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I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes With Death: The Breathtaking Number One Bestseller Broché – 31 mai 2018
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AS FEATURED ON BIG SCOTTISH BOOK CLUB AND THE ZOE BALL BOOKCLUB, A BOOK OF THE YEAR IN THE SUNDAY TIMES, THE TIMES, GUARDIAN, IRISH TIMES, OBSERVER, RED and THE TELEGRAPH.
*SHORTLISTED FOR THE PEN ACKERLEY PRIZE FOR MEMOIR AND AUTOBIOGRAPHY 2018*
I AM, I AM, I AM is a memoir with a difference - the unputdownable story of an extraordinary woman's life in near-death experiences. Insightful, inspirational, gorgeously written, it is a book to be read at a sitting, a story you finish newly conscious of life's fragility, determined to make every heartbeat count.
A childhood illness she was not expected to survive. A teenage yearning to escape that nearly ended in disaster. A terrifying encounter on a remote path. A mismanaged labour in an understaffed hospital. Shocking, electric, unforgettable, this is the extraordinary memoir from Costa Novel-Award winner and Sunday Timesbestselling author Maggie O'Farrell. It is a book to make you question yourself. What would you do if your life was in danger, and what would you stand to lose?
Description du produit
Revue de presse
Maggie O'Farrell is a highly accomplished author with seven novels to her name but she achieves something altogether more powerful and direct in this astonishing memoir... Each chapter is an accomplished piece of memoir writing in its own right. The cumulative effect is extraordinary and I felt my understanding of what it means to be a human and a mother grew. Where other writers may be playing with paper, O'Farrell takes up a bow and arrow and aims right at the human heart (Cathy Rentzenbrink The Times)
I have never read a book about death that has made me feel so alive. A heart-stopping, addictive read (Tracy Chevalier)
I adored every minute. A triumph (Joanna Cannon)
Extraordinary. A beautiful testament to courage and grace under fire without an ounce of self-pity (Kate Mosse)
It is absolutely, in every possible sense of the word, brilliant. It shines with wit and candour and insight. It is spectacularly moving, funny, impeccably controlled, artful and sincere. It's a gift (Max Porter)
By turns chilling, terrifying, deeply moving, funny, recognisable, wild, simple, complicated. A rich celebration (Rachel Joyce)
Quite simply astonishing... reminds the reader of the fierce joy of being alive. To my mind, I AM, I AM, I AM is Maggie O'Farrell's greatest work to date (Louise O'Neill)
The final chapter is one of the boldest and most terrifying things I have read this year (Scotsman)
She is a breathtakingly good writer, and brings all her elegance and poise as a novelist to the story of her own life (Guardian)
Leaves the reader feeling breathless, grateful and fully alive. Maggie O'Farrell is a miracle in every sense. I will never forget this book (Ann Patchett)
[An] extraordinary memoir... uncomfortable and compelling... fluent, poised, packed with colourful details (Observer)
A mystical howl, a thrumming, piercing reminder of how very closely we all exist alongside what could have happened, but didn't (New York Times Book Review)
It's a prayer for perspective that reminds readers to see every dodged bullet as the gift of new life and a reminder not to sweat the small stuff (Daily Mail)
A profoundly affecting, powerful and life-affirming book. If you only read one memoir this year, make it O'Farrell's (Sunday Express)
O'Farrell has a compelling and arresting writing style that fills in a scene quickly and engagingly, to great dramatic and narrative effect (New Statesman)
Exceptionally accomplished and emotionally sophisticated (Scotsman)
One of the most life affirming reads of the summer (Irish Independent)
I can count on one hand the books that made me cry, and still have two fingers spare. I Am, I Am, I Am is one of them (Irish Times)
O'Farrell's emotional acuity makes it a powerful account of a determined and thoughtful life. Her fiction is always a masterclass in empathy and the same is true of I Am, I Am, I Am which lingers even longer in the memory for being drawn from real life. (Daily Express)
A remarkable and life-affirming autobiography (Good Housekeeping)
I have never read a book about death that has made me feel so alive. Beautifully observed, exquisitely written, Maggie's memoir is a heart-stopping, addictive read. She has raised the bar on memoir to a height few others will reach (Tracy Chevalier)
A beautiful, strangely reassuring read (The i)
I AM, I AM, I AM is a gripping and glorious investigation of death that leaves the reader feeling breathless, grateful, and fully alive. Maggie O'Farrell is a miracle in every sense. I will never forget this book (Ann Patchett)
A remarkable book (Scotsman)
It's a memoir replete with courage, heartbreak and optimism: the most life-affirming book of the year (Sunday Express)
A mesmerising read (The Sunday Times)
Biographie de l'auteur
Détails sur le produit
- ASIN : 1472240766
- Éditeur : Tinder Press; 1er édition (31 mai 2018)
- Langue : Anglais
- Broché : 304 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9781472240767
- ISBN-13 : 978-1472240767
- Poids de l'article : 220 g
- Dimensions : 12.8 x 2 x 19.6 cm
- Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon : 132 en Maternité (Livres)
- Commentaires client :
À propos de l'auteur
Meilleurs commentaires provenant d’autres pays
At Hay, O'Farrell said that she thinks 'chronology is a tryranny' and this is evident in her two books I've read so far (clearly I'm working my way through the rest now). She has a real gift for telling a story in episodes out of chronological order, and she trusts her reader to fill in the gaps more than any other writer I've come across.
I don't often read memoirs (there are so many fiction books I want to read first) but I Am, I Am, I Am is well worth making an exception for. And I am convinced that Maggie O'Farrell's survival instinct, which seems at times to rely heavily on an abnormally high level of empathy, is instrinsically linked to her astonishing talent as a novelist.
O’Farrell has divided each potential encounter with not being, by time, and by the part of the body or psyche where vulnerability struck.
Perhaps it is the large number of close shaves, of different kinds, which have made her fiercely embrace her ‘I Am’
The first near brush is a horrible encounter, as a young woman on a holiday job, with someone later convicted of murdering young women. Some kind of instinct took Farrell to take exactly the right kind of evasive action which kept her safe:
“I could have said that I have an instinct for the onset of violence. That, for a long time, I seemed to incite it in others for reasons I never quite understood. If, as a child, you are struck or hit, you will never forget that sense of your own powerlessness and vulnerability, of how a situation can turn from benign to brutal in the blink of an eye, in the space of a breath. That sensibility will run in your veins, like an antibody”
O’ Farrell has that ability a writer must have, to be within a situation and able, simultaneously to reflect on it, to see wider contexts
Making a plane journey which turned somewhat hazardous, and which had only happened because her journey through academia had failed to deliver the expected results, and so led to a changed career path, made her aware, later
“That the things in life which don’t go to plan are usually more important, more formative, in the long run, than the things that do.
You need to expect the unexpected, to embrace it. The best way, I am about to discover, is not always the easy way”
Brushes with mortality have been her own, and also, more heart-breakingly for any parent, anguish over a child’s health. Maggie O’ Farrell, by virtue of surviving her various own ‘near death’ encounters, had almost felt a kind of invulnerability
“The knowledge that I was lucky to be alive, that it could so easily have been otherwise, skewed my thinking. I viewed my continuing life as a bonus, a boon: I could do with it what I wanted”
That sense of having control over your own destiny, if one has it, crumbles in the face of a child’s fragility:
"Holding my child, I realised my vulnerability to death; I was frightened of it, for the first time. I knew too well how fine a membrane separates us from that place, and how easily it can be perforated.”
Maggie O’Farrell has a daughter born with an immunology disorder. She is both more prone to weakened immunity from common pathogens, and extreme over-reactivity to various foodstuffs to the point where she will go into anaphylactic shock – nuts, sesame, eggs, bee or wasp stings – even to the extent that if she comes into contact for example with crumbs from a nut cookie on an improperly cleaned café table. She, and her family, have to live in constant vigilance
It might sound as if this is a dreadfully depressing book, a catalogue of woes – of course, it isn’t.
In its strange way, this is celebratory, a reminder to cherish the wonder of our fragile, strong, livingness
In her fiction, O’Farrell is masterful at slicing open her characters’ emotions and eliciting empathy from the reader. Here, perhaps because she was trying so hard to convey her own emotions, the majority of experiences are over described and analyzed. There are also several instances where she breaks away from a story to give lengthy scientific or historical background. I found this habit disruptive and annoying, and because it involves a complete change in writing style, jarring in the extreme.
All that aside, though, O’Farrell does seem to have led a fascinating and challenging life. I think if she were to choose a more traditional way to tell her story, instead of trying to be ‘clever’, it would make a brilliant read. I hope she redeems herself with her next novel.
Thanks for reading my review. I hope you found it helpful. You can find more candid book reviews on my Amazon profile page.
I’m sure many ladies reading this book can empathise with some of the situations the author has found herself in, perhaps even gone through similar situations ourselves. Did we think we had a ‘brush with death’? Most probably not, just unlucky.
While there is no doubt she writes beautifully and uses the most wonderfully descriptive language, there’s only so many times you can read about her ‘near misses’ without thinking she’s a bit of a drama queen and that her glass is always half empty.
It’s a shame that this is the first of her books I have read, as it’s put me off reading others if they’re also in the same melodramatic vein. Don’t choose this if you want a cheery holiday read.
As the title says it's basically Ms O'Farrell's life story told in a series of potentially life-threatening disasters that have befallen her. I don't know if she's broken several mirrors in her life or walked under too many ladders but life has certainly dealt her more than her share of misfortune, all of which it has to be said she's endured and persevered with admirably.
Life dealt her a pretty crappy hand and the book is very moving in parts,scary in others including close encounters with a murderer and a certain Mr Saville who showed far too great an interest in her while she was in hospital as a child.
My main feeling when reading the book was a realisation that my life hasn't been so bad after all and a profound admiration for Maggie O'Farrell as she conquers things that break a lesser person not just once but...as the title says,17 times.
An excellent book written by an amazing person.