss 6. März 2012
Von Sophia - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
Aaron is a thirtysomething book publisher. Disabled after a childhood illness, he grew up resisting the well-meaning, overprotective urges of his strong-willed mother and sister. Then, he meets Dorothy, a doctor, who has no interest in coddling him. They fall in love and establish a warm, workable marriage - until, one day, the unthinkable happens. A tree crashes into their house and Dorothy is killed.

Aaron struggles to absorb this crushing loss, sometimes regaining a measure of equanimity, sometimes brought to his knees with the sheer force of his grief and despair. Then, one day, Dorothy comes to visit, bringing comfort, but, also, an additional raft of worries. Is she real? Is he losing it? If she is real, why did she come back?

This is a gentle, sweet, realistic look at the grieving process, including both the stabbing, unbearable pain and the small-but-important things that can sneak up and hit unexpectedly. Aaron is a quirky and engaging, but also somewhat prickly and exasperating, especially in his interactions with those closest to him.

A few things I noticed that jarred slightly - Aaron does not seem thirty-five to me, more like fifty. Also, although the story is set in Baltimore, as another reviewer noted, it has a decidedly small-town feel. Some of the characters, like Peggy, seemed to be a bit "old-school" for their (presumed) age brackets. For instance, secretaries these days tend to do much more coordination and administration than caretaking. I was also mildly surprised at a small press that appeared to be doing well, without a mention of the recession. It felt like I was visiting a modern version of Brigadoon, with timeless characters and ageless problems. This is not necessarily a drawback, just something I noticed.

This is a refreshing, readable take on one of life's most important issues, one that I plan to keep and reread for many years to come. Recommended.
69 von 77 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Quietly interesting, though nowhere near Tyler's best 13. März 2012
Von Joanna Mechlinski - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
Aaron Woolcott, a thirty-something editor at a family-run publishing company, has just lost his wife in a freak accident. Naturally, those closest to him -- his older sister Nandina, the handful of colleagues at Woolcott Publishing, and a few random friends -- reach out to him, fearing his emotional and physical deterioration. Although he's always felt he's been able to manage just fine, Aaron has a disabled arm and leg, thanks to illness as a toddler; and as he and his sister are the only surviving members of the immediate family, they've tended to be a bit reclusive. Now, as Aaron insists upon remaining in his nearly destroyed home all alone, the people in his life have reason to worry.

As Aaron struggles to cope and to adjust to his new life, he suddenly begins to see his dead wife Dorothy appearing. There is no pattern to her visits, making Aaron long to have her with him all the more. During these times, the two talk and discuss their life together. All the while, Aaron wonders what others see, and what they must think.

Having read all of Tyler's books to date, I feel qualified to compare this latest with its predecessors. Overall, while the characters are richly written and the premise holds promise, the story itself just didn't feel all that intriguing to me. There have been numerous works of fiction about people who lose their spouses, and this one just didn't stand out too keenly in my mind.
31 von 34 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Life Is Love and Grief 7. März 2012
Von Sam Sattler - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
For Anne Tyler fans (among whom I count myself), the arrival of a new novel of hers is a major literary event. Tyler's way of creating wonderfully quirky characters and placing them in universal life situations is probably what attracts so many of us to her work. Her fans know not to expect lots of action or overly complicated plots from her; the woman writes beautiful novels about people and what makes them tick. She has done it again with Aaron Woolcott and The Beginner's Goodbye.

Aaron Woolcott and his spinster sister, Nandina, run Woolcott Publishing, a company with two basic sources of revenue: what, before the advent of self-published e-books, was called "vanity publishing" and a long series of books for "beginners" that are even more dumbed-down than the real-world "for dummies" series that is so popular. Aaron has recently lost his wife in a tragic, fluke accident and is struggling to say goodbye. He badly needs to feel a sense of closure but, because Dorothy died almost immediately after an argument with him, Aaron is too filled with regrets to let her go. Thus, the title of the book.

The novel's self-description emphasizes how Aaron begins to see Dorothy at random intervals and places. Sometimes she speaks to him, sometimes she does not. Strangely, others often see Dorothy by Aaron's side, but they instinctively focus on Aaron and never acknowledge Dorothy's presence - even, it seems, to themselves. Surprisingly enough, despite the book blurb's emphasis on it, Dorothy's return plays a much smaller role in the story than one might expect.

The Beginner's Goodbye is about how one man comes to terms with his grief. I suspect that all of us handle grief somewhat differently and that we do not truly know ourselves until we are tested this way. Aaron prefers to handle it internally despite the number of sympathetic and loving co-workers and friends with which he is surrounded. It is easier for him to deny that he is suffering than to explain to his friends the level of grief he is feeling.

But, as he will learn, the world continues to evolve, people change, and new relationships are formed. I find that the first and last sentences of The Beginner's Goodbye perfectly encapsulate Aaron's story:

"The strangest thing about my wife's return from the dead was how other people reacted."

"We go around and around in the world, and here we go again."

This deceptively simple little novel has a lot to say about life and love. Anne Tyler fans will jump all over it. I hope that others less familiar with Tyler's work will not miss out.
18 von 19 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen The Beginner's Goodbye 24. März 2012
Von Brendan Moody - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
Anne Tyler's new novel may at first seem unpromising, especially to readers who felt that her previous book, Noah's Compass, was an underwhelming echo of earlier and better work on similar themes. The Beginner's Goodbye is certainly reminiscent of other novels by Tyler. Aaron Woolcott, the awkward male protagonist whose life is changed by a terrible twist of fate, brings to mind Liam Pennywell (Noah's Compass) and Macon Leary (The Accidental Tourist); Aaron's involvement in a series of how-to books that are essentially upmarket versions of the "For Dummies" series recalls Macon's travel guides for travel haters. Even the title, and certain aspects of the theme, echo 2004's The Amateur Marriage. But such comparisons are only worth so much; in a career of nineteen novels over nearly fifty years, there are bound to be points of similarity. The Beginner's Goodbye may not break much new ground, but for those who admire Tyler's gently comic portraits of human eccentricity, it's a quick, enjoyable meditation on things left unsaid and the nature of an unusual relationship.

Mildly disabled and surrounded by a mother, a sister, and a female coworker who wanted to take care of him, Aaron was attracted to Dorothy in large part because she showed no interest in nurturing or coddling him. Their marriage is, if not brimming over with happiness, at least stable, until a tree falls into their house and kills her. Grief-stricken and barely able to function, Aaron moves back in with his sister at the old family home, and goes numbly through the business of putting his life back in order... until he begins to see Dorothy again. Will her appearances, whatever their source, give him a chance to move on and face the rest of his life?

Although Dorothy's return is the most striking element of the novel and is duly emphasized in the cover copy, it doesn't occur until about two-thirds of the way through; like much of Tyler's work, the book is defined not by the supernatural but by the natural, ordinary human foibles made more compelling by their tragic context. In theory, at least. The drawback of The Beginner's Goodbye is that Aaron's grief never feels as powerful as the novel wants it to seem; his reserved narration never conveys anguish, and nothing happens to make one feel he's having the particular trouble adjusting that the reader has been led to expect. It's not that grief has to be dramatic to be real, but that the basic process is not inherently as interesting as its significance and universality might lead one to believe, and that in the absence of deep emotional insight, descriptions of the familiar rituals of grief (the awkwardness of well-meaning friends, endless casseroles brought over by neighbors) often feel hollow. The reader still sympathizes with Aaron, but not thoroughly enough to make the novel unforgettable.

Nevertheless there is much to enjoy in The Beginner's Goodbye. The characterization is typically deft: traits and quirks recognizable from our everyday lives are combined in ways that make the protagonists resemble real human beings rather than quaint comic types, and Tyler's deep, wide-ranging sympathy is reserved enough that it feels genuinely humanistic, not cloying. Her eye for the type of mild comedy that emerges from quotidian social interactions enlivens the already brisk pace; Aaron and Dorothy's mutual oddness as revealed in flashbacks is endearing. And the quietly moving resolution reflects thoughtful consideration of the needs and uncertainties that run beneath an unconventional marriage like that of Aaron and Dorothy, the hard truths hidden by the amusing facade. It is those darknesses within lightness that make Anne Tyler's finest work powerful despite its sentimental qualities and its limitations in scope, and while The Beginner's Goodbye doesn't match her best fiction, it comes close enough to be more than worth the time it takes to read it.
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