Noah's Compass: A Novel

Front Cover
Alfred A. Knopf, 2009 - Fiction - 277 pages
4 Reviews
From the incomparable Anne Tyler, a wise, gently humorous, and deeply compassionate novel about a schoolteacher, who has been forced to retire at sixty-one, coming to terms with the final phase of his life.

Liam Pennywell, who set out to be a philosopher and ended up teaching fifth grade, never much liked the job at that run-down private school, so early retirement doesn’t bother him. But he is troubled by his inability to remember anything about the first night that he moved into his new, spare, and efficient condominium on the outskirts of Baltimore. All he knows when he wakes up the next day in the hospital is that his head is sore and bandaged.

His effort to recover the moments of his life that have been stolen from him leads him on an unexpected detour. What he needs is someone who can do the remembering for him. What he gets is—well, something quite different.

We all know a Liam. In fact, there may be a little of Liam in each of us. Which is why Anne Tyler’s lovely novel resonates so deeply.


From the Hardcover edition.

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Noah's Compass

User Review  - KarenJ - Borders

I normally love all books written by Anne Tyler. Her characters are always so quirky and this was no exception. I enjoyed the beginning when you are learning about and understanding the characters and ... Read full review

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Waited and waited for something to happen, perhaps a glimpse that a plot existed. I was bored out of my mind and the only reason I finished the book was because I was amazed that pages could be filled with "nothing." Tyler can develop a 'character' but it's time to work on the 'story.' Yawn.  

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About the author (2009)

Anne Tyler was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1941 and grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. This is her eighteenth novel. Her eleventh, Breathing Lessons, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1988. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

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