• Picador
Reading Group Gold
The Confessions of Max Tivoli - Andrew Sean GreerSee larger image
See Hi-Res Jpeg image


email/print EmailPrint

The Confessions of Max Tivoli



Awards: New York Public Library Young Lions Award Finalist; New York Public Library Young Lions Award Winner

Book Buy
Ebook Ebook 
    
Share this book with friends through your favorite social networking site. Share:           Bookmark and Share
Add this title to your virtual bookshelves at any of these book community sites. Shelve:             
sign up to get updates about this author
add this book's widget
to your site or blog

About The Author

Andrew Sean GreerAndrew Sean Greer

Andrew Sean Greer is the bestselling author of five works of fiction, including The Story of a Marriage, which The New York Times has called an "inspired, lyrical novel," and The Confessions of Max Tivoli, which was named a best book of 2004 by the San Francisco Chronicle... More

photo: Copyright Henry Dombey

Awards

New York Public Library Young Lions Award Finalist
New York Public Library Young Lions Award Winner

Stay In Touch

Sign up to recieve information about new releases, author appearances, special offers, all related to you favorite authors and books.

Other Books You Might Like

cover Buy

More formats
eBook
The Story of a Marriage
A Novel

Picador
A Today Show Summer Reads Pick A Washington Post Book of the Year "We think we know the ones we love." So Pearlie Cook begins her indirect, and devastating...
cover Buy

More formats
eBook
The Path of Minor Planets
A Novel

Picador
In 1965, on a small island in the South Pacific, a group of astronomers gather to witness the passing of a comet, but when a young boy dies during a meteor...
  
cover Buy

More formats
eBook
How It Was for Me
Stories

Picador
In the title story of this collection, neighborhood boys crouch in a backyard toolshed, and conspire to prove their piano teachers to be witches. In...
  
cover Buy

More formats
eBook
The City of Your Final Destination

Picador
Omar Razaghi is a graduate student determined to write the authorized biography of the late Latin American author Jules Gund. But when his request is denied by...
cover Buy
Raising Holy Hell
A Novel

Picador
On October 16, 1859, John Brown led a raid on the federal arsenal at Harper's Ferry, leaving fifteen people dead. Viewed in the North as a saint of freedom and...
cover Buy

More formats
eBook
The Appointment
A Novel

Picador
From the winner of the IMPAC Award and the 2009 Nobel Prize in Literature, a fierce and devastating novel about a young woman's discovery of betrayal in the...
cover Buy
The Seas
A Novel

Picador
The narrator of The Seas lives in a tiny, remote, alcoholic, cruel seaside town. An occasional chambermaid, granddaughter to a typesetter, and daughter to a...
cover Buy

More formats
eBook
Saints at the River
A Novel

Picador
When a twelve-year-old girl drowns in the Tamassee River and her body is trapped in a deep eddy, the people of the small South Carolina town that bears the...
cover Buy

More formats
eBook
The Witch's Daughter

St. Martin's Griffin/Thomas Dunne Books
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER An enthralling tale of modern witch Bess Hawksmith, a fiercely independent woman desperate to escape her cursed history who must...
  
cover Buy

More formats
Audio eBook
Cavendon Hall

St. Martin's Press
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author comes an epic saga of intrigue and mystique set in Edwardian England. Cavendon Hall is home to two families, the...
  
cover Buy

More formats
Audio eBook
Illusion
Chronicles of Nick

St. Martin's Griffin
Be careful what you wish for . . . You just might get it. Nick Gautier is tired of his destiny. He doesn’t want to be the son of a demon who’s fated to end...
  

Reading Group Gold

1. What did the novel’s epigraph and opening

sentence mean to you when you began the

book, and what do they mean to you now? Are

they romantic notions, statements on the

hopelessness of love, or perhaps something in

between?

2. When you began this book, did you consider

growing younger to be only positive? Do you

believe that now? Looking at Max’s life, what

are some of the advantages of old age?

3. In his focus on Alice, has Max missed the one

person who truly loved him his whole life—

Hughie? Is it ever easy to recognize such

devoted people in our lives?

4. What is society’s basis for determining

whether a lover is an appropriate age? In what

ways does Max’s condition actually help

illuminate his true character?

5. Max loves Alice as a daughter, as a wife, and

as a mother. How does this echo the various

roles a lover plays in our lives? Which of Max’s

roles is he best suited to? Do we always take

on recurring roles when it comes to love?

6. Are Max’s fears of infancy—the inability to

walk independently, care for himself, and articulate

his needs—very different from the traditional

fears of growing old?

7. Max’s first role in Alice’s life is as her

“Shabbos goy.” Does Max later continue to be

the “houseboy of her heart” in some way—an

aid in her life?

8. Is Max’s reverse aging the only thing standing

in the way of his happiness? How much of his

outcome is affected by his personality, fate,

and other factors?

9. Max’s condition gives him unusual opportunities—

for instance, having access to his son’s

life that few fathers have ever had. Does it

deepen or erase his role as a parent? Though

they both appear to be boys, is there still a

generation gap between Max and his son?

10. The word confession carries connotations of

wrongdoing or scandal on the part of the

speaker. To what is Max Tivoli confessing in

his “memoir”? Is first-person narration crucial

to this plot?

11. Alice is not a typical Victorian woman. She is

hotheaded and freethinking; what do you think

of her as a match for Max? Is she merely selfcentered

and flaky, or do you agree with Victor

Ramsey’s theory that she changed her life

through the only means available to women

during that time period: marriage? What is

Alice’s ultimate reason for leaving Max?

12. Max struggles to make his outward appearance

both socially acceptable and less at odds

with his psyche. Describe what your external

appearance would look like if it were a pictureperfect

representation of your psyche.

13. How did you feel when you read of Hughie’s

death? Why do you think he killed himself?

Did the modern idea of a “gay man” exist back

then? Given that at the time even openly gay

Oscar Wilde had a wife and children (as

Hughie did), what options did gay men and

women have for happiness or love?

14. What would you have done with a life like

Max’s? Is he an idealist, an artist in a world not

made for him, or a brute who squandered a

potentially happy life? What are the sources of

a truly happy life? In what ways have you

“grown younger” in your own life?

You May Also Be Interested In

cover Buy

More formats
eBook
All But My Life
A Memoir

Hill and Wang
A classic of Holocaust literature, Gerda Weissmann Klein’s celebrated memoir tells the moving story of a young woman’s three frightful years as a...
cover Buy

More formats
eBook
Encounters at the Heart of the World
A History of the Mandan People

Hill and Wang
A book that radically changes our understanding of North America before and after the arrival of Europeans Encounters at the Heart of the World concerns the...
  
cover Buy

More formats
eBook
MFA vs NYC
The Two Cultures of American Fiction

n + 1
Writers write—but what do they do for money? In a widely read essay entitled “MFA vs NYC,” bestselling novelist Chad Harbach (The Art of Fielding) argued...