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The Midnight Library: A Novel de Matt Haig
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The Midnight Library: A Novel (edició 2020)

de Matt Haig (Autor)

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1,1806512,271 (3.98)35
Membre:TeacherLarson
Títol:The Midnight Library: A Novel
Autors:Matt Haig (Autor)
Informació:Viking (2020), 304 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:****
Etiquetes:No n'hi ha cap

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The Midnight Library de Matt Haig

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» Mira també 35 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 65 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Depressed young woman has no reason to live and takes an overdose of pills. She is hovering between life and death in the midnight library whose librarian is her old high school librarian. She has so many regrets in her life and she chooses life books where she’s made different choices. Somewhat of a fantasy, yet realistic for philosophers...a little. ( )
  bereanna | Feb 23, 2021 |
It's funny to have unknowingly read The Midnight Library right after finishing Addie LaRue's Invisible Life. Both share a similar narrative of experiencing different lives since the current one is less than satisfying. Though while Addie makes her deal with the devil to avoid an arranged marriage in 18th France, Nora Seed finds herself in the Midnight Library, a place nestled between life and death, after overdosing on her anti depressants. It's a nice premise, the idea that you can review your book of regrets and then, with the help of a kind librarian from her middle school days, select narratives off the shelf that let you experience that "path not taken". Mrs Elm explains ‘Between life and death there is a library,’ she said. ‘And within that library, the shelves go on for ever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be different if you had made other choices . . . Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?"
It's a very readable book whose characters are both relatable and interesting and the ideas pose some thoughtful points about multiple universes and quantum physics. In an interview, the author readily discusses his own battle with mental health issues and with this latest novel leaves us with an encouraging outlook for those suffering similar heartaches. I would be interested in reading other works of his and recommend exploring this story.

The universe tended towards chaos and entropy. That was basic thermodynamics. Maybe it was basic existence too.

‘Go confidently in the direction of your dreams,’ Thoreau had said. ‘Live the life you’ve imagined.’

she wondered if her parents had ever been in love or if they had got married because marriage was something you did at the appropriate time with the nearest available person. A game where you grabbed the first person you could find when the music stopped. She had never wanted to play that game. Bertrand Russell wrote that ‘To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already three-parts dead’. Maybe that was her problem. Maybe she was just scared of living. But Bertrand Russell had more marriages and affairs than hot dinners, so perhaps he was no one to give advice.

There was an invisible baton of failure her mother had passed down, and Nora had held it for a long time. Maybe that was why she had given up on so many things. Because she had it written in her DNA that she had to fail.

Gestalt psychology. About how human brains take complex information about the world and simplify it, so that when a human looks at a tree it translates the intricately complex mass of leaves and branches into this thing called ‘tree’. To be a human was to continually dumb the world down into an understandable story that keeps things simple.

There are nine million variations after the first six moves. And after eight moves there are two hundred and eighty-eight billion different positions.

‘At the beginning of a game, there are no variations. There is only one way to set up a board. There are nine million variations after the first six moves. And after eight moves there are two hundred and eighty-eight billion different positions. And those possibilities keep growing. There are more possible ways to play a game of chess than the amount of atoms in the observable universe. So it gets very messy. And there is no right way to play; there are many ways. In chess, as in life, possibility is the basis of everything. Every hope, every dream, every regret, every moment of living.’

‘Compassion is the basis of morality,’ the philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer had written, in one of his softer moments. Maybe it was the basis of life too.

Every life contains many millions of decisions. Some big, some small. But every time one decision is taken over another, the outcomes differ. An irreversible variation occurs, which in turn leads to further variations

‘Life begins,’ Sartre once wrote, ‘on the other side of despair.’ ( )
  novelcommentary | Feb 22, 2021 |
"Every life contains millions of decisions. Some big, some small. But every time one decision is taken over another, the outcomes differ. An irreversible variation occurs, which in turn leads to further variations. The books are portals to all the lives you could be living."

Thus the premise of THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY. Nora hovers between life & death, and is given the opportunity to explore the books in the eponymous library, and live bits of some of the other lives she could have lived.

"You do realize there are infinite possibilities here?" says a fellow traveler. "... It's not about a million or a billion or a trillion universes. It's about an infinite number of universes. Even with you in them... [T]his is an opportunity and it is rare and we can undo any mistake we made, live any life we want. Any life. Dream big... You can be anything you want to be. Because in one life, you are."

But the real lesson:

"[M]aybe there are no easy paths. There are just paths... And we spend so much time wishing our lives were different, comparing ourselves to other people & other versions of ourselves, when really most lives contain degrees of good & bad...

There are patterns to life... Rhythms. It is so easy, while trapped in just the one life, to imagine that times of sadness or tragedy or failure or fear are a result of that particular existence. That it is a by-product of living a certain way, rather than simply living. I mean, it would have made things a lot easier if we understood there was no way of living that could immunise you against sadness. & that sadness is intrinsically part of the fabric of happiness... But there is no life where you can be in a state of sheer happiness forever." ( )
  Tytania | Feb 21, 2021 |
Never before have I had a book to thank for the continuance of my life. Now I do, and I'm so grateful. I feel odd. That something could enter my house via the Amazon guy that could change my life so completely, yea, save my life, is surreal.

----trigger warning: open commentary on suicidal ideation and serious mental health issues----

Nora has overdosed. Her life feels liveable no longer. Everything hurts, nobody loves her, she has no purpose on earth, so why not die? - that's her conclusion early on in the book, and I almost stopped reading it, as it was beginning to trigger these thoughts again in me. I have spent winters, for most of life since I was 17 or 18 years old, four long decades trying to make myself survive until spring,
Ever winter I spend so much time talking myself down all the avenues that lead me to the conclusion that an overdose would be a relief not just for me, but for the people in my life. None of my three adult children are speaking to me. My father died three months ago. My divorce from my second husband was finalized last month. Would anyone really care if I weren't here?

Nora ends up in a library, between this life and the next, and what happens in that library and beyond it is good story telling, good philosophical fodder, and extremely good mental health counselling.

I no longer want to die. I want to embrace my messy life and make a success of it. I have no idea what "success" means in this context. I don't know what I want or where I'm heading. I know that I want to help people, want to have fun, want to be happy, want my life to be fulfilling. What that will look like is another question entirely. Nora had that chance to find out; we all do once we put down that pill bottle and stop regretting, stop self-abuse and figure out how to live our best lives.

I have hope. ( )
1 vota ahef1963 | Feb 19, 2021 |
"Sometimes the only way to learn is to live."
I firmly believe that this is a novel that everyone should read... at least once.
I had wanted to read this novel for quite some time, and it did not disappoint. As a matter of fact, Matt Haig may be one of my new favourite authors. His writing was so clean, so crisp and so clear. I was able to visualize every single life that Nora had chosen in the library, through the illustration and emotion that Haig portrayed onto the pages of his novel.
This is a tale of doubt and fear. It is a novel about becoming something when you think that there is nothing. And most importantly, it is a novel about life and living your dreams.
It is also a novel about not wanting to be alive, as Nora feels that nothing she does is right, she always makes the wrong decisions and she has nothing to live for.
The Midnight Library takes on an almost Christmas Carol feeling of a young woman's life, although she doesn't see the past, the present and the future, she does learn what her life would have been like had she had chosen a different path in life. "You can choose choices but not outcomes." This novel could essentially be the only self help book you would ever need to read, especially if you're wondering what life would be like if you chose a different fork in the road. It is about our sense of regrets and what they mean to each individual in our lives.
Without giving away too much of this epic novel, Nora flies through different lives, and books already written about her life in order to find the right one after attempting suicide.
What she finds is obviously life altering.
A 5 star rating and a new favourite author for me- what more can a reader ask for?
  CBCadorin | Feb 18, 2021 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 65 (següent | mostra-les totes)
If you’ve never pondered life’s contingencies—like what might’ve happened if you’d skipped the party where you met your spouse—then Matt Haig’s novel The Midnight Library will be an eye-opening experience. This gentle but never cloying fable offers us a chance to weigh our regret over missed opportunities against our gratitude for the life we have.... [Haig's] allusions to multiverses, string theory and Erwin Schrödinger never detract from the emotional heart of this alluring novel.... Haig brings her story to a conclusion that’s both enlightening and deeply satisfying.
afegit per Lemeritus | editaBookPage, Harvey Freedenberg (Oct 1, 2020)
 
Few fantasies are more enduring than the idea that there might be a second chance at a life already lived, some sort of magical reset in which mistakes can be erased, regrets addressed, choices altered.... The narrative throughout has a slightly old-fashioned feel, like a bedtime story. It’s an absorbing but comfortable read, imaginative in the details if familiar in its outline. The invention of the library as the machinery through which different lives can be accessed is sure to please readers and has the advantage of being both magical and factual. Every library is a liminal space; the Midnight Library is different in scale, but not kind. And a vision of limitless possibility, of new roads taken, of new lives lived, of a whole different world available to us somehow, somewhere, might be exactly what’s wanted in these troubled and troubling times.
afegit per Lemeritus | editaNew York Times, Karen Joy Fowler (Web de pagament) (Sep 29, 2020)
 
...“between life and death there is a midnight library,” a library that contains multiple volumes of the lives she could have had if she had made different choices.... Haig’s latest (after the nonfiction collection Notes on a Nervous Planet, 2019) is a stunning contemporary story that explores the choices that make up a life, and the regrets that can stifle it. A compelling novel that will resonate with readers.
afegit per Lemeritus | editaBooklist, LynnDee Wathen (Aug 1, 2020)
 
An unhappy woman who tries to commit suicide finds herself in a mysterious library that allows her to explore new lives.... This book isn't heavy on hows; you won’t need an advanced degree in quantum physics or string theory to follow its simple yet fantastical logic. Predicting the path Nora will ultimately choose isn’t difficult, either. Haig treats the subject of suicide with a light touch, and the book’s playful tone will be welcome to readers who like their fantasies sweet if a little too forgettable. A whimsical fantasy about learning what’s important in life.
afegit per Lemeritus | editaKirkus Reviews (Jul 14, 2020)
 

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I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones, and variations of mental and physical experience possible in my life.
--Sylvia Plath
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To all the health workers. And the care workers. Thank you.
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Nineteen years before she decided to die, Nora Seed sat in the warmth of the small library at Hazeldene School in the town of Bedford.
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She knew she should be experiencing pity and despair for her feline friend – and she was – but she had to acknowledge something else. As she stared at Voltaire’s still and peaceful expression – that total absence of pain – there was an inescapable feeling brewing in the darkness. Envy.
The universe tended towards chaos and entropy. That was basic thermodynamics. Maybe it was basic existence too.
Bertrand Russell wrote that ‘To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already three-parts dead’. Maybe that was her problem. Maybe she was just scared of living. But Bertrand Russell had more marriages and affairs than hot dinners, so perhaps he was no one to give advice.
A person was like a city. You couldn’t let a few less desirable parts put you off the whole. There may be bits you don’t like, a few dodgy side streets and suburbs, but the good stuff makes it worthwhile.
‘Want,’ she told her, in a measured tone, ‘is an interesting word. It means lack. Sometimes if we fill that lack with something else the original want disappears entirely. Maybe you have a lack problem rather than a want problem. Maybe there is a life that you really want to live.’
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