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The Midnight Library af Matt Haig
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The Midnight Library (udgave 2020)

af Matt Haig

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1,655917,739 (3.96)59
Medlem:FurbyKirby
Titel:The Midnight Library
Forfattere:Matt Haig
Info:Edinburgh : Canongate, 2020.
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:to-read, tried-to-read-couldn-t-do-it

Detaljer om værket

The Midnight Library af Matt Haig

Nyligt tilføjet afprivat bibliotek, jdona, jessicacrim, culbertsonne, Gotcha3613, Arina42, LGSamuel, niktonihil, xevooy
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» Se også 59 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 88 (næste | vis alle)
Often I read a book I don't love and think: "cool concept, but...". But this time I kept thinking "dumb concept". It's an easy read, though, and with a nice emotional payoff at the end.

The book follows Nora, a woman in her 30s having a terrible day in the midst of what she sees as a terrible life: she loses her job and her cat dies. In the bigger picture, she has lost both her parents, her brother won't talk to her, and she regrets all the opportunities she has squandered: she was a champion swimmer, was in a potentially successful rock band, wanted to be a glaciologist, etc.

So Nora takes an overdose of pills, and is transported to the "midnight library", staffed by the librarian from her school days. In the library is an infinite number of books, each telling a version of Nora's life up until that time, based on her past decisions. She is told she can choose any version, and go live that life from that moment. If she feels she fits in any of those lives, she can just stay there. The remainder of the book is about her different lives and the lessons she learns along the way.

As I indicated at the top, I find the concept silly. Much of the book consists of the librarian describing the somewhat random rules of the library- not that interesting. The author seems to have taken a lot of philosophy in college (as did his protagonist), and seems learned and smart. But the lessons are kind of insipid- it feels like a fiction version of Tuesdays With Morey, treating banal observations about Life as Deep Thought. I'm not impressed. ( )
  DanTarlin | Apr 19, 2021 |
Here's my problem with this book. I don't think I quite knew what it was about, and I will simply go on record to say that I didn't appreciate the fact that it's basically a self-help book packaged as a novel. There's nothing criminal about that, but as I was expecting something else, it felt like a bait and switch. Why should that matter? Because a lot of self-help books are written at a 3rd grade level, and that's how this felt to me.

This complaint may seem disingenuous because judging by all the highlights I made (62!), I actually derived a great deal of self-help from it. But, the writing is atrocious. I wanted to brain myself every time Haig felt it necessary to explain that Nora was behaving a certain way because she had just dropped into a new life and hadn't gotten her bearings yet. In fact, at one point I believe I muttered aloud, "Jesus Christ, I'm not retarded." Non-pc and blasphemous too, so sue me.

Anyway, I will credit Haig for tapping into something that was maybe needed (by me and apparently hordes of other folks given the rabid following) but not wanted (I, the cheese, stand/s alone). It's a mean feat to write something that's accessible to teens but understandable in a very different way by adults with deep, deep regrets. Of which I have many. There, I've said it. Whatever, Matt Haig. ( )
  mpho3 | Apr 18, 2021 |
I read The Humans last summer and really enjoyed it, so I was excited to pick up Haig's new release. And it was... fine.

Nora Seed attempts suicide and finds herself at the Midnight Library, which stands at the boundary between life and death and offers Nora the chance to undo any of her regrets, big or small. Each book on the shelf corresponds to a different version of Nora's life where she made some different decision, and Nora can read these books and slip in to try out these lives. From undoing a breakup to not giving up on a rockstar career, Nora can explore and work through her regrets.

I thought that this was thoroughly ok. It's an interesting concept, I generally really like Groundhog-Day-like tropes, and the themes are very clear and important. But I found it really heavy-handed in a way. Maybe it was unavoidable because of how many lives Nora tries out, but it often felt like a lot more telling than showing--I think that this book could have been a bit longer, with a bit more time exploring each life, and I'd have been totally happy. I also think that, this time, the sci-fi part of the premise didn't add anything for me; I would have, I think, been happier with a fully fantastic version of the library. Relatedly, Nora in more than one life makes a page-long speech about the branching nature of time, which I really didn't enjoy. It felt like the book was reaching hard to be really profound, to a degree that I didn't feel with The Humans. I think it would have been more moving for me if the themes were just a little less glaring.

I do want to try out some more of Haig's writing, but this one didn't quite live up to my expectations. ( )
  forsanolim | Apr 17, 2021 |
For more reviews and bookish posts please visit: https://www.ManOfLaBook.com

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig is a story which takes place between life and death. Mr. Haig is an award-winning, bestselling English author.

Nora Seed wants to die, but instead she finds herself in a library where she could live alternate versions of her reality, with different choices. Nora tries her hand at being an Olympic athlete, a rock star, and a glaciologist. Nevertheless, with every life comes its own consequences.

My wife wanted to read this book, and we heard a lot about it and I’ve read one of Mr Haig’s previous books How to Stop Time and liked it. Our daughter bought a copy to give her on a special occasion,consequently after she finished I got a hold of it.

I have nothing particularly bad, or exceptionally good to say about The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. Maybe because of all the hype around it, more was expected.

It’s difficult to feel anything for Nora Seed, the mid-30s protagonist. She was born with a winning hand of cards, very smart (a glaciologist), Olympic level athlete, and a voice that can fill stadiums.
Does she really have it that bad?

Obviously she does because suicide is a good option. While it sounds strange, Mr. Haig does a fantastic job writing how someone like Nora could get so low – it was fascinating to follow.

The concept is very enjoyable, but at some point the book become preachy. Not even religious preachy, but like social media memes / greeting cards self-help preachy.

The beginning was very good yet uncomfortable to read (in a good way). We follow Nora as her depression snowballs out of control – I was looking forward for the rest. The ending was exactly as I thought it would be, but sprinkled with diabetic level sugar on top.

Unfortunately the book went from an altogether interesting, well written story, to a not-so-interesting, well written yet cheesy self-help/motivational book. ( )
  ZoharLaor | Apr 14, 2021 |
(Synopsis) This book depicts the stages of life of a 39 year old woman who is suffering with Depression and the guilt of everyday life. Whilst in modern day society she can’t undo her choices she is given a new opportunity as she dies and is placed in the library with her school librarian whom she treasured. I loved how this book can show you that some mistakes and choices you’ve done in your life have helped you become a better person. ( )
1 stem princess1402 | Apr 10, 2021 |
Viser 1-5 af 88 (næste | vis alle)
If you’ve never pondered life’s contingencies—like what might’ve happened if you’d skipped the party where you met your spouse—then Matt Haig’s novel The Midnight Library will be an eye-opening experience. This gentle but never cloying fable offers us a chance to weigh our regret over missed opportunities against our gratitude for the life we have.... [Haig's] allusions to multiverses, string theory and Erwin Schrödinger never detract from the emotional heart of this alluring novel.... Haig brings her story to a conclusion that’s both enlightening and deeply satisfying.
tilføjet af Lemeritus | RedigerBookPage, Harvey Freedenberg (Oct 1, 2020)
 
Few fantasies are more enduring than the idea that there might be a second chance at a life already lived, some sort of magical reset in which mistakes can be erased, regrets addressed, choices altered.... The narrative throughout has a slightly old-fashioned feel, like a bedtime story. It’s an absorbing but comfortable read, imaginative in the details if familiar in its outline. The invention of the library as the machinery through which different lives can be accessed is sure to please readers and has the advantage of being both magical and factual. Every library is a liminal space; the Midnight Library is different in scale, but not kind. And a vision of limitless possibility, of new roads taken, of new lives lived, of a whole different world available to us somehow, somewhere, might be exactly what’s wanted in these troubled and troubling times.
tilføjet af Lemeritus | RedigerNew York Times, Karen Joy Fowler (pay site) (Sep 29, 2020)
 
...“between life and death there is a midnight library,” a library that contains multiple volumes of the lives she could have had if she had made different choices.... Haig’s latest (after the nonfiction collection Notes on a Nervous Planet, 2019) is a stunning contemporary story that explores the choices that make up a life, and the regrets that can stifle it. A compelling novel that will resonate with readers.
tilføjet af Lemeritus | RedigerBooklist, LynnDee Wathen (Aug 1, 2020)
 
An unhappy woman who tries to commit suicide finds herself in a mysterious library that allows her to explore new lives.... This book isn't heavy on hows; you won’t need an advanced degree in quantum physics or string theory to follow its simple yet fantastical logic. Predicting the path Nora will ultimately choose isn’t difficult, either. Haig treats the subject of suicide with a light touch, and the book’s playful tone will be welcome to readers who like their fantasies sweet if a little too forgettable. A whimsical fantasy about learning what’s important in life.
tilføjet af Lemeritus | RedigerKirkus Reviews (Jul 14, 2020)
 

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Haig, Mattprimær forfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Mulligan, CareyFortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones, and variations of mental and physical experience possible in my life.
--Sylvia Plath
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To all the health workers. And the care workers. Thank you.
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Nineteen years before she decided to die, Nora Seed sat in the warmth of the small library at Hazeldene School in the town of Bedford.
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She knew she should be experiencing pity and despair for her feline friend – and she was – but she had to acknowledge something else. As she stared at Voltaire’s still and peaceful expression – that total absence of pain – there was an inescapable feeling brewing in the darkness. Envy.
The universe tended towards chaos and entropy. That was basic thermodynamics. Maybe it was basic existence too.
Bertrand Russell wrote that ‘To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already three-parts dead’. Maybe that was her problem. Maybe she was just scared of living. But Bertrand Russell had more marriages and affairs than hot dinners, so perhaps he was no one to give advice.
A person was like a city. You couldn’t let a few less desirable parts put you off the whole. There may be bits you don’t like, a few dodgy side streets and suburbs, but the good stuff makes it worthwhile.
‘Want,’ she told her, in a measured tone, ‘is an interesting word. It means lack. Sometimes if we fill that lack with something else the original want disappears entirely. Maybe you have a lack problem rather than a want problem. Maybe there is a life that you really want to live.’
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