Listen free for 30 days

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

Longlisted for the Booker Prize 2019

Brought to you by Penguin

Electrifying and audacious, an unmissable new novel about old and new Europe, old and new love, from the twice-Man Booker-shortlisted author of Hot Milk and Swimming Home.   

'The man who had nearly run me over had touched my hair, as if he were touching a statue or something without a heartbeat....'

In 1989, Saul is hit by a car on the Abbey Rd crossing. He is fine; he gets up and goes to see his girlfriend, Jennifer. They have sex and then break up. He leaves for the GDR, where he will have more sex (with several members of the same family), harvest mushrooms in the rain, bury his dead father in a matchbox, and get on the wrong side of the Stasi.

In 2016, Saul is hit by a car on the Abbey Rd crossing. He is not fine at all; he is rushed to hospital and spends the following days in and out of consciousness, in and out of history. Jennifer is sitting by his bedside. His very-much-not-dead father is sitting by his bedside. Someone important is missing.

Deborah Levy presents an ambitious, playful and totally electrifying novel about what we see and/or fail to see, about carelessness and the harm we do to others, about the weight of history and our ruinous attempts to shrug it off.

©2019 Deborah Levy (P)2019 Penguin Books Ltd

What listeners say about The Man Who Saw Everything

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    34
  • 4 Stars
    30
  • 3 Stars
    24
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    5
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    39
  • 4 Stars
    27
  • 3 Stars
    16
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    25
  • 4 Stars
    27
  • 3 Stars
    21
  • 2 Stars
    12
  • 1 Stars
    6

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Don’t bother with this.

Confusing and very unsatisfying. Great narrator but that is the only positive. Waste of time.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A very emotional listen

Saul Adler flits between his time as young historian in London and East Berlin and the present day as he slowly succumbs to his injuries from an RTA. He tells of his loves, his losses and his regrets. This is a beautifully written story, one that ranks in the top twenty of my favourites. It gets confusing near the end, possibly reflecting Adler's morphine induced confusion, but that slightly detracted, hence four rather than five stars.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful exploration of the non-linearity of time

fast paced, but thought provoking. a beautiful exploration of the non-linearity of time. i highly recommend.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful story

This is such a moving story and absolutely beautifully read. it has a dream.like quality and beautiful descriptions throughout Highly recommended

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Too clever for my simple intellect!

Oh gosh I tried and just as I thought I understood what was happening; I didn’t. A poetic read that confused me no end. I tried to understand why so many Jaguars, the dual time periods, why people were dead and then weren’t.... Apparently it is a masterpiece and I did enjoy the language beauty and flow. Great narration but can’t say at all what it was about.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Don’t bother!

Sadly there are fewer books I enjoyed less than this one... It is slow to start then becomes mildly interesting before falling back into utter dullness. Perhaps its poetry is lost on me, but the characters lack depth and often are clichés. All the flashbacks and each protagonist observing each other would have been interesting if it wasn’t this heavy handed.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Dull story, dull voice

I kept waiting for the story to go somewhere more interesting but it never did. The narration is dull and doesn't draw you in. To be fair to the reader I don't think it's his fault I think it was the only way to read this book.