FIVE TRANSPORTING STORIES AND FIVE UNFORGETTABLE LIVES, LINKED ACROSS CENTURIES
Throughout this masterpiece of fiction, exquisitely drawn and unforgettable characters risk their bodies, hearts, and minds in pursuit of the manna of human connection. Between soldier and lover, parent and child, servant and master, and artist and muse, important pleasures and pains are born out of love, separations, and missed opportunities:
• Young Geoffrey Talbot meets dark-eyed Giselle in France during the Second World War. And his life veers off track forever.
• In a workhouse in Victorian London, Billy becomes lifelong companions with Alice—as well as with another girl.
• In rural France in the 1800s, orphaned Jeanne is devout and simpleminded, but still capable of making a tough decision about her affections.
• The brilliant twenty-first-century Italian scientist Elena Duranti collaborates on a startling discovery about human consciousness–and on an equally astonishing find about her only love.
• Long-haired and skinny Anya is an American singer-songwriter star in the 1970s. But how real is her life of guitars, lovers, stage fight, and travel if it is, foremost, raw material for her songs?
Provocative and profound, Sebastian Faulks’s dazzling new novel journeys across continents and centuries not only to entertain with superb old-fashioned storytelling but to show that occasions of understanding between humans are the one thing that defines us—and that those moments, however fluid, are the one thing that endures.
It was a hot evening in July, and I was sitting on the porch in a chair made from an old car seat. I had a six-string acoustic on my lap and was running my fingers up and down the fret board, gazing into the distance. There was a can of beer open on the deck. We didn’t count alcohol as a drug and American lager almost wasn’t beer. Lowri was inside the farmhouse, and through the closed insect door I could hear her singing. Janis and Grace, the dogs, were rooting around in the yard.
Times like this, I often used to just sit there and stare out
Sebastian Faulks Introduces A Possible Life
Sebastian Faulks discusses A Possible Life on NPR's Weekend Edition.
“It unsettles, it moves, and it forces us to question who we are.”—The Sunday Times (London)
“Distinctively moving...These stories sneak up on you, gently ingratiate themselves, get you settled in comfortably, and then batter your heart. Startling and strange, the sort of unsettling insight one gets from the finest of Flannery O’Connor’s work.”—The Washington Post
“Read this brilliant, deeply affecting book, and enjoy a master storyteller at work....Faulks works a kind of magic on the page.”—The Dallas Morning News
“Not unlike what David Mitchell did in Cloud Atlas...this book transcends pat tropes through the beauty and clarity of Faulks’s prose. Each world is drawn with precision, creating widely varied stories that are intensely absorbing....Highly recommended.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“The chief pleasure in reading A Possible Life comes from feeling you can wander off with any of its characters and find a story every bit as real and compelling as what's on the page.”—Los Angeles Times
“A Possible Life is an examination of human souls and the impact the decisions we make have on our lives and futures. Had any of these characters chosen a different road, the outcome of their lives may have been forever altered. Faulks’s novel—or collection of novellas—succeeds because it does not overtly go out of its way to tie the five tales together.”—Bookreporter.com
“Each of the stories could stand on its own, and together, they show off Faulks’ versatility. Each of his characters has his or her own way of experiencing the world, and Faulks makes those different worlds realistically detailed and believable.”—Columbus Dispatch
“A Possible Life is a rueful, pleasurable work, extremely sharp, with true insights into aging and loss."—USA Today
“Beautifully written...One could quibble over whether this is really a novel or a collection of stories, but that may be missing the point. For those of us who remember listening to music on albums, A Possible Life is most reminiscent of an LP—a gathering of distinct expressions that together make up a satisfying whole.”—BookPage
“These five stories are provocative meditations on love, loss, evil and what it means to be human, beautifully rendered by a prose master.”—Shelf Awareness
“A tightly written, moving and exciting work of fiction that should thrill established readers as well as win new fans. If you think you know Faulks—or even (and especially) if you haven’t enjoyed his previous novels—it’s time to look again.”—Anthony Cummins, The Telegraph, UK