Posts Tagged andrew sean greer

The confessions of Max Tivoli. (Andrew Sean Greer, 2004)

“At his birth, Max’s father declares him a “nisse,” a creature of Danish myth, as his baby son has the external physical appearance of an old, dying creature. Max grows older like any child, but his physical age appears to go backward–on the outside a very old man, but inside still a fearful child.”

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This book is tragic yet captivating.  It’s definitely the quickest I’ve read any novel which speaks to how good it is.  Although it’s impossible (that I know of) for a person to essentially grow backwards from old to young, the novel is still believable in its message of unyielding love.  No matter his age (chronological or otherwise), his location, or how many other women he’s been with, Max never ceased loving or chasing Alice.  It’s somehow haunting yet sweet that Max’s perseverance for Alice carried him into the midst of her life three separate times–first as an old (sleazy) neighbor, next as her second husband, and lastly as her adopted child.  With each invasion, Max left a different impression on Alice’s mind and heart.

There are several surprises in the novel, and I only seemed to guess what was actually happening a page or two before it was laid out in front of me.  My incapacity for “staying ahead of the game” made this book only the more fascinating to me.  A more well-versed and clever reader may not be as intrigued.

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