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The Midnight Library: A Novel av Matt Haig
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The Midnight Library: A Novel (utgåvan 2020)

av Matt Haig (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
2,9311623,572 (3.89)130
Medlem:sbenne3
Titel:The Midnight Library: A Novel
Författare:Matt Haig (Författare)
Info:Viking (2020), 304 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:***1/2
Taggar:Complete 2021

Verkdetaljer

The Midnight Library av Matt Haig

  1. 20
    Liv efter liv av Kate Atkinson (sparemethecensor)
  2. 10
    The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August av Claire North (sparemethecensor)
  3. 00
    Oona Out of Order av Margarita Montimore (LDVoorberg)
    LDVoorberg: These two books take different approaches at looking who we are versus how events shape us. Oona lives one life in different times, Nora sees her life at the same moment in different trajectories. Side by side they make for an interesting juxtaposition of our perceptions of our own life.… (mer)
  4. 22
    Igelkottens elegans av Muriel Barbery (KatyBee)
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» Se även 130 omnämnanden

engelska (158)  nederländska (3)  Alla språk (161)
Visa 1-5 av 161 (nästa | visa alla)
I pick up almost any book with "library/librarian" in the title.
I was expecting fantasy, but got some lovely magical realism.

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig reminds me of Life After Life by Kate Atkinson, but on a smaller, more personal scale: No world-changing historical effects from experiencing different lives, but rather smaller, but no less important, ripples in one woman's surrounding life.

I can't claim to totally understand all of the philosophical underpinning in the story, but I enjoyed the introduction and found the ideas surround the multiverse intriguing.

Hope. That's the emotion I was left with after reading this novel. Open-ended hopefulness. ( )
  deslivres5 | Sep 23, 2021 |
3.5 stars to be exact. It’s a strong concept but certain comparisons of a few characters made me uncomfortable and turned off. ( )
  violetbaleine | Sep 22, 2021 |
A mash of Quantum Leap and Sliders, to teach one person on the brink of death the value of living life, even the bad bits. The philosophical themes reminded me of other works such as Sophie's World and just about any existential work you can think of.

The library (which was the reason I picked up this book) is merely a connecting theme (other "sliders", for example, see a video store), so the read offers little in the way of insight in the merits of books and libraries. ( )
  dono421846 | Sep 19, 2021 |
A Hallmark card expanded to novel length. I didn't hate the book – it's so earnest and worthy and inoffensive, circulating all the right buzzwords around 'mental health', that you're almost obliged to nod your head and say 'well done'. But it reads like a pamphlet on depression you might read in a doctor's waiting room. 'Nora felt sad', 'her cat had died', 'she needed to know that the people around her were there for her', and so on.

Maybe I'm just a curmudgeon, but I find that kind of thing suffocating. Worthy, and correct, for some people – but Christ, people who are really struggling with that hollow feeling, which is inexplicable to those who have no experience of it, need more insight than the prose equivalent of a 'hang in there' cat poster or Instagram post. And surely a novel should provide that insight? If a writer is just regurgitating stuff anyone could think up, why should we read their book? Surely we want a writer to be an original, touched with genius, showing us something we didn't know or couldn't see? Instead, we get "just be kind" – author Matt Haig's advice on two separate occasions; the second occasion followed up with an Insta-worthy line about how we just have to look up from wherever we're standing and notice that the sky goes on forever (pg. 278).

Even after I accepted the underwhelming, shallow splash in Haig's depths, and had built up a tolerance for the regurgitative motivational stuff, I was extremely disappointed by the fact that The Midnight Library is meritless as story. I've not read any of Haig's other works, but if he has any storytelling ability, it deserted him completely here. The concept is pretty unoriginal, and Haig doesn't make any attempt to develop it (neutering a promising sci-fi angle) beyond a Copy + Paste about Schrödinger's cat. The plot and ending are entirely predictable. The characters are cookie-cutter (recalling that doctor's waiting room pamphlet again…) and the dialogue is some of the clumsiest exposition I've read in a good while. Maybe that's because I tend to stay away from contemporary fiction – and with good reason, perhaps, considering The Midnight Library has been lauded by what passes for literary culture nowadays. If this is a bestselling modern great, I'll stick to the old stuff, thanks. Immune to the hype, I can only conclude that The Midnight Library is superficial (though tolerable) in its ideas, and completely valueless as a piece of fiction. This is not a novel, but a crudely-fictionalised therapy session. ( )
2 rösta MikeFutcher | Sep 17, 2021 |
Wat als je je leven opnieuw zou kunnen leven. Zou je dan andere keuzes maken? En hoe zou je leven er dan nu uitzien? Dat is een vraag die iedereen zich vast wel eens stelt, vooral als het even tegenzit. Het is ook de centrale vraag in The Midnight Library van de Britse schrijver Matt Haig.

Het boek draait om de 35-jarige Nora die nogal wat tegenslag te verduren heeft gekregen. Ze heeft spijt van bijna elke keuze die ze heeft gemaakt in haar leven en is daar zo depressief over dat ze besluit met het leven te stoppen. Ergens in de schemerzone tussen leven en dood komt zij terecht in een bibliotheek met daarin de boeken van al haar mogelijke levens.

Deze bibliotheek is oneindig. Want stel je eens voor, niet alleen de grote keuzemomenten in je leven, maar juist ook alle kleinere keuzes kunnen enorme gevolgen hebben. “Ja” zeggen tegen iemand die je uitnodigt voor een kopje koffie kan als gevolg hebben dat je 5 jaar later gelukkig getrouwd bent, en een kind hebt. Maar ook dat je aangereden wordt. Of dat je in een slechte relatie terecht komt. Je kan het niet voorzien.

Nora krijgt de kans te ervaren hoe haar leven zou zijn als ze keuzes anders had gemaakt. Wat als ze wél met haar vriend Dan was getrouwd? Of als ze haar zwemcarrière had voortgezet? Als ze samen met haar broer in de band was blijven spelen? Of als ze onderzoeker was geworden op Spitsbergen? Maar ook: wat als ze wél dat tussenjaar had genomen en in het buitenland was gaan werken. Of als ze wél die baan had geaccepteerd bij het dierenasiel. Of wél dat kopje koffie was gaan drinken.

Ze ervaart succesvolle en minder succesvolle levens. Maar succesvol blijkt een relatief begrip, want zelfs de succesvolle levens hebben onverwachte keerzijdes en hun eigen verdriet. En haar oorspronkelijke, schijnbaar mislukte leven, blijkt wel degelijk betekenisvol. En het leven dat Nora misschien toch het liefste wil leven. Als dat er nog is tenminste, haar leven.

Commentaar geven op dit boek zou best kunnen. Bijvoorbeeld op het moralistische gehalte ervan, of de cliché’s over succesvolle mensen die van binnen diep ongelukkig zijn of aan de pillen zitten. Maar dat ga ik allemaal niet doen. Want ik vond dit een prachtig en meeslepend geschreven parabel over het leven en de keuzes die je moet maken zonder de gevolgen ooit helemaal te kunnen overzien. Over de zinloosheid van spijt en over accepteren wat er nu is. Het is enorm relativerend, het zette me aan het denken, het raakte me emotioneel. En ik kon niet meer stoppen met lezen. Wat kan je in hemelsnaam verder nog van een boek willen? ( )
  Tinwara | Sep 17, 2021 |
Visa 1-5 av 161 (nästa | visa alla)
If you’ve never pondered life’s contingencies—like what might’ve happened if you’d skipped the party where you met your spouse—then Matt Haig’s novel The Midnight Library will be an eye-opening experience. This gentle but never cloying fable offers us a chance to weigh our regret over missed opportunities against our gratitude for the life we have.... [Haig's] allusions to multiverses, string theory and Erwin Schrödinger never detract from the emotional heart of this alluring novel.... Haig brings her story to a conclusion that’s both enlightening and deeply satisfying.
 
Few fantasies are more enduring than the idea that there might be a second chance at a life already lived, some sort of magical reset in which mistakes can be erased, regrets addressed, choices altered.... The narrative throughout has a slightly old-fashioned feel, like a bedtime story. It’s an absorbing but comfortable read, imaginative in the details if familiar in its outline. The invention of the library as the machinery through which different lives can be accessed is sure to please readers and has the advantage of being both magical and factual. Every library is a liminal space; the Midnight Library is different in scale, but not kind. And a vision of limitless possibility, of new roads taken, of new lives lived, of a whole different world available to us somehow, somewhere, might be exactly what’s wanted in these troubled and troubling times.
tillagd av LondonLori76 | ändraNew York Times, Karen Joy Fowler (betalvägg) (Sep 29, 2020)
 
...“between life and death there is a midnight library,” a library that contains multiple volumes of the lives she could have had if she had made different choices.... Haig’s latest (after the nonfiction collection Notes on a Nervous Planet, 2019) is a stunning contemporary story that explores the choices that make up a life, and the regrets that can stifle it. A compelling novel that will resonate with readers.
tillagd av LondonLori76 | ändraBooklist, LynnDee Wathen (Aug 1, 2020)
 
An unhappy woman who tries to commit suicide finds herself in a mysterious library that allows her to explore new lives.... This book isn't heavy on hows; you won’t need an advanced degree in quantum physics or string theory to follow its simple yet fantastical logic. Predicting the path Nora will ultimately choose isn’t difficult, either. Haig treats the subject of suicide with a light touch, and the book’s playful tone will be welcome to readers who like their fantasies sweet if a little too forgettable. A whimsical fantasy about learning what’s important in life.
tillagd av LondonLori76 | ändraKirkus Reviews (Jul 14, 2020)
 

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Haig, Mattprimär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Mulligan, CareyBerättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones, and variations of mental and physical experience possible in my life.
--Sylvia Plath
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To all the health workers. And the care workers. Thank you.
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Nineteen years before she decided to die, Nora Seed sat in the warmth of the small library at Hazeldene School in the town of Bedford.
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She knew she should be experiencing pity and despair for her feline friend – and she was – but she had to acknowledge something else. As she stared at Voltaire’s still and peaceful expression – that total absence of pain – there was an inescapable feeling brewing in the darkness. Envy.
The universe tended towards chaos and entropy. That was basic thermodynamics. Maybe it was basic existence too.
Bertrand Russell wrote that ‘To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already three-parts dead’. Maybe that was her problem. Maybe she was just scared of living. But Bertrand Russell had more marriages and affairs than hot dinners, so perhaps he was no one to give advice.
A person was like a city. You couldn’t let a few less desirable parts put you off the whole. There may be bits you don’t like, a few dodgy side streets and suburbs, but the good stuff makes it worthwhile.
‘Want,’ she told her, in a measured tone, ‘is an interesting word. It means lack. Sometimes if we fill that lack with something else the original want disappears entirely. Maybe you have a lack problem rather than a want problem. Maybe there is a life that you really want to live.’
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