Half a Life by Darin Strauss

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 15 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

In this powerful, unforgettable memoir, acclaimed novelist Darin Strauss examines the far-reaching consequences of the tragic moment that has shadowed his whole life. In his last month of high school, he was behind the wheel of his dad's Oldsmobile, driving with friends, heading off to play mini-golf. Then: a classmate swerved in front of his car. The collision resulted in her death. With piercing insight and stark prose, Darin Strauss leads us on a deeply personal, immediate, and emotional journey—graduating high school, going away to college, starting his writing career, falling in love with his future wife, becoming a father. Along the way, he takes a hard look at loss and guilt, maturity and accountability, hope and, at last, acceptance. The result is a staggering, uplifting tour de force.

Look for special features inside, including an interview with Colum McCann.
Join the Circle for author chats and more.
RandomHouseReadersCircle.com




From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Darin Strauss

See more books from this Author
Darin Strauss is the bestselling author of three previous books. The recipient of a Guggenheim in fiction writing and numerous other awards, Strauss has seen his work translated into fourteen languages and published in more than twenty countries. He is a Clinical Associate Professor of Writing at New York University, and he lives with his wife and children in Brooklyn.
 
Published May 31, 2011 by Random House. 226 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Self Help, Health, Fitness & Dieting. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Half a Life

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

The lawsuit proceedings stalled for five years (“like when a dark sky decides not to rain”) and eventually the case dissolved, but the lasting effects of the event haunted an obsessive Strauss for decades, with lasting emotional, sociological and physical implications.

| Read Full Review of Half a Life

The New York Times

See more reviews from this publication

For the novelist Darin Strauss, life changed irrevocably years ago with the accidental death of a high school classmate.

Sep 08 2010 | Read Full Review of Half a Life

The Guardian

See more reviews from this publication

Last week in the US the National Book Critics Circle gave its top non-fiction prize to Half a Life (Beautiful Books) by Darin Strauss, a shattering memoir of scarcely 200 pages, and a masterpiece of brevity – a study of chance and fate.

Mar 19 2011 | Read Full Review of Half a Life

AV Club

See more reviews from this publication

The author of Chang And Eng and More Than It Hurts You dives into memoir, but winds up too diffident to make any firm statements about how accidentally killing a girl affected his life.

Sep 16 2010 | Read Full Review of Half a Life

AV Club

See more reviews from this publication

Best known for his first novel, Chang And Eng, Strauss tells the story with fragmented self-consciousness, explaining late in the game how all this relates to his work: “First novel about twins (one dies, the other can’t go on living);

Sep 16 2010 | Read Full Review of Half a Life

Entertainment Weekly

(About his parents and sister, he says, ''Real difficulty, if it holds any benefits, holds this one: Sometimes it lets you find out if your family has a genius for kindness, for devotion under pressure.'') You may have heard Strauss tell this tale on NPR's This American Life.

Sep 08 2010 | Read Full Review of Half a Life

USA Today

Through Nora and Blanche, conjoined twins, comes a strange exploration of the self.

Sep 28 2014 | Read Full Review of Half a Life

Oregon Live

In "The Bridge of San Luis Rey," Thornton Wilder writes, "Either we live by accident and die by accident, or we live by plan and die by plan.

Sep 27 2010 | Read Full Review of Half a Life

About.com

Half a Life unfolds with great quietude the next eighteen years of Strauss's life as he faces a lawsuit from the Zilkes and the oncoming pressures of adulthood.

| Read Full Review of Half a Life

Bookmarks Magazine

Alison Hallett San Francisco Chronicle 4 of 5 Stars "With honesty and sensitivity, Strauss looks not only at how that fateful incident decades ago ended Celine's young life, but also at how it greatly affected his.

Sep 12 2010 | Read Full Review of Half a Life

Oprah.com

A month shy of his high school graduation, Darin Strauss was driving his father's Oldsmobile when a girl on a bike—a schoolmate—swerved in front of him.

Sep 27 2010 | Read Full Review of Half a Life

Shelf Awareness

For the first time, this summer customers at the main Powell's Books, in Portland, Ore., could see their names on the store marquee that has announced visiting authors for nearly 40 years.

| Read Full Review of Half a Life

M/C Anderson

M/C Reviews Create an account Home Your Account Submit Review Top 10 Main Menu M/C Reviews 'events' 'screens' 'sounds' 'style' 'words' Feature Issues What's On Your Account Send Reviews Statistics To...

Mar 07 2011 | Read Full Review of Half a Life

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

The regular Flesch Index is based on a 100 point scale, with 100 being the easiest to read (for frame of reference, a college degree is considered necessary to read a book with a score of 0 to 30, while a 5th grader should be able to understand a book with a score of 90 to 100).

Jul 29 2011 | Read Full Review of Half a Life

Statesman.com

View mobile site.

Sep 19 2010 | Read Full Review of Half a Life

Reader Rating for Half a Life
69%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 214 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×