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The Beginner's Guide to Living av Lia…

The Beginner's Guide to Living (utgåvan 2010)

av Lia Hills

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
744288,288 (4.09)5
Struggling to cope with his mother's sudden death and growing feelings of isolation from his father and brother, seventeen-year-old Will turns to philosophy for answers to life's biggest questions, while finding some solace in a new love.
Titel:The Beginner's Guide to Living
Författare:Lia Hills
Info:Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (2010), Hardcover, 232 pages
Samlingar:Ska läsas


The Beginner's Guide to Living av Lia Hills


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Visar 4 av 4
Struggling to cope with his mother's sudden death in a senseless car accident and growing feelings of isolation from his father and older brother, seventeen-year-old Will turns to philosophy for answers to life's biggest questions. His search for meaning leads him to the great philosophers - Seneca, Plato, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche - and to Taryn, a beautiful passionate girl he meets at his mother's wake. Overwhelmed by grief and simultaneously intoxicated by first love, Will is lead down a dangerous path that includes experimentation with drugs and some unlikely mentors. The author laces Will's pained journey with life questions he lists in a notebook, philosophical and poetic quotations, original aphorisms, and his personal memories of his mother. Although the novel begins with a death, it is a celebration of life, companionship, love, and the universal drive to find a purpose. ( )
  MStevenson | Mar 2, 2011 |
At times both elegant and harsh, while also being extremely beautiful, Hills' novel is superb. It made me cry a few times, but also laugh. It was a bit of a surreal novel, but that's the kind of thing I love. It reminded me, in a lot of ways, of Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You, which is another surreal and extraordinary novel. ( )
  callmecayce | Jan 21, 2011 |
Seventeen year old Will Ellis seems to have his life well on track. He is a good student, never gets in trouble, has good friends and parents that love him. But his life is turned upside when he gets news that his mother has been killed by a drunk driver on her way to a doctor’s appointment. Will must now face up to the reality his mother is never coming back and that his life will change dramatically in ways he never thought possible.

After his mother’s funeral, Will’s older brother Adam, who has been distant for the past few years, comes back to stay with Will and his dad. Together the three bind together in a desperate attempt to move past the horrific situation and mend their lives. One week after his mother’s death, Will, his father and brother are invited to dinner at Ray and his family’s house. Ray is a former flame of Will’s mother which makes him wonder why they are being invited over, as well as the fact he has never met Ray or his family.

Upon arrival Will meets Ray’s daughter Taryn, whom he is instantly drawn to. Before he knows it the two have fallen in love, sharing passionate kisses and Will loses his virginity. “A month ago, if some had said I’d be tracking down philosophers and having sex, I would have told them they’d got the wrong guy” (Hills, pg 67-68). When great loss or devastation occurs in people lives, many turn to religion or philosophy to explain what happened. Will turns to philosophy and the great philosophers as a way to try and understand what happened to his mum and why and give answers to the questions he has.

Will seems to be getting his life together until he starts to come undone. At first, he starts to fight with those around him: his brother Adam, girlfriend Taryn, even best friend Seb. Next he begins to hang around with Cherry, a girl from the wrong side of the tracks who introduces him to things he would never have done, or even thought about several months ago. We start to wonder whether Will really does have his life together or whether this great loss will cause him devastation and grief, in more ways than usual.

There are two techniques Lia Hills uses in her writing I find very engaging. The first being Hills’ use of quotes throughout the text. As Will studies philosophers, he picks up quotes from them and the different books they have written. Whenever Will cannot express his emotions in words, he inserts a quote to express how he is feeling which is often what happens in true life; when we cannot express how we fell, we use someone else to express it for us. The second technique being Will’s memories of his mother throughout the book. The book begins at his mother’s funeral and we do not get to learn much about her. These memories help us learn more about her and their relationship.

The Beginner’s Guide to Living is a beautiful debut novel. It is breathtaking and compels you to read more. Reaching the final page makes you say ‘no, there must be more’; not in a story-is-unfinished-so-please-keep-writing way, instead in a this-book-is-beautiful-and-I-don’t-want-to-put-it-down kind of way. Hills writes about the moments that change your life with respect, honour and beauty. I for one, cannot wait until her next novel. ( )
1 rösta aliciapeesha | May 13, 2010 |
When Will's mother is hit by a car her death sends Will into a tail spin. He turns to philosophy in an effort to understand how these things can happen. The book follows Will through the weeks after his mothers death. Story is told first person with txt messages, dreams memories and photos taken on his mums old camera. The beginners guide to living is a steady paced thought provoking novel for anyone who has found themselves looking for answers. ( )
  ecumenicalcouncil | Mar 26, 2010 |
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Struggling to cope with his mother's sudden death and growing feelings of isolation from his father and brother, seventeen-year-old Will turns to philosophy for answers to life's biggest questions, while finding some solace in a new love.

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