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All That Man Is
All That Man Is | David Szalay
These are brilliantly observed, large-hearted stories by a young writer that herald the introduction to a North American audience a major and mature literary talent. For readers of David Bezmozgis, Nathan Englander, Neil Smith, John Cheever, and Milan Kundera. In this stunningly accomplished work, award-winning author David Szalay explores the terrain of manhood. Inhabited by characters at different stages in their lives, ranging from the teenage years to old age, this virtuoso collection portrays men in utterly real and compelling terms as they grapple with relationships and masculinity. Set in various European cities, the stories are dark and disturbing, some almost surreal, but always with accute psychological insight that renders them fascinating. They deal with pride and greed, jealousy and love, grief and loneliness. Funny and heart-achingly sad, sometimes shocking, because the stories are invariably true to life, this is a collection to be read and savoured.
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Cinfhen
All That Man Is | David Szalay
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Woohoo 🙌🏻 🥳Look what came today @BarbaraBB I‘m SO excited ❣️❣️❣️I‘m dying to read this one ~ you‘re amazing. Thanks so much for thinking of me 😘#LittensAreTheBest #BookMail

BarbaraBB Oh that is such a relief that it has arrived! I am shocked by the font that has been used on my note 😂🤪 7d
BarbaraBB The book is as good as Turbulence. I hope you‘ll enjoy it 💕 7d
Cinfhen Hahaha @BarbaraBB YOU noticed the font!!!! 7d
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allalettera
Pickpick

Da leggere perché... #OltreAllaCopertina c‘è di più e, se tutti quest‘anno lo hanno letto, vuol dire che stiamo investendo bene il nostro tempo. Nove meridiani su un unico parallelo antropologico.

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Abailliekaras
All That Man Is | David Szalay
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In Episode 7 of Books On The Go we discuss All That Man Is. Is it a novel? Amanda tries to convince me to like it more. Will she succeed? Take a listen! 🎧

https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/books-on-the-go/id1391038223?mt=2hickleberry...

Simona It is NOT a novel! 😘😘😘 1y
BarbaraBB I‘ll have to listen! I think I am team Amanda 😘 1y
Abailliekaras @simona we agree! 🙃 1y
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Abailliekaras @BarbaraBB she‘s very persuasive! 😉 1y
Simona I just listened your debate with Amanda and I checked my GR and guess what - I also gave it 4⭐️ 1y
Abailliekaras @simona thank you for listening! ☺️ 1y
30 likes6 comments
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Abailliekaras
All That Man Is | David Szalay
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Mehso-so

A collection of stories on the theme of masculinity. I did not enjoy it. Ther protagonists are straight white men who judge women on their looks & lack curiosity or intelligence, apart from an interest in money. This is all too real & tiresome. It may be the state of men today, but nothing in the writing or characters made me empathise with these men or see their problems through new eyes. Cynical humour, well observed but not to my taste. 😐

BookishTrish I‘d say timing makes a difference too. When I read it back in 2016 I liked how it calls for criticism of white males. But that was such a different time! 1y
Abailliekaras @BookishTrish that‘s so true. I‘m doing a podcast on it and my co-host loved it, so it should be a very interesting discussion at least! I appreciated how realistic it was, but really didn‘t want to hang out with them for 400 pages... & his flat style did nothing to change that. 1y
BarbaraBB I also liked it a lot but read it in 2016 indeed... 1y
KateFulfordAuthor If you‘d like a smarter plot, stronger character and a sassy female narrative - to counter-balance that read - may I be as bold to recommend my debut? 1y
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BaBaBaBillyAndTheBooks
All That Man Is | David Szalay
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Mehso-so

You only get glimpses of the 9 unconnected characters—all experiencing a crisis while traveling in Europe. Szalay moves on just before each man's fate is determined, making every chapter just “a moment‘s immersion in the texture of existence." Each story blends into one common experience: of being disoriented, unfulfilled, cast away. What is "all that man is" exactly? Perhaps alone — that is, until all of the stories of the lost come together.

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MrBook
All That Man Is | David Szalay
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#TBRtemptation post 4! 9 men, each at a difference life-stage, away from home, striving to understand what it means to be alive. Prague, an Alpine village, a Belgian motorway, a Cyprus hotel, etc. The seemingly separate narratives are an aggregate of a single shared experience. Considered a new kind of novel, this tense, comical, deep resonates with a fresh and unique kind of narrative power. #blameLitsy #blameMrBook 😎

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BarbaraBB
All That Man Is | David Szalay
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Pickpick

I liked this book a lot. It consists of 9 stories of 9 men in different phases of their lives. All are travelling through Europe, one way or another.

David Szalay is still young, but I am surprised at how well he can relate to men of all ages. Some stories are better than others, probably because I can relate more to some of them, but overall I was pleasantly surprised. #booker #manbooker

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Eyejaybee
All That Man Is | David Szalay
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Deeply caught up in this enthralling and intriguing novel, and still can't predict how all the strands will be resolved.

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BookishTrish
All That Man Is | David Szalay
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NikkiA
All That Man Is | David Szalay
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Mehso-so

I feel like this quote sums up my feelings about the book pretty well. It is fantastically well-written by an undeniably talented author, but it's left me feeling kind of sad and hopeless about life in general 😳
Time to move on to something a little more lightweight and life-affirming...

BookishMarginalia I'm skipping this one, at least for now. 3y
charl08 Oh, shame. I liked it! 3y
NikkiA @charl08 I actually kind of liked it as well, or at least I thought it was very well done - I just didn't really enjoy reading it, if that makes sense? 3y
JenzyRichards I concur! 3y
BB1958 I agree with this review and would add this comment. I read the reviews and comments on this wonderful sure before starting the book. So I "bailed" after reading the first two stories. Both very well-written with subtly expressed observations about men and life. But too dark for me to keep reading. So I give it a thumbs up with warning 2y
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[DELETED] 3323341091
All That Man Is | David Szalay
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Bailedbailed

i found myself counting odd grammatical pairings and inconsistencies along with contradictory word choices instead of developing any interest in the stories. moving on...

kedupre Hahaha 👍 3y
Faibka Lol, loved the post-it 😆 3y
Kathrin If it's a library book, I would stick it inside to warn the next person! 😆 3y
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mauveandrosysky I bailed too!! 🙊 3y
[DELETED] 3323341091 @mauveandrosysky normally bailing does not bother me, but sometimes it smarts when bailing on a book i really want to enjoy. 😕 3y
mauveandrosysky Agreed. I had really been looking forward to this one. 3y
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[DELETED] 3323341091
All That Man Is | David Szalay
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contradictory adjectives -- one's face cannot be simultaneously solemn, inexpressive, and nervous. 😡

valeriegeary 🤔 3y
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Hemingweight
All That Man Is | David Szalay
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There is a strange sense of loss, a sense of loss without an obvious object.

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Bookofmirth
All That Man Is | David Szalay
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First read today for @DeweysReadathon !

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half_book_and_co
All That Man Is | David Szalay
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Panpan


Why pick it up? To get involved in the “Is this a novel”-debate. Good writing.

What‘s not to like? I did not see the interesting approach on masculinity/ men and/ or Europe, instead I found the characters rather similar from their social positions (white, hetero, European passports) and a lot of clichés. Women are never anywhere are almost exclusively described in relation to their (not) being seen as attractive by the protagonist.

WOCreads Yay you're here! Welcome to Litsy!🙌📚 3y
half_book_and_co @Ifyoucanreadthis_Bina Thank you! Glad to be here 😁 3y
charl08 Liked this a lot (still no idea if it is a novel or not though). .. 3y
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mauveandrosysky
All That Man Is | David Szalay
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Bailedbailed

Wow, I kinda can't believe I'm bailing on this. I love existential crises. I love unlikable characters. I love books about the male psyche. I just really, really, REALLY can't get into Szalay's writing.

shawnmooney Ha ha: guess it wasn't worth the wait, hey? :) 3y
mauveandrosysky @shawnmooney no, I'm so bummed! 😩 3y
36 likes3 comments
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mauveandrosysky
All That Man Is | David Szalay
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Hot apple cider, seasonal local chocolate and a new book. 🍎🍫📖

daena Great mug! 3y
BooksTeasAndBookishThings That mug! 😂😍 3y
LeahBergen 👍🏼👍🏼 3y
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mauveandrosysky
All That Man Is | David Szalay

I finally got this one and I'm excited to start it tonight! Confession: I love books about the male psyche. It's something that fascinates me. After recently reading (and loving) The Throwback Special, another shortlisted book about the male psyche, I'm eager to see what this one has to offer. (Though admittedly wary of the apparent lack of diversity I've heard people mention.)

Yournewfriendsams Omg I just posted a psyche confession too 🙌🏽😏☝🏼 3y
mauveandrosysky @Yournewfriendsams great minds! 😉 3y
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shawnmooney
All That Man Is | David Szalay
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Pickpick

Leaving aside Szalay's silly insistence that this is a novel, what All That Man Is is, is (see what I did there?) an incredible collection of short stories that explores the empty lives of inarticulate, lonely men of all ages, each away from home and pathetically adrift in present-day Europe. It is a singular achievement that Szalay narrates all this meaninglessness without judgment, and without depressing the hell out of the reader.

Lindy Apparently Szalay isn't the only one who considers this a novel. Only novels are eligible for the Man Booker and the judges haven't ejected it. I remember that I couldn't convince some book club members that Jennifer Egan wrote a novel in stories with 3y
shawnmooney @Lindy Well I think it's bonkers. Have you read it? I'd be happy to consider your opposite opinion. This is not even a collection of linked short stories. No definition I've ever heard of what constitutes a novel applies. 3y
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Simona I also didn't buy the explanation why this collection of the short stories is a novel - "because each story in itself represents a certain period in the life of a man (from adolescence to old age) and as such represents a life cycle for a individual human life and because the first and last story are related". 3y
Lindy @Simona That sounds like a novel to me, albeit in an unusual format. @shawnmooney I don't plan to read this because I have too many others clamouring for my attention, but the format discussion interests me. 3y
Lindy I read something recently that had me scratching my head about whether it was a novel or a series of prose poems: 3y
Simona @Lindy The stories are not linked to each other in terms of contents and during the reading you don't have a sense that you're reading a comprehensive work. Quite confusing for me is that some of the stories(I can't remember actual figure) were published as standalone short stories in a magazine. I agree with @shawnmooney and I would love to have listened to the debate when the jury consisted longlist. 3y
Simona @Lindy thanks for the recommendation, sounds interesting. 3y
shawnmooney @lindy @simona The Booker folks are all on drugs, perhaps. I have no trouble admitting collections of short stories for consideration for the prize; I have no qualms with considering collection of linked short stories – with the same characters – to be a novel. But A collection of stories about completely different characters arranged chronologically by age, is not a novel! 3y
shawnmooney Ha ha - accidentally hit send before I was quite finished but you get the general gist of my 4 AM thoughts perhaps. These are definitely not fighting words: disagreements over what constitutes a novel are not to be taken terribly seriously. :-) But the Booker folks are out to lunch. :) 3y
Simona I agree with you @shawnmooney I did have a problem/doubts with Strout's Olive Kitteridge. For me this is collection of short stories, not a novel. 3y
shawnmooney @Simona Interesting: I don't have any trouble calling Olive Kitteridge a novel. A series of short stories about the same literary characters is not so far of a stretch. A collection of stories that are thematically linked but with completely different characters is a bridge too far. 3y
Simona @shawnmooney I understand that, but in some stories her name was just mentioned and I need much more to feel the book as a novel, regardless of what literary theory says 😉 3y
shawnmooney @Simona Fair enough. We all have our literary genre red lines, hey? :-) 3y
Simona @shawnmooney But I do like Olive a lot and she is one of my favorite characters from the more recent literature, regardless of lit. genre😉 3y
45 likes15 comments
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BookishTrish
All That Man Is | David Szalay
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Noon. Still in bed. #bliss #sendfood #longweekend

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BookishTrish
All That Man Is | David Szalay
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This #Thanksgiving weekend I'm thankful for leisurely Sunday morning reads. I'm on #3 of the Booker shortlist and this is my favourite to win by a country mile

Simona I've read everything from #manbookerprize2016 longlist and this book is an absolute winner and if he doesn't I'll be disappointed😔 3y
dixi_e I was debating reading this but now I'm sold! 3y
BookishTrish @dixi_e Do! I'd love to hear what you think of it. I'm still on hold for The Sellout and Do Not Say We Have Nothing. His Bloody Project is at the top of my TBR 3y
dixi_e Do Not Say We Have Nothing didn't appeal to me. It's an interesting story and well written but I never really cared about the narratives or characters and felt it was waaay too long. 3y
dixi_e (I just went and put this on hold! 😄) 3y
39 likes5 comments
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BookishTrish
All That Man Is | David Szalay
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Not sure how excited I am about this #textonlycover but so far it's my favourite of the #manbooker shortlist #booktober

shawnmooney Even less exciting than the cover, how about the pathetically cheap newsprint? It's the least impressive physical book I've held my hand in years! 3y
RealLifeReading Well I'm adding it to my tbr anyway! 3y
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BookishTrish
All That Man Is | David Szalay
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That feeling you get when you start a new book

shawnmooney I finished it the other day and quite enjoyed it! I hope you do too! 3y
51 likes2 comments
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Amandalovesbooks
All That Man Is | David Szalay

Last of the Man Booker shortlist!

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Roos
All That Man Is | David Szalay
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Which book on the Man Booker shortlist are you excited about? After reading the first pages of Szalay and Beatty, I want to read both! Oops. And I haven't even checked out the others.

Krysta All of them! I don't know where to start! 3y
MrBook I haven't read any of them yet *sighs*. 3y
Roos @Krysta @MrBook All That Man Is and the Sellout both looked veeeery promising. Readable, too! 3y
Krysta Sellout caught my eye back when the long list was released 3y
MrBook 😁👍🏻 3y
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shawnmooney
All That Man Is | David Szalay
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shawnmooney
All That Man Is | David Szalay
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shawnmooney
All That Man Is | David Szalay
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shawnmooney
All That Man Is | David Szalay
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shawnmooney
All That Man Is | David Szalay
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shawnmooney
All That Man Is | David Szalay
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shawnmooney
All That Man Is | David Szalay
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shawnmooney
All That Man Is | David Szalay
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Weiwenyi
All That Man Is | David Szalay
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shawnmooney
All That Man Is | David Szalay
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shawnmooney
All That Man Is | David Szalay
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teresareads
All That Man Is | David Szalay
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Pickpick

The stories in this book were well-crafted glimpses into toxic forms of masculinity. Although thematically linked, I have a hard time seeing the whole as a novel, rather than a short story collection.

BethFishReads I keep vowing to read more shorts. 3y
BethFishReads Stories that is 😀😀😀😀😀 3y
teresareads I love short stories, but I usually read collections the same way I read novels, just straight through. I like looking for links. @BethFishReads 3y
BethFishReads Sometimes I read straight thru. Sometimes I pick & choose 3y
6 likes4 comments
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shawnmooney
All That Man Is | David Szalay
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shawnmooney
All That Man Is | David Szalay
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shawnmooney
All That Man Is | David Szalay
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shawnmooney
All That Man Is | David Szalay
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"Now he thinks about it"?? That seems like a grammatical error to me. Is there any national or regional exception to the fact that it absolutely must be "Now THAT he thinks about it"? I checked and double-checked the text, and that's what they wrote. Anyway… still like this quote.

SusanInTiburon ? I think "that" is an eminently elidable word. 3y
shawnmooney @SusanInTiburon I agree, but not, I'm pretty sure, when it's part of the phrase "now that," which basically functions as a subordinating conjunction, roughly akin to "because" or "when." Removing "that" here changes "now" to a mere adverb so you've got two clauses erroneously linked by a comma. In North America, we would term this a comma splice error, wouldn't we? That's my 6 AM analysis without benefit of a cup of coffee. :-) 3y
SusanInTiburon I'll cede the point to you - plus an extra point for making it pre-coffee! 👍🏽😃 3y
29 likes3 comments
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manbookerprize
All That Man Is | David Szalay
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Our Man Booker Prize 2016 describe David Szalay‘s All That Man Is!

‘Szalay has written a kaleidoscopic novel about the state of masculinity and the state of contemporary Europe. It is wry, witty and deeply accomplished.‘

Which longlisted books are you backing for the shortlist?

#ManBooker2016 #FinestFiction

moneybagz Nice taste 2y
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shawnmooney
All That Man Is | David Szalay
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shawnmooney @Marchpane I'm enjoying the writing so much, but increasingly agreeing with your point about some very clunky adverbs sprinkled here and there… :-) 3y
Marchpane Ooh 'frazzedly' is a good one! This is one of those writing quirks that, once you notice it, you see it everywhere! 3y
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shawnmooney
All That Man Is | David Szalay
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shawnmooney
All That Man Is | David Szalay
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shawnmooney
All That Man Is | David Szalay
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JenP
All That Man Is | David Szalay
Panpan

I wanted to love this book (I studied masculinity and men's health in graduate school). Unfortunately I was sorely disappointed. Brilliant writing but I found the content repetitive and rather simplistic. If this is "All That Man is"" man isn't that complex and filled with existential angst.

Our shadow panel reviewed it here:
https://thereadersroom.org/2016/09/02/2016-man-booker-all-that-man-is-by-david-s...

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shawnmooney
All That Man Is | David Szalay
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shawnmooney
All That Man Is | David Szalay
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