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All the Lonely People af Mike Gayle
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All the Lonely People (udgave 2022)

af Mike Gayle (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
24916105,768 (4.16)5
"Life is waiting to happen to Hubert Bird. But first he has to open his front door and let it in. In weekly phone calls to his daughter in Australia, widower Hubert Bird paints a picture of the perfect retirement, packed with fun, friendship, and fulfilment. But he's lying. The truth is day after day drags by without him seeing a single soul. Until he receives some good news - good news that in one way turns out to be the worst news ever, news that will force him out again, into a world he has long since turned his back on. Now Hubert faces a seemingly impossible task: to make his real life resemble his fake life before the truth comes out. Along the way Hubert stumbles across a second chance at love, renews a cherished friendship, and finds himself roped into an audacious community scheme that seeks to end loneliness once and for all . . . Life is certainly beginning to happen to Hubert Bird. But with the origin of his earlier isolation always lurking in the shadows, will he ever get to live the life he's pretended to have for so long?"--… (mere)
Medlem:asher8
Titel:All the Lonely People
Forfattere:Mike Gayle (Forfatter)
Info:Grand Central Publishing (2022), 400 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

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All the Lonely People af Mike Gayle

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Viser 1-5 af 16 (næste | vis alle)
Hubert Bird, the octogeneranian protagonist in this sentimental novel, is in the present time a lonely widower living in the London borough of Bromley. He is one of my favorite characters of the books I read this year.

The fictional Mr. Bird arrived in England from Jamaica in the 1950s as part of the Windrush generation, an initiative under British law that encouraged people from the Caribbean British Commonwealth countries to migrate to Britain to help address the country’s post-WWII labor shortage. In exchange, the immigrants coming from countries with little economic opportunity were granted British citizenship and rights to settle in England. What Mr. Bird and others like him were not expecting was the blatant racism he and his fellow immigrants would face in housing and in the workplace, which increases when he marries a white woman, Joyce, who he met at the department store, in which he works in the warehouse. The story moves between the two timelines, past and present. In addition to the theme of isolation via racism, as the title suggests, isolation via circumstance or choice after major personal losses occupies much of the book. Mr. Bird’s delightful neighbor, Ashleigh, and her toddler daughter, eventual coaxes him out of his shell.

The story is part romance as well – the nearly 50-year marriage between Hubert and Joyce, before she died, was a beautiful example of romantic love and commitment to one’s promises as they raised their two children, Rose and David. The story had an unanticipated twist toward the end that added another, sadder layer of texture to Mr. Bird’s loneliness, but I found that whole premise implausible, unfortunately, so it detracted a little from the story. For that reason, I could not give it a four-star review. Still a very enjoyable story and timely, given it is ultimately about emerging from isolation and reconnecting with people, which many of us who have worked remotely during the pandemic are still adjusting to.
( )
  bschweiger | Feb 4, 2024 |
4.5⭐️

In January 1958, a young Jamaican by the name of Hubert Bird sails to Southampton in search of a bright future like many others of the Windrush Generation. He finds employment and has to endure blatant racism and discrimination both in the workplace and in society in general, but remains hopeful. Hubert meets his future wife Joyce, falls in love and marries her - an inter-racial marriage that is not accepted by Joyce’s family. A hardworking and honest man, loving husband and devoted father to two children, Hubert settles down in Bromley with his wife and family.

Our protagonist Hubert Bird, is presently in his 80s and lives alone in his home in Bromley, with his pet cat Puss as his only companion after having lost his wife of forty-seven years thirteen years ago. He has isolated himself from his friends and community for the last five years, including his closest friend Gus and looks forward to the weekly phone calls from his daughter Rose, a professor working in Australia. His daughter worries about his being alone and to appease her he concocts stories about fictitious friends and regales her with stories revolving around his busy social life. When his daughter plans a visit, he realizes that he will be caught in his deception and strives to rectify his situation and ventures out to reconnect with his old crowd but that does not happen.

"When you don’t see someone regularly you imagine them carrying on with their lives as they’d always done from one year to the next, but the truth was things changed. People grew old and got sick, they sold up and moved on; they weren’t frozen in time waiting for the day that you knocked on their door looking for them.”

When a young single mother, Ashleigh and her young daughter move into his neighborhood and attempt to befriend him, he initially tries to avoid them but in the face of Ashleigh’s upbeat and friendly nature, his defenses start to crumble and he begins to enjoy their company. Eventually, Ashleigh inspires and motivates him to join her efforts in seeking out other people like themselves who also feel isolated and lonely, creating a “campaign” against loneliness banding the community together in a great initiative.

“Moments later as he stood on the doorstep waving goodbye to his new neighbors, the embrace was all he could think about, and once he’d closed the door firmly behind him, he felt his legs buckling as tear after tear rolled down his cheeks. And in that moment, as he attempted to stem his tears, Hubert realized something he hadn’t quite understood before now: he was lonely, really lonely, and most likely had been for a very long time.”

Mike Gayle’s ‘All The Lonely People’ is a wonderfully crafted story with an endearing cast of characters and a fluid narrative, revolving around themes of family, friendship, loneliness and community. The author touches upon sensitive issues such as racism, substance abuse, age-related dementia and elder care with compassion and restraint. The author’s strength lies in his characterizations and his sensitive portrayal of relationships. The chapters alternate between Hubert’s past (starting from 1957) and the present day. The novel is very well–structured and I enjoyed both the past and present tracks in the narrative. Though the story primarily revolves around Hubert Bird, the author also gives due importance to his other characters and explores how loneliness impacts both the elderly and the younger generation as well as immigrants and those battling illness and addiction and emphasizes the importance of community, kindness and inclusivity. Overall, the novel is well-paced but some parts of the story are a tad long-drawn and could have been shorter. The events that unfold in the course of the story alternate between heartbreakingly sad, funny, hopeful and heartwarming. This is an emotionally heavy read that will resonate with many and will ultimately leave you smiling through your tears. ‘All The Lonely People’ is my first Mike Gayle novel and I look forward to reading more of his work in the future.

“You see, the key to helping other people out of them loneliness is nothing more difficult than good old-fashioned perseverance. It’s not always easy, me know that, but you’ve got to be willing to keep doors open, to carry on trying even if it doesn’t look like it’s working. You’ve got to refuse to give up on people, even if them given up on themselves.” ( )
  srms.reads | Sep 4, 2023 |
This had all the warm and fuzzy feels I could ever ask for. ( )
  wandaly | Jun 13, 2023 |
MY HEARTSTRINGS THEY ARE TUGGED

I was not expecting that twist. ( )
  whakaora | Mar 5, 2023 |
The beauty of going to the library and scanning the 'new release' shelves, we often stumble across new authors.

We first meet Hubert Bird, a Jamaican native living in the UK in his later years. As with most stories of 'senior citizens' it toggles back and forth between the present and his past. Living alone, his life is repetitive though he does little to change it until Ashleigh and Layla, a young woman and her child become neighbors and a bond forms instantaneously.

When the story toggles back to the late 50s where racism in the UK is prevalent, Hubert meets Joyce, a lovely Brit who's magnetized to him immediately, though her parents are anything but happy about it. Recently married, she divorces and falls for Hubert; not long after they wed. Joyce gives birth to Rose, a beautiful biracial child full of vim and vigor; a few years later they have David who unlike his sister, is a troublemaker. Hubert's natural born optimism in the face of judgement, becomes a quality Rose embodies, while David grows to be the 'problem child'.

Back in the present, Hubert's ease at meeting others baffles Ashleigh, so she takes it upon herself to form a group dedicated to healing loneliness. With Hubert as its humble spokesperson, interest grows rapidly.

I'll be honest in saying, the lackluster characters and repetitive 'toggles' made me drowsy, though I kept hoping for change. And while theres is a twist at the end, I can't say the story is unique or memorable in spite of other's high ratings.

Reading this story in parallel to "Ptolemy' made an interesting comparison though in my opinion, Mosley is a far better author. If you enjoy stories of this sort, you'll find this to your liking. ( )
  Jonathan5 | Feb 20, 2023 |
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"Life is waiting to happen to Hubert Bird. But first he has to open his front door and let it in. In weekly phone calls to his daughter in Australia, widower Hubert Bird paints a picture of the perfect retirement, packed with fun, friendship, and fulfilment. But he's lying. The truth is day after day drags by without him seeing a single soul. Until he receives some good news - good news that in one way turns out to be the worst news ever, news that will force him out again, into a world he has long since turned his back on. Now Hubert faces a seemingly impossible task: to make his real life resemble his fake life before the truth comes out. Along the way Hubert stumbles across a second chance at love, renews a cherished friendship, and finds himself roped into an audacious community scheme that seeks to end loneliness once and for all . . . Life is certainly beginning to happen to Hubert Bird. But with the origin of his earlier isolation always lurking in the shadows, will he ever get to live the life he's pretended to have for so long?"--

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