Mistler's Exit by Louis Begley

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 3 Critic Reviews



Thomas Mistler has always thought himself "a happy man, as the world goes." A scion of old money, he made his own fortune in advertising and is now poised to sell the company he founded for a fabulous price. But when a medical examination reveals the presence in his liver of a fatal intruder, "preposterously, unmistakably, he begins to rejoice," with a feeling of having been set free. But free from what?

He will seek the answer surreptitiously, without revealing his illness to his family, during a last reprieve, a moment of grace in "the one place on earth where nothing irritates him." But amidst the surreal beauties of Venice, he finds bitterness and chaos as he allows himself to drift for the first time. His halfhearted efforts to seize the day and its present pleasures--first with a striving young photographer and later with a love of his youth who never loved him--cannot compete with his need to commune with the living and the dead that crowd his life: his father and uncle, pillars of the Establishment, sources of the "genetic puritanism" he has never tried to resist; his son, Sam, whose love he has only barely salvaged; his wife, once perfectly "beautiful and suitable," now humiliated by him and half-scorned. And the one woman who embodies everything he might have wished for, a woman he "never had and never lost."

Deeply poignant yet mordantly funny, Mistler's Exit brilliantly discloses the pleasures and miseries of having it all. A masterly revelation of the complexities of the heart.

BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Louis Begley's Memories of a Marriage.

About Louis Begley

See more books from this Author
Louis Begley lives in New York City. His previous novels are About Schmidt, As Max Saw It, The Man Who Was Late, Matters of Honor, Mistler's Exit, Schmidt Delivered, Shipwreck, and Wartime Lies. www.louisbegley.com
Published December 8, 2010 by Ballantine Books. 225 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Action & Adventure. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Mistler's Exit

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Still, on the other hand, maybe Mistler does need to be alone and think a little: so, with a few practical lies to Clara and Sam—business abroad, delays—he’s off to his favorite city of Venice, —the one place on earth where nothing irritated him.— Not quite true, though, since unexpected sex with...

| Read Full Review of Mistler's Exit

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

There is perhaps no more worldly novelist writing today than Begley: worldly in his attention to class, wealth and sex, but most of all in his attention to pleasure in the face of death.

| Read Full Review of Mistler's Exit

Entertainment Weekly

This year's model is the Mistler of Mistler's Exit, wealthy owner of an advertising agency, father of a grown son he doesn't understand, husband of a socialite he no longer respects, and the just-diagnosed victim of liver cancer.

Sep 18 1998 | Read Full Review of Mistler's Exit

Reader Rating for Mistler's Exit

An aggregated and normalized score based on 10 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review