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Summary

Shortlisted for the Booker International Prize.

Man Booker International, GB, 2016

International Dublin Literary, 2017

Andreas lives his whole life in the Austrian Alps, where he arrives as a young boy taken in by a farming family. He is a man of very few words and so, when he falls in love with Marie, he doesn't ask for her hand in marriage, but instead has some of his friends light her name at dusk across the mountain. When Marie dies in an avalanche, pregnant with their first child, Andreas' heart is broken. He leaves his valley just once more, to fight in WWII - where he is taken prisoner in the Caucasus - and returns to find that modernity has reached his remote haven....

Like John Williams' Stoner or Denis Johnson's Train Dreams, A Whole Life by Robert Seethaler is a tender book about finding dignity and beauty in solitude. An exquisite novel about a simple life, it has already demonstrated its power to move thousands of people with a message of solace and truth. It looks at the moments, big and small, that make us what we are.

©2015 Robert Seethaler, Charlotte Collins (P)2021 Macmillan Publishers International Limited

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This is a sublime book. The language is superb, spare and yet richly descriptive. It is one of the best books I have ever read.

I was almost afraid to listen to it for fear it would ruin the story I had read, but this edition is just perfect. The story of Everyman and no man. Wonderful! Memorable. Moving. Loved it.

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BBC World Book Club was right

this short simple story of one entire average pre- and post- WW2 life is an unpretentious good read - succinct detailed poetic- prose. original voice without many conclusions on suffering and death (it just is so) lends authenticity to tihe tme it is set in. feelings exist in private, poverty of mind is expressed violently. beautiful meditation on the value of every man's life