A Possible Life PDF ½ A Possible PDF/EPUB or


A Possible Life [Reading] ➼ A Possible Life By Sebastian Faulks – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk Terrified, a young prisoner in the Second World War closes his eyes and pictures himself going out to bat on a sunlit cricket ground in Hampshire, EnglandAcross the courtyard in a Victorian workhouse, Terrified, a young prisoner in the Second World War closes his eyes and pictures himself going out to bat on a sunlit cricket ground in Hampshire, EnglandAcross the courtyard in A Possible PDF/EPUB or a Victorian workhouse, a father is too ashamed to acknowledge his sonA skinny girl steps out of a Chevy with a guitar her voice sends shivers through the skullSoldiers and lovers, parents and children, scientists and musicians risk their bodies and hearts in search of connection some key to understanding what makes us the people we becomeProvocative and profound, Sebastian Faulks s dazzling novel journeys across continents and time to explore the chaos created by love, separation and missed opportunities From the pain and drama of these highly particular lives emerges a mysterious consolation the chance to feel your heart beat in someone else s life.

    A Possible Life PDF ½ A Possible PDF/EPUB or dazzling novel journeys across continents and time to explore the chaos created by love, separation and missed opportunities From the pain and drama of these highly particular lives emerges a mysterious consolation the chance to feel your heart beat in someone else s life."/>
  • Paperback
  • 304 pages
  • A Possible Life
  • Sebastian Faulks
  • English
  • 02 May 2019
  • 0091936829

About the Author: Sebastian Faulks

Sebastian Faulks was born in , and grew up in Newbury, the son of a judge and a repertory actress He attended Wellington College and studied at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, A Possible PDF/EPUB or although he didn t enjoy attending either institution Cambridge in the s was still quite male dominated, and he says that you had to cycle about miles to meet a girl He was the first literary editor of The Independent , and then went on to become deputy editor of The Sunday Independent Sebastian Faulks was awarded the CBE in He and his family live in London.



10 thoughts on “A Possible Life

  1. Jill Jill says:

    A Possible Life is comprised of five stories five lives that are tied together not through the characters or plotting, but through time, space and connections Had I reviewed after reading the first tale set in 1938 and focused on Geoffrey Talbot I may have very well given this book just 3 stars The story of a middling man who ends up veering from the career course his father had hoped for and eventually ends up being betrayed to the Gestapo while on a mission at first seemed archetypal A Possible Life is comprised of five stories five lives that are tied together not through the characters or plotting, but through time, space and connections Had I reviewed after reading the first tale set in 1938 and focused on Geoffrey Talbot I may have very well given this book just 3 stars The story of a middling man who ends up veering from the career course his father had hoped for and eventually ends up being betrayed to the Gestapo while on a mission at first seemed archetypal and evocative The unspeakable horrors of the concentration camp are powerfully told, but it almost seems as if the reader has read these descriptions before It soon becomes clear, though, that this is Sebastian Faulks focal point communal memory As readers, we know these stories the man who survives Gestapo atrocities and seeks to regain his ordinary life the Dickensian orphan Billy in Victorian London who survives through sheer force of character the brilliant scientist who struggles with the big questions of life and love the simpleminded and devout orphan Jeanne in rural France and the skinny, long haired American singer who leverages her life for her art.All of these characters are intimately familiar to us The joy of reading this book is unearthing the connections between such disparate characters Over and over again, details resonate, pricking our minds with the question, Where have I heard this before For example, Geoffrey Talbot will enter a French farmhouse where he is ultimately betrayed a century earlier, the peasant Jeanne will also have confronted a betrayal Orphaned Jeanne will be reduced to sleeping on a mat of straw years later, Billy Webb, another orphan, will be forced to make his bed on a mat of straw at a workhouse And that workhouse The songwriter Anya King, in the 1970s, will consider purchasing a flat in that Victorian workhouse where Billy once lived And so on I don t think you ever understand your life not till it s finished and probably not then either, Billy reflects Later, the scientist Elena, thinks, If not just the brain but the quirks that made the individual from uncomposed matter only, it was hard to be sure where the edges of one such being ended and another began Life, Sebastian Faulks suggest, is difficult to fathom without consideration of our shared memory, the way we interconnect with those who came before and will come after us, and how all our lives fit into some vast unknowable puzzle This is, I believe, truly a brilliant book Jack who narrates the songwriter Anya s section may have said it best The events and sensations, the stories and the things that make me what I am in the eyes of other people, the list of facts that make my life They could be mine, they might be yours

  2. jhldjfau jhldjfau says:

    Is there such a thing as a soul If not, what makes us so certain than the lives we lead and the identities we inhabit are even relevant Do you ever wonder, for example, what would have happened if you d taken that road, instead of this one And is it possible to know which one, of all the dozens of decisions we make every day, will be the one whose significance will echo on down for generations to come These are the melancholy questions that permeate Sebastian Faulks new book, A Possible Li Is there such a thing as a soul If not, what makes us so certain than the lives we lead and the identities we inhabit are even relevant Do you ever wonder, for example, what would have happened if you d taken that road, instead of this one And is it possible to know which one, of all the dozens of decisions we make every day, will be the one whose significance will echo on down for generations to come These are the melancholy questions that permeate Sebastian Faulks new book, A Possible Life I call it a book, so that I can get on and review it leaving the literati to bicker about whether it qualifies as a novel or not Because on the surface, it doesn t The five separate stories have no apparent links to each other apart from their shared spine The first story is set in 1938 and revolves around Geoffrey Talbot, a fairly underwhelming middle class fellow who, in an unlikely series of events, finds himself behind the wire in a concentration camp in Poland The second story maps out the life of Billy, a Dickensian sort of character raised in a poorhouse who succeeds in life through sheer force of will and entrepreneurial spirit The third story is set in the future and belongs to Elena, an Italian scientist whose life s work has culminated in the irrefutable evidence that our sense of consciousness is merely a specific location in the brain whose cyclical processes aid in the reproduction of matter In other words, there s no such thing as a soul In fact, everything about human behaviour and emotion can be scientifically explained Fourth we meet Jeanne, living at the other end of the spectrum in early 1800s in France Her story is less about her own life than the people she devotes herself to in her work as a servant The final story and the one that hammers the book for six, is that of American folk singer songwriter Anya King It is told from the perspective of the man who loved her and lost her, and whose entire life afterwards was insignificant to the point of almost physical anguish.Each story is satisfyingly complete, which, although I swear I don t want to be drawn into the debate, is an argument in favour of A Possible Life as a novel Short stories, as a rule, don t lay out a life in its entirety so you can examine it piece by piece In fact,often, you ll drop in on a short story right in the middle of the action only to be left to fill in the gaps when the narrative just as suddenly drops you in mid air In Faulks book, in contrast, each of his independent stories are offered up whole They are, in effect, biographies of lives with all the significant forks and intersections laid bare for scrutiny Taken individually, the stories reveal intricate tapestries whose threads you can trace from here, all the way over there Take Geoffrey Talbot as an example He might never have found himself disposing of bodies into a burning chute had he not slunk off for a beer in the pub that fateful night when he was meant to be mapping out attack routes in a training exercise with a fellow officer Geoffrey survived the war but was a broken man afterwards, unable to permit himself the joy of companionship, much less love As an old man, alone, lonely, he cannot seem to reconcile why it is that he fought so hard to preserve his life Through the hell of the war and the torment of peace, he placed one foot in front of the other with all the effort he could muster, but never once stopped to ask himselfWhy. As if there is no logic to it he says I have been violently loyal to myself The stories also throw a torch on the randomness of life The things that boil down to nothingthan chance, circumstance, bad timing When opportunities arise in Billy s life, for example, he is wide eyed mentally and prepared physically, thanks only to his brutally unforgiving childhood That hardship would not have been his destiny, had it not been for the Crimean war that stole his father s livelihood and sent them broke Billy s story is intriguing enough on its own but what resonates is his final statement, that all he d ever wanted to do in life was work hard enough that his own children would never have to know what the grinding of stones feels like It is as though Billy is asserting that the only way to understand life and all its unlikely chances is to bend with it, but not to break being sure you keep your mind so empty that you have no thoughts at all That s what I ve done for my kids , that s my gift to them and to all their children ever after, so don t talk to me about being hard And what Faulks book would be complete without a fair dose of irony The stories of Elena the scientist, and Jeanette the unquestioning Christian, are juxtaposed perfectly for this purpose Elena has sought to understand her life, and all the matters to do with existence, by filtering every human emotion through a scientific lens And yet, for all of that, no amount of rationalisation of her feelings towards Bruno can numb the raw physical reaction when he abandons her His absence was a wound that never ceased to seep and throb It was absurd, she told herself What mattered was the love they felt whether or not they were in the same room was of no significance It would not be long before, as physical mass, they were both decomposing underground so what did it matter if meanwhile their bodies were in different places So much did she rely on her rational brain to guide her life that she was angry when it failed her now, when no process of reason could stop her wound from aching.Jeanette, on the other hand, is genuinely confused by the motivations of the people around her She knows that the things in life that can be explained exist in plain sight, whereas what is not known is the domain of God Hers is not to question, but with a bit of luck and certainly faith, to get on with the business of living She is simplistic, but not, as the narrator tells us ignorant at all Clemence and Marcel had shown her that people change and are not the same all their lives Madame Lagarde taught her that sometimes they cannot change Wherein you then find yourself wondering Who is happier, Elena or Jeanette The twin issues of love and loss are probably the most enduring themes underlying all the stories, but it is neverstark than in that of singer songwriter Anya King s Many other issues besides the most grimly depressing are explored as well from the idea of the self as multiple stage actors to the contention that it is possible to love two people, if not equally then concurrently But it is the exploration of what it means to love someone so wholly and unreservedly that you would walk away if they asked you to, that really packs a punch in this story Anya is not an ordinary woman in fact, she is so vivid that it is incredible to think that I cannot just dial her up on iTunes and download one of her albums I came to know her songs as intimately as if they were a soundtrack for the entire book a quirk that is undoubtedly intentional on Faulks part Jack, or Freddy as Anya affectionately calls him, tells of their affair looking back from the vantage point of his 60 years His love for Anya has never faded, in fact, over time it appears magnified beside everything else With echoes of Frank from the pages of On Green Dolphin Street , Jack says It pained my heart to think of what I d lost, but I didn t go with the feeling Sometimes with these powerful emotions, you re crushed You just flail around and hope for the pain to stop, for some bastard to stop stabbing you in the guts Other times if you re lucky, you can kind of skate along the rim, look into the precipice and it s almost like you have a choice to plunge in or turn your head away The great emotive impulse at stake here has to do with sacrifice what are you willing to forego, in order to pursue what you know you must do in life Or the flip side of that coin what are you willing to sacrifice in order to allow the person you love to pursue what you know they must do in life Whether it is a creative calling, the greater good, or just doing the right thing What are you willing to endure towards that end This is Jack s dilemma, and the reason Anya, fully conscious yet farvulnerable than she ever lets on, loves him all the .This is not a simple book to be done with It is, as others have already said, like a symphony which continues to resonate long after the final notes have been played Or an album that you need to listen to again and again I kept pondering the title A Possible Life and for that matter, the titles of Anya s songs You Next Time Another Life No Turning Back And of course Hold Me I felt certain they were all clues to a riddle I was going to be able to solve if I just looked hard enough Certainly there are links between the stories, both implied and literal Jack rents an apartment in London which just so happens to be Billy s old workhouse The Madonna that Elena treasures as a child is the very same figurine that Jeanette holds in her hands two centuries earlier And we recognise that the old farm house where Jeanette lives most her life is the same place where Geoffrey is betrayed years later At first, these discoveries are exhilarating a promise that everything in the universe is connected in some way A unique purpose or reason exists after all But as soon as you start digging deeper, you hit dead ends The trail goes cold Proof irrefutable, that even though we may inhabit the same spaces from time to time, and in minute ways we certainly influence one other, in the end we are separate beings The why s and wherefores, the what if s and maybe s, will never be entirely resolved In this way, Jack s parting sentiment, referencing inways than one the characters that have gone before him, serves as a kind of poignant summary for the whole book I stood among the throng of people waiting patiently to cross and tried to mingle with them, to disappear into a greater mass of human life, hoping I might lose my pain, my sense of self, in that tireless commotion To the critics and reviewers out there who seem hell bent on deciding whether this book is a novel or a collection of short stories, as though anything that defies categorisation is unworthy of real consideration , I feel sorry for you While you were busy trying to stick your labels on non adhesive surfaces, you just missed one of the most moving pieces of literature I have read in a very long time Full disclosure Although I received my copy of A Possible Life free from Random House, I was given neither money nor cocktails for writing this review damn it

  3. Velma Velma says:

    Faulks is apparently a well respected writer, but I certainly couldn t tell that by A Possible Life it just made me want to look for a possible life in which I hadn t spent several days reading it.Don t get me wrong I think Mr Faulks can write I was intrigued by the premise five people, five places, five periods in history I was drawn to the questions he asked about souls and roads not taken But somehow he just didn t make me care about his characters, not one whit For example, in one o Faulks is apparently a well respected writer, but I certainly couldn t tell that by A Possible Life it just made me want to look for a possible life in which I hadn t spent several days reading it.Don t get me wrong I think Mr Faulks can write I was intrigued by the premise five people, five places, five periods in history I was drawn to the questions he asked about souls and roads not taken But somehow he just didn t make me care about his characters, not one whit For example, in one of my progress updates I wrote I liked the Elena character better than her two predecessors, but that s like saying I like eating liver better than I like eating raw hamburger or a bowl of flour You get the idea My other criticism is that there was the whiff of Cloud Atlas about it Maybe it was just the structural plot device he used, or maybe I m just hallucinating it, but there it is.But I won t write this author off just yet Just like one bad waitress doesn t a crummy restaurant make, so too does one meh novel not indict Sebastian Faulks If I run across Birdsong or another of his books on a shelf at Booklegger, I ll pick it up give him another shot But he d better come through with better service with that one or I m going to have to complain to his manager The book I read and reviewed here was an Advance Review Copy ARC galley provided to me by the publisher via my local Indie bookstore I did not accept any payment in exchange for a review, and was in no way influenced to provide a positive review I now consider my ass covered, FTC.

  4. Cynthia Cynthia says:

    How does the brain work After starting this book I put my life on hold I was hooked from the beginning The book is a conglomeration of five people s stories Some stories are stronger than others but the best ones are wonderful They re set mostly in Europe with one taking place in New York and Los Angeles Anya s story is about a girl s rise to fame in the folk pop scene of the 1970 s It reads like a dream yet a dream based in reality because it felt musically and emotionally deadly accurate How does the brain work After starting this book I put my life on hold I was hooked from the beginning The book is a conglomeration of five people s stories Some stories are stronger than others but the best ones are wonderful They re set mostly in Europe with one taking place in New York and Los Angeles Anya s story is about a girl s rise to fame in the folk pop scene of the 1970 s It reads like a dream yet a dream based in reality because it felt musically and emotionally deadly accurate It has humor, love, longing a miniature masterpiece in my opinion Some of the other stories aren t quite as compelling though there s another favorite of mine hidden in the batch I ll leave you to discover your own The time periods vary as well from the early 1800 s to the mid twenty first century Each story has a central event and all the action pivots around that The study of the brain and the definition of what it is to be human is also central to each tale In some this is overt in others it soblique There are metaphysical spiritual overtones as well Some of the other themes include choices, striving to succeed, the impact and definition of betrayal, scientific research and what is provable, and the cost of fame With the myriad of settings I have to wonder if Faulks is saying time and place are not important People stay the same as do their fundamental concerns I d have to agree with that premise As I said I found the stories uneven but the best ones are so darn good I defy you to stop reading.This review is based on an e galley provided by the publisher

  5. Dem Dem says:

    A possible Life by Sebastian Fauls is a NOVEL IN FIVE PARTS.This is actually a collection of five stories which I wish I had known before I read this Novel Not stated on the front cover of novel that I purchased.I had read three of the stories before I realised that this was a collection of short longish stories ranging from 40 pages to just under a 100 pages The stories span continents, centuries and subject matter, some I liked and others I did not enjoy at all The first story while I foun A possible Life by Sebastian Fauls is a NOVEL IN FIVE PARTS.This is actually a collection of five stories which I wish I had known before I read this Novel Not stated on the front cover of novel that I purchased.I had read three of the stories before I realised that this was a collection of short longish stories ranging from 40 pages to just under a 100 pages The stories span continents, centuries and subject matter, some I liked and others I did not enjoy at all The first story while I found interesting it lacked character development and I found myself disconnected from the stories in this way many times I also thought the sense of time and place was poorly written and nothing like Faulk s other novels When I would put this book down for a few hours I found it very difficult when picking it up again to remember what I had read previously.Having said that I did like story 1 and 3 but overall a 2 star read for me Perhaps if you are a fan of short stories you will engage better with this book than I did

  6. Michael Michael says:

    I am a huge fan of Sebastian Faulks, so was very much looking forward to this book Like others on this forum I was slightly concerned that it was several stories rather than an entire novel, however while the links of each story are tenuous this did not detract from my overall enjoyment of the book, which overall was a very contemplative read All five stories are good, but for my money the vaguely sci fi Everything Can Be Explained was the most moving and You Next Time the most enthralling I am a huge fan of Sebastian Faulks, so was very much looking forward to this book Like others on this forum I was slightly concerned that it was several stories rather than an entire novel, however while the links of each story are tenuous this did not detract from my overall enjoyment of the book, which overall was a very contemplative read All five stories are good, but for my money the vaguely sci fi Everything Can Be Explained was the most moving and You Next Time the most enthralling Of the latter, anyone who loves listening to and reading about music will enjoy the tale Faulks has woven about the creative process, the desire to know the truth of the stories behind the songs and the casualties along the way I read this with as much excitement as I would the bio of an actual artist and regret only that it is not possible to listen to the wondrous songs he describes so well I had the sensation of listening at a double level thrilled senseless both by the song and the fact that there was someone alive with the talent to write and sing it I hear you Mr.Faulks

  7. Trevor Trevor says:

    Stories about how lives are intertwined and touched by people who know and don t know each other Relationships that exist that people are both aware and unaware of This is a lovely set of tales.

  8. Amy Amy says:

    Five short stories, but not a novel An object in one story appears in another, or there s a passing reference to the same place More than one character feels guilty when a new love affair edges out a lover who did nothing wrong, andthan one character shuts him or herself off from love altogether There seems to be some theme about how we re all just recycled matter, but this isn t a book about past lives or rebirth Really, each story and each character stands alone so the subtitle puz Five short stories, but not a novel An object in one story appears in another, or there s a passing reference to the same place More than one character feels guilty when a new love affair edges out a lover who did nothing wrong, andthan one character shuts him or herself off from love altogether There seems to be some theme about how we re all just recycled matter, but this isn t a book about past lives or rebirth Really, each story and each character stands alone so the subtitle puzzles me.Each story is quiet, understated, and covers most of the life of its main character Each main character is a loner and a survivor of a Nazi death camp, a Victorian workhouse, or simply a lover s abandonment I thought the first story was the most moving, about an English spy in WWII France who ends up in Auschwitz or a place like it I thought the most imaginative story was the one set in the near future, about an Italian girl who grows up to discover exactly where human consciousness comes from I expected the last story, about a singer at the beginning of her career in the early 1970s, to explain to me why the book is called a novel in five parts, to pull it all together It didn t, or at least not directly enough for me to figure out I felt my patience tried by all the minutiae of songwriting and studio recording for a singer who never existed Kind of like I felt some years ago, when kids would want to tell me all the backstories of Pokeman characters But as with all the stories, there was some beautiful writing

  9. Jennifer Jennifer says:

    A Possible Life is is described as a novel in five parts It is true that there are five distinct stories The first, set in 1938 is about an English school teacher who goes off to war and returns changed, but is somehow able to make peace with that change and carry on with his life, however lonely it may be The second is set in 1859 and tells the story of a boy who is sent to the workhouse by his parents He eventually makes his way out of the workhouse and becomes successful This was my fa A Possible Life is is described as a novel in five parts It is true that there are five distinct stories The first, set in 1938 is about an English school teacher who goes off to war and returns changed, but is somehow able to make peace with that change and carry on with his life, however lonely it may be The second is set in 1859 and tells the story of a boy who is sent to the workhouse by his parents He eventually makes his way out of the workhouse and becomes successful This was my favorite story of the five The third is set in 2029 and is not a bad depiction of a possible future A young woman who struggles to have meaningful relationships with people, including her own parents, finds one person who she loves, but they can t be together I didn t love the story, but it was still compelling The fourth story was set in 1822 and was about a woman who spends her entire life caring for someone elses children It was poignant because in many ways she seemed to be unappreciated, but in the end, she found a connection with the boy of the family who was wounded in war He took care of her in her old age and her life didn t seem terribly pathetic to me, in the end The last story was set in 1971 and followed the rise of a musical sensation through the eyes of her lover I did not enjoy this story at all The love story was a little nauseating and the main characters seemed to leave all their redeeming qualities behind when they got together.While each story was interesting and compelling in its way excepting perhaps the last one they failed to be truly cohesive as a novel In spite of the faint connections that may be drawn between the stories, I did not find a strong enough thread to create a unifying theme Even the title question of How many possible lives did not seem to be answered by the stories Not the author s best work, in my opinion

  10. Jeanette (Again) Jeanette (Again) says:

    The subtitle, A Novel in Five Parts, is misleading This is not a novel by any stretch of anyone s imagination It s a collection of five longish short stories Every once in awhile there will be a veiled reference in one story to something in another story, but the connection is nothing bigger than a scintilla You could say that the stories address some similar themes, but that still doesn t make it a novel My favorite story was Anya, the last and longest one It takes place in America in The subtitle, A Novel in Five Parts, is misleading This is not a novel by any stretch of anyone s imagination It s a collection of five longish short stories Every once in awhile there will be a veiled reference in one story to something in another story, but the connection is nothing bigger than a scintilla You could say that the stories address some similar themes, but that still doesn t make it a novel My favorite story was Anya, the last and longest one It takes place in America in a time period I can remember, so that probably accounts for my greater appreciation

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