- Title: The Inhabited World
- Author: David Long
- ISBN: 9780618543359
- Page: 196
- Format: Hardcover
The eighth book from an award winning and acclaimed author, The Inhabited World is Long s most gripping and profound work.Evan Molloy a son, husband, and stepfather fatally shot himself but doesn t know why He is stuck in a state of purgatory in the house in Washington State where he lived and died The woman who now lives there, Maureen Keniston, is in her late thiThe eighth book from an award winning and acclaimed author, The Inhabited World is Long s most gripping and profound work.Evan Molloy a son, husband, and stepfather fatally shot himself but doesn t know why He is stuck in a state of purgatory in the house in Washington State where he lived and died The woman who now lives there, Maureen Keniston, is in her late thirties and is trying to restart her life after breaking off a long affair with a married man The novel deftly moves back and forth between the story of Evan s troubled life and Maureen s efforts to emerge from her own purgatory In watching Maureen s struggles and ultimate triumph, Evan comes to see his own life and death in a completely new way.Part psychological drama, part absorbing mystery, The Inhabited World paints a stirring portrait of a man caught between this world and the next and a woman who unwittingly offers him a sort of redemption he never could have predicted.
Recent Comments "The Inhabited World"
How is it that a novel about the lingering spirit of a suicide can be one of the most life-affirming books I've read. I'd actually avoided reading this because of the descriptive reviews until a friend convinced me that it was well worth it. And it is well worth the reading on two levels: the quality of the writing itself and Long's ability to express emotion so carefully and beautifully, as well as the ability to show growth and redemption of the human spirit. At times the story is difficult bu [...]
I found this book fascinating for several reasons. Long is a good writer and I enjoyed an earlier book of his, Falling Boy. I also liked the very ordinariness of the main character and the ordinary problems that have a possibly not so ordinary outcome - suicide followed by life as a "shade" (my term not the author's) It is the life of the "shade" that truly fascinated me. I found myself thinking about the descriptions of what this shade could and could not do and was delighted with the author's [...]
The back jacket of this book calls David Long "a writer's writer." Spoken by a writer, this is a compliment, though I see it as a backhanded one. Translation: he doesn't make any money. How many writers are there out there to read each others' books? If all you are is a writer's writer, you're sunk.What can we hope to learn from a character who is already dead? How can this character grow, change, evolve? These are questions I would have asked had I heard about this book before reading it. Lucky [...]
An interesting way to tell a story but ultimately slight.
Good, good, good. Although I wanted to be told the answers at the end of the book, I think leaving it open was a better ending. The author handled Evan's state of mind eloquently. He manages to bring across the absolute despair, the feeling that you are moving through a heavy atmosphere. And the way Evan questions himself, yet knows himself to be whiny and irritable. Using Maureen as a framework for Evan's story was new and different. I had expected more parallels in their lives, but Maureen rea [...]
Beautiful writing; sometimes excrutiating story, though, with the story revolving around a man, Evan Molloy, who is dead and "inhabits" the house and property where he died (we know this up front). What's billed on the jacket as a story that revolves around Evan and the then current occupant of the house, Maureen, is in reality more the back story of Evan's life up to and after his death - this story requires the reader to live through a descent into depression leading to Evan's suicide (again, [...]
I stumbled across this book a few years ago, wandering a bookstore uninspired by anything, finally grabbing this book nearly at random. A few hours later I was immersed in the unique premise, the thought-provoking storyline and the incredible writing. And the main character, Evan Molloy, who could have been any one of a number of friends I've known along the way. This isn't a self-help book disguised as a novel (though I do wish anyone considering suicide would first read it) or a judgment or st [...]
David Long's fictional landscape often takes place inside the mind. In this case, he develops a ghost-as-narrator who, through flashbacks, pieces together his life. The Inhabited World is really two stories, however: Evan's transition from a happily married man to his crippling depression, and Maureen's attempt to leave an abusive affair. These plots may sound depressing, but critics agree that Long creates a sense of calm, centering, and moodiness that recalls his first novel, The Falling Boy. [...]
LibraryThing review"Mine was a surmountable despair. I just didn't. Surmount it." You feel the joy of language the delight of using a work like surmount, the small quiet thril of that heart stopping hesitation. Death like life is sill a time for learning and self discovery for Evan. His redemption is found when he finds the answers to a life-ill spent and he imparts some of that knowledge to the lost woman who shares his home. — review by user vickiphdcI like this review because it captures th [...]
The book begins with the narrator awakening in his house and discovering he has committed suicide. Over time he continues to live in his former house (mainly because he can't leave it) and to watch subsequent owners come and go. Meanwhile, he tries to reconstruct the circumstances of his suicide by a self-inflicted gunshot wound, as his memory as to exactly how and what happened was mostly erased after his death. Thought-provoking and actually hopeful, I enjoyed the theme of this book. The only [...]
Evan killed himself with a gun, and now finds himself a ghost, apparently doomed to wander eternally, and undetected by humans, through his old house. He is not particularly bored, though he is at time frustrated that none of the house's subsequent inhabitants sense his presence. Most of the book is Evan looking back on his life and his downward slide through depression to suicide. The book ends on a happy note, with Evan rejoicing in the self-affirming decision made by the woman now in the hous [...]
This was a really gripping book for me. At the same time, I don't think I could recommend it to anyone because of the delicate nature of the subject matter. As I got further and further in to it, I could see where it was headed but I was so compelled by the book that I couldn't stop myself from finishing it. I guess I can't say more without giving the whole plot away. It will stay with me in my mind for a while. Not necessarily in a good way.
This was set in Seattle-- interesting but a little self conscious about it. It gave a realistic account of depression-- the banality more than the desperation-- and the tiresomeness of it for other people. I wonder how the library book group will like this? I'm not sure they wanted to read about depression and suicide. (Why can't I find happy, funny books it the book group collection. I guess they don't make for intense discussion.)
Sad and lovely. The narrator is the ghost of a man who committed suicide and is left haunting his own house. His memories spool out over time and the reader gets to know him little by little - and to understand how he came to die. The moment in the book that had the most effect on me was when he describes his unrelenting struggle with depression and how he didn't set out to kill himself - he just had a moment of not fighting hard enough.
This is a very different kind of novel, told from the view of a wandering soul after a suicide left him in limbo. I wasn't going to read at first, because I thought, "How interesting could it be? Its a dead guy; he can't be heard, he can't be seen why read it?" Turns out I was wrong. it a try, you will most likely be captivated as I was.
A tough look at one man's ups and mostly downs throughout the span of his life and relationships. He eventually descends into serious depression and commits suicide, which is where this book actually begins. It's his life looked at from his point of view as a much less emotionally charged ghost of sorts. Seriously depressing.
I would give it 2.5. I really appreciated the beautiful writing, but the main character was unlikeable. More importantly, I felt that his mental illness was treated almost as an aside, which left me feeling that his suicide was used more as an interesting way to tell the story rather than relevant to the story itself.
The marketing text on the inside of the front cover reads, "Part psychological drama, part absorbing mystery, The Inhabited World paints a stirring portrait of a man caught between this world and the next." I would have preferred much less time on the psychological analysis of his time while alive, and much more on the mystery of his state in purgatory.
SYNOPSIS: Evan Long, a ghost who committed suicide, haunts his old house and reminisces about the circumstances of his failed marriage and descent into suicidal depression. Couldn't finish itMENTS: It had its good moments, but overall its meandering descent into mental illness was far from entertainingARTED: December 26, 2006ABANDONED: January 4, 2007
One of the best books I have ever read. David Long is a lucid and perceptive writer, and I really enjoyed his style --- smooth narration, uses words sparingly, doesn't overload sentences with adjectives. His characters were well thought-out and credible, and this book convinced me to read more of his work (which also I liked, btw, though not as much as this book).
Too austere and stark, without a recognizable ending. The concept of the deceased watching over his house is interesting, but could have been played out a thousand different (better) ways that allowed for more robust character development.
I read this as part of a book club. It was confusing, hard to follow, but interesting and you want to finish it. It also takes place in Seattle so it is cool that I know many places the book talks about.
A man commits suicide in his home and is caught between this world and the next; over 10 years various tenants occupy the house until one troubled woman unwittingly helps him to see his own life and death in a completely new way.
When I finished reading this I knew that it was going to be hard to find anything else to read. What could top this? A ghost story, a love story, great setting (the Pacific Northwest), sex, childhood, and suspense? And all in prose so clean and elegant that is is breathtaking.
Famous Librarian Nancy Pearl recommends this
I really enjoyed this, very thoughtful meditation on suicide and the transient choices we all make. A good love story, too, if you don't require a happy ending.
A fast read, but not really sure why to read the book. No big conclusions anyone else read it and have more to add?
I enjoyed this a lot. Very moving and sad.
Well written, but the main character never grew on me. I wanted more of Maureen and less of Evan.
Read my thoughts at: Thoughts of Joy
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