The Man Who Saw Everything

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Bloomsbury USA, Oct 15, 2019 - Fiction - 208 pages

Longlisted for the Booker Prize

An electrifying novel about beauty, envy, and carelessness from Deborah Levy, author of the Booker Prize finalists Hot Milk and Swimming Home.

It is 1988 and Saul Adler, a narcissistic young historian, has been invited to Communist East Berlin to do research; in exchange, he must publish a favorable essay about the German Democratic Republic. As a gift for his translator's sister, a Beatles fanatic who will be his host, Saul's girlfriend will shoot a photograph of him standing in the crosswalk on Abbey Road, an homage to the famous album cover. As he waits for her to arrive, he is grazed by an oncoming car, which changes the trajectory of his life.

The Man Who Saw Everything is about the difficulty of seeing ourselves and others clearly. It greets the specters that come back to haunt old and new love, previous and current incarnations of Europe, conscious and unconscious transgressions, and real and imagined betrayals, while investigating the cyclic nature of history and its reinvention by people in power. Here, Levy traverses the vast reaches of the human imagination while artfully blurring sexual and political binaries-feminine and masculine, East and West, past and present--to reveal the full spectrum of our world.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ozzer - LibraryThing

This is not an easy book. The first half appears to be a fairly straightforward telling of young love and loss, careerism, and, of course, a minor accident at the famous Abby Road zebra crossing. But ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - msf59 - LibraryThing

“ I smiled at his careful reconstruction of history, blatantly told in his favour …” “I’m trying to cross the road …. Yes, she said, you’ve been trying to cross the road for thirty years but stuff ... Read full review

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About the author (2019)

Deborah Levy writes fiction, plays, and poetry. Her work has been staged by the Royal Shakespeare Company, broadcast on the BBC, and widely translated. The author of highly praised novels, including Hot Milk and Swimming Home (both Man Booker Prize finalists), The Unloved, and Billy and Girl, the acclaimed story collection Black Vodka, and two parts of her working autobiography, Things I Don't Want to Know and The Cost of Living, she lives in London. Levy is a Fellow of The Royal Society of Literature.

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