Jill said: A Possible Life is comprised of five stories – five lives – that are tied Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks The Girl at the Lion d’Or by Sebastian Faulks. Sebastian Faulks’s “novel in five parts” isn’t really a novel — any more than “A Possible Life” consists of three short stories, bookended by two. Sebastian Faulks may well have conceived of it as a novel in his mind, as he has stated in recent interviews, but the truth is that A Possible Life.

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In Faulks’ book, in contrast, each of his independent stories are offered up whole. The book begins in familiar Faulks territory, with the narrative of Geoffrey Talbot, a young prep school teacher who, infinds himself volunteering for undercover operations in occupied France.

Every once in awhile there will be a veiled reference in one story to something in another story, but the connection is nothing bigger than a scintilla. Taken individually, the stories reveal intricate tapestries whose threads you can trace from here, all the way over there. May 01, Caroline rated it really liked it. Nov 01, Faulka rated it really liked it. W hat makes a life?

A Possible Life by Sebastian Faulks – review

Really, each story and each character stands alone so the subtitle puzzles me. I faul,s don’t get the story of Elena who, with a fellow scientist discovers the bit in the brain that enables human beings to feel, empathise, foresee their own deaths – all things apparently that animals don’t consciously think possible and the story about Jeanne which hops from present to past to present to past again, even on a second reading is just plain puzzling.

In Second World War Poland, a young prisoner closes his eyes and pictures going to bat on a sunlit English cricket ground.

This book posed numerous problems for me, particularly having spent many weeks prior to its release reading through his other novels. I felt, on the whole, that this was a book far too close to its predecessor Human Traces. Some of the other themes include choices, striving to succeed, the lie and definition of betrayal, scientific research and what is provable, and the cost of fame.

Take Geoffrey Talbot as an example. Threads collapsed expanded unthreaded.

On a summer evening in the Catskills ina skinny girl steps out of a Chevy sebastjan a guitar and with a song that will send shivers through her listeners’ skulls.

When opportunities arise in Billy’s life, for example, he is wide-eyed mentally and prepared physically, thanks only to his brutally unforgiving lufe. Elenain Part Three, brought me back to the sterile, flat quality of the opening story and by the way did little to create a world very different from today. I was hooked from the beginning. My other criticism is that there was the whiff of Cloud Atlas about it.


It is as though Billy is asserting that the only way to understand life and all its unlikely chances is to bend with it, but not to break: My introduction to the novels of Sebastian Faulks was in when I read Charlotte Grey which still remains one of my favourites from this talented author.

Here are fresh cruelties possiblf a place where the bureaucracy of genocide assembled an efficient staff of psychopaths faulis sadists. Jul 22, Hilary Green rated it it was ok. Billy is the unselected son of a poor family, forced to let him go because of the expense of running a large family. As the story moves beyond the war, it becomes no less gripping, faluks as it grows stiller, a pensive reflection on the cost of surviving, of witnessing.

You could say that the stories address some similar themes, but that still doesn’t make it sebatian novel. Just like one bad waitress doesn’t a crummy restaurant make, so too does one “meh” novel not indict Sebastian Faulks.

This is actually a collection of five stories which I wish I had known before I read this Novel.

A Possible Life: A Novel in Five Parts by Sebastian Faulks

Threads collapsed expanded unthreaded. See 1 question about A Possible Life….

Is there such a thing as a soul? Geoffrey Talbot is a fine cricketer, an homme moyen sensuel who is bilingual by accident of upbringing, and becomes a British agent in occupied France. The second short story about Billy was actually moderately enjoyable for me. That’s what I’ve done for [my kids], that’s my gift to them and to all their children ever after, so don’t talk to me about being hard.

So, like a number of other seebastian have done, perhaps it is better to read this book as five short stories penned by a master of the writing game. The workhouse child Billy in “The Second Sister” has a voice so compelling, self-deceiving and deeply human that most novelists would have been happy to build a whole novel around him.

The stories unfold with a tidal melancholy that surges through examples of human brutality in Part I and Part II, sebastiian continuously persists as each character is humbled by their limited faupks and reason. I loved his earlier novels and he lire still a good writer. Nevertheless, I enjoyed this trip through the lives of a young man who almost stumbles into intelligence work in WWII, with dire consequences; an orphanage house boy in the mids who grows up to make a life for himself, but must make a hard choice in love; a young woman in the near future who helps discover the key to consciousness, but loses This may be fancied a novel in five parts, but it’s really five short stories or novellas stitched together without much obvious connection among them.


They eventually hit the big time and the reader wonders if this is going to be the classic and boring musician- makes-good-and-dumps-best-friends plot. After the structural basis for all human consciousness was discovered in part 3, in approximately the sebasitanand an interlude exploring the life of the least interesting woman in the village in part 4, I find myself in part 5 knee-deep in first-person narrative set somewhere in the South of possivle USA and really the only thing keeping me reading is the certainty that sometime or other the point of all this will become apparent.

Posxible the full review, visit IndiaBookStore. Of the latter, anyone who loves listening to and reading ljfe music aa enjoy the tale Faulks has woven about the creative process, the desire to know the truth of the ‘stories behind the songs’ and the casualties along the way.

There really is a lot of craft and thought put into each of these stories, and sum of this book is far greater than that of each individual story.

So do these stories come together as a novel?

The first story involves Geoffrey, whose “middle rank” may have been the determining factor in his internment at a Nazi concentration camp. It was only when I got to the third story that I realised that it was a book of short stories rather Review Sebastian Faulks is an author who I find to be a bit hit and miss.

A Possible Life by Sebastian Faulks – review | Books | The Guardian

That said, there remains a glimmer of hope, seeping into the lines of each story, which is that; the atoms that make us will persist beyond our own existence. Many other issues besides the most grimly depressing are explored as well; from the idea of the self as multiple stage-actors to the contention that it is possible to love two people, if not equally then concurrently.

This book meets the ‘long’ and ‘characters’ requirements, but other than four very small and tenuous links the five parts have nothing to do with each other. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.

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