Imagine Me Gone

Imagine Me Gone

A Novel

Book - 2016
Average Rating:
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FINALIST for the PULITZER PRIZE
LONG-LISTED for the NATIONAL BOOK AWARD
WINNER of the LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE
FINALIST for the NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD
FINALIST for the KIRKUS PRIZE
LONG-LISTED for the ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL

TOP 10 NOVELS OF THE YEAR -- TIME, Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, BBC, Newsday

ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: Barnes & Noble, BookPage , BuzzFeed , Elle, Financial Times , Huffington Post , Kirkus , NPR, Refinery29 , Seattle Times , Shelf Awareness, WBUR's On Point

"Haslett is one of the country's most talented writers, equipped with a sixth sense for characterization" --Wall Street Journal

"Ambitious and stirring . . . With Imagine Me Gone , Haslett has reached another level." --New York Times Book Review

From a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist, a ferociously intimate story of a family facing the ultimate question: how far will we go to save the people we love the most?

When Margaret's fianc#65533;, John, is hospitalized for depression in 1960s London, she faces a choice: carry on with their plans despite what she now knows of his condition, or back away from the suffering it may bring her. She decides to marry him. Imagine Me Gone is the unforgettable story of what unfolds from this act of love and faith. At the heart of it is their eldest son, Michael, a brilliant, anxious music fanatic who makes sense of the world through parody. Over the span of decades, his younger siblings -- the savvy and responsible Celia and the ambitious and tightly controlled Alec -- struggle along with their mother to care for Michael's increasingly troubled and precarious existence.

Told in alternating points of view by all five members of the family, this searing, gut-wrenching, and yet frequently hilarious novel brings alive with remarkable depth and poignancy the love of a mother for her children, the often inescapable devotion siblings feel toward one another, and the legacy of a father's pain in the life of a family.

With his striking emotional precision and lively, inventive language, Adam Haslett has given us something rare: a novel with the power to change how we see the most important people in our lives.
Publisher: New York :, Little, Brown and Company,, 2016.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780316261357
0316261351
Characteristics: 356 pages ; 25 cm

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brangwinn
Aug 21, 2017

You won’t find this book light, easy reading, but it encompasses life with mental illness as it impacts the mentally-ill person, family and friends. By offering different perspectives of family members in chapters, the impact of a father’s mental illness and suicide and that of his oldest son is thoughtfully written.

HMWLibrary2017 Jul 14, 2017

I was expecting something else entirely - perhaps a quite, more thoughtful meditation on depression and suicide. Instead this book is a family soap opera. I didn't end up liking or sympathizing with a single character.

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nancywinter
Apr 25, 2017

For me a thoughtful and powerful read.I am trying hard not to use any of the cliche adjectives.
It is a sympathetic forensic visit to a family.No unlikeable characters.They are each trying
to play their part,be loyal and helpful and postive.

BiblioK Apr 21, 2017

A member of the library's book group wrote to me to call attention to this: “I had never understood the invisibility of a human. How we take to be a human is a spirit we can never see. Not until I sat in that room with the dead vehicle that had carried my brother through his life, and for which I had always mistaken him.” (page 332) She said that it was the best description of death she had ever seen.

Adam Haslett's IMAGINE ME GONE is not an easy book to read. I began by listening to the audiobook, and quickly discovered that I needed some distance from the material - the distance that comes from having to decode the words visually. Having the voices of these characters delivered seamlessly via audio was too much to digest. I had to take a break or two, or three before I could make my way through the lives of these fictional family members who were written so authentically that they could be mistaken for a neighbor, acquaintance, or friend.

A finalist for both the Pulitzer and National Book Award, IMAGINE ME GONE gives voice to what goes on inside the heads of its characters as their actions and afflictions mark their lives dramatically. Questions of family, loyalty, identity, pain, and the tragedy of what mental illness does to a family are what is presented in fluid prose. A great selection for book groups, however you may want to have a trigger warning.

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njon38
Dec 31, 2016

The heartbreaking story of a family struggling with the mental illness of father and son told throught the narrative voices of all five family members. Haslet manages to see the humorous along with the painful. Not for the faint of heart.

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0007548100dmw
Nov 16, 2016

Did not complete. Book did not hold my attention. Disappointed with book.

n
NameetaW
Jul 28, 2016

Adam Haslett depicts the experience of each family member with such empathy that it feels as if he must have shared something of himself in each. The experience of life and mental illness is different for everyone, and yet Adam has captured the depth and breadth of its struggles for some so well. Surprisingly not a depressing read though!

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