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De bekentenissen van Max Tivoli (2004)

door Andrew Sean Greer

LedenBesprekingenPopulariteitGemiddelde beoordelingAanhalingen
1,530558,699 (3.66)76
Max Tivoli is uniquely cursed. His mind ages properly, but his body ages in reverse. Born with the withered body of a 70-year old man, Max grows physically younger each year while his intellect matures. Despite this crippling torment, Max manages three times to cross paths with Alice, the person who captures his heart. Because he appears to be a different person each time they meet, Max is given three chances for true love.… (meer)
  1. 20
    De wonderbaarlijke geschiedenis van Benjamin Button door F. Scott Fitzgerald (crazybatcow)
    crazybatcow: This short story about Benjamin Button has the same premise as Max Tivoli but the movie rendition of this title, with Brad Pitt, far far outweighs the short story on which it was based.
  2. 00
    De vrouw van de tijdreiziger door Audrey Niffenegger (suzanney)
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1-5 van 55 worden getoond (volgende | toon alle)
This is one of the more finely wrought things I've read in a while. The prose is beautiful (some might say purple, but it really worked for me), the story weird and funny (and sometimes a little creepy) and crushing. I read it quickly but it deserves to be read slowly. ( )
  dllh | Jan 6, 2021 |
One of the best novels I have read in a long time. Tightly constructed, beautifully written, with rich vocabulary and characters who are humanly flawed and tragically sympathetic. I took notes as I read to remind myself of the new words I encountered and the exquisite craft technique that the author showed. ( )
  AnaraGuard | Nov 1, 2020 |
Max Tivoli is an odd person. He is born an old man and is growing old even though his body becomes younger. His parents at first keep him mostly hidden, cared for by a Maid and his grandmother. Slowly, he is allowed to interact with others and find companions, such as Hughie, who simply accepts him for who or what he is.

The book is very thoughtful. It explores interactions among people and the psychology not only of being different but of the process of aging and the disparity between people of different ages. The writing is beautiful--so evocative of a time in the past and a pervasive love. Amazingly--in the middle of the book--I realized that the name of the “monster” and the woman he loved were Max and Alice--the exact names of my parents!

I think this is a gorgeous love story. There is something about a forbidden love or a transient love that almost has more power than a love which is consummated and then allowed to fade over time. I found this book very passionate--both in emotion and in thoughts. It made me think about the transient nature of relationships--among acquaintances, friends, family, and the great loves of a person’s life. This book examines these from all angles so poignantly and in such a beautiful manner.

I really, really loved this book. I thought the writing was beautiful in how well it expressed the agonies, not only of unrequited love, but also what it's like being "different" in today's society. Although the premise of the story (a person being born old and growing younger) might not be real, being considered a "monster" in today's society (for various reasons in which one person might be different from another) is certainly true enough. The thoughts about which Max wrote show a real understanding of the pain of such marginalization.

Another reason I was impressed with this story was its mind-bending aspect! I had enough of a problem trying to figure out how a person who is growing younger while others are growing older would relate psychologically, physically, and chronologically to others...but the author made it all seem so easy! He did it with such eloquence.

I really got into the character of Max, felt for him, and much appreciated the character of Hughie, a true friend.

There were some chords that struck unusually close to home. Max and Alice (the two most important characters in this novel) were also the names of my parents! I believe that the author grew up in Rockville, Maryland (my home town). ( )
1 stem SqueakyChu | Jan 12, 2020 |
Excerpts from my original GR review (Apr 2009):
- I was impressed by the fine writing, atmospheric, engaging. Max's end of life narration really carries this novel. I sympathized with Max's plight, but the author doesn't allow this story to become depressive. [this will deserve a re-read] ( )
  ThoughtPolice | Aug 29, 2018 |
Based on the same premise as F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, this is the tale of Max Tivoli who is born an old man and endures a life in reverse, his body growing ever younger whilst his mind ages as normal. Except for a few fleeting years in the middle of his life, Tivoli's mind and body are always out of step with each other, an immature child when others see him as an old man, and at the other end of his life an older man in a child's body.

At a young age, when outwardly an old man, Tivoli falls for the young girl who lives in the flat below him, and much of the novel centres around his complicated lifelong love for Alice.

This was a most frustrating read for me. For the first two thirds I couldn't wait for it to finish - I didn't give a fig for Max or any of the other characters, and felt that Greer was poorly repurposing an idea from one of writing's masters with little emotional substance. However, in the last third when everything started to be revealed, it did become more of a page-turner.

3 stars - a great final burst, but disappointingly much too late. ( )
  AlisonY | May 20, 2018 |
1-5 van 55 worden getoond (volgende | toon alle)
Max may be a monster, but he is a profoundly human one, a creature whose unusual disorder, far from making him a freak to be wondered at, simply magnifies his normal and recognizable emotions, sharpening their poignancy. The course of true love, after all, doesn't run smooth -- even for those of us whose biological clocks move forward. So Max turns out to be not so strange a beast after all. He's doomed to improvise his way through life, just like the rest of us, dodging heartbreak and disappointment at every step, forever baffled by the absurd, hopeless ordeal of loving another human being.
toegevoegd door SimoneA | bewerkNew York Times, Gary Krist (Feb 8, 2004)
 
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And though I knew the smile faintly forming on her face as she left was not for me, and the sleepless night she would spend was not over my bearded face, still I was there in it somewhere. I was a houseboy of her heart. When we are very young, we try to live on what can never be enough. [78-79]
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Max Tivoli is uniquely cursed. His mind ages properly, but his body ages in reverse. Born with the withered body of a 70-year old man, Max grows physically younger each year while his intellect matures. Despite this crippling torment, Max manages three times to cross paths with Alice, the person who captures his heart. Because he appears to be a different person each time they meet, Max is given three chances for true love.

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