Customer Reviews for

The Beginner's Goodbye

Average Rating 3.5
( 62 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(14)

4 Star

(16)

3 Star

(16)

2 Star

(10)

1 Star

(6)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Only in his mid-30's, Aaron Wolcott, walks with a limp and depen

Only in his mid-30's, Aaron Wolcott, walks with a limp and depends on a cane for balance. An illness when young left him slightly paralyzed. He graduated from Stanford with a degree in English, but after college ended up working in the family's publishing Company editin...
Only in his mid-30's, Aaron Wolcott, walks with a limp and depends on a cane for balance. An illness when young left him slightly paralyzed. He graduated from Stanford with a degree in English, but after college ended up working in the family's publishing Company editing books. At 24, he meets Dr. Dorothy, an oncologist, who is 8 years his senior, and, an introvert and loner like himself. After just 4 months, they marry and have a happy marriage of 10 years. Dorothy dies in a freak accident, when a tree crashes through the roof of their small home. She was only 43.

The Beginner's Goodbye, is a deeply moving story. It's a story about love, loss, forgiveness and acceptance. The story left me with a lot to think about, and the ending ultimately left me smiling. This is one of my favorites of Anne Tyler. I love the way she writes; she puts so much meaning into the simplest gestures with her perfect word choice. This story is bittersweet but charming and memorable and very heart warming.



posted by E_M_13423 on May 21, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

11 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

Anne Tyler light

I believe I've read everything Anne Tyler has written and I am a big
fan of her books. She has an even-handed quirky approach to life's
mysteries; her books are fast-paced and her characters are memorable.
My alltime favorite is The Accidental Tourist, closely follo...
I believe I've read everything Anne Tyler has written and I am a big
fan of her books. She has an even-handed quirky approach to life's
mysteries; her books are fast-paced and her characters are memorable.
My alltime favorite is The Accidental Tourist, closely followed by
Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant and Breathing Lessons. TBG is not up to the mark of her previous books. To begin with, it is more a
novella, under 200 pages, and her characters are more charictures than
full-blown people. Aaron is didactic and caustic, Dorothy is stodgy and clinical, Nandina is hovering and bossy, Gil is salt-of-the-earth.
Aaron's turnaround is less than logical, almost an aboutface to hook
up with the most vulnerable character in the book. This is close to a
romance, which the excellent Back When We Were Grownups skillfully
side steps.

posted by librarianDS on April 8, 2012

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  • Posted April 8, 2012

    Anne Tyler light

    I believe I've read everything Anne Tyler has written and I am a big
    fan of her books. She has an even-handed quirky approach to life's
    mysteries; her books are fast-paced and her characters are memorable.
    My alltime favorite is The Accidental Tourist, closely followed by
    Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant and Breathing Lessons. TBG is not up to the mark of her previous books. To begin with, it is more a
    novella, under 200 pages, and her characters are more charictures than
    full-blown people. Aaron is didactic and caustic, Dorothy is stodgy and clinical, Nandina is hovering and bossy, Gil is salt-of-the-earth.
    Aaron's turnaround is less than logical, almost an aboutface to hook
    up with the most vulnerable character in the book. This is close to a
    romance, which the excellent Back When We Were Grownups skillfully
    side steps.

    11 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 21, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Only in his mid-30's, Aaron Wolcott, walks with a limp and depen

    Only in his mid-30's, Aaron Wolcott, walks with a limp and depends on a cane for balance. An illness when young left him slightly paralyzed. He graduated from Stanford with a degree in English, but after college ended up working in the family's publishing Company editing books. At 24, he meets Dr. Dorothy, an oncologist, who is 8 years his senior, and, an introvert and loner like himself. After just 4 months, they marry and have a happy marriage of 10 years. Dorothy dies in a freak accident, when a tree crashes through the roof of their small home. She was only 43.

    The Beginner's Goodbye, is a deeply moving story. It's a story about love, loss, forgiveness and acceptance. The story left me with a lot to think about, and the ending ultimately left me smiling. This is one of my favorites of Anne Tyler. I love the way she writes; she puts so much meaning into the simplest gestures with her perfect word choice. This story is bittersweet but charming and memorable and very heart warming.



    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 7, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Classic Tyler

    If you enjoyed earlier Tyler work you'll enjoy this.
    The star rating here is not reflective of the read.
    Some idiot couldn't get a free sample and left one star?
    People are dumb and thoughtless, unlike Anne Tyler's characters.

    7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 4, 2012

    Another Tyleresque oddball Baltimorean learns about love and los

    Another Tyleresque oddball Baltimorean learns about love and loss. Wasn't sure how much I liked it in the middle, but she gives a good wrap-up at the end, which I quite liked. An engaging read from a dependable author.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2012

    So you gave it one star?

    Not too swift

    5 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2012

    I usually enjoy Anne Tyler's fiction, but I cannot figure out

    I usually enjoy Anne Tyler's fiction, but I cannot figure out if I really liked this book or not. The main character wasn't very likable, although I did find his friends and family amusing and quirky. The premise was interesting and well-drawn, but the ending was a little too pat. The book kept me interested, but I kept waiting for more substance and plot. This latest Tyler endeavor is hard for me to figure out., but it is definitely worth a try. You may love it!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2013

    Very Interesting Read

    This story deals with a very unusual way in which a man deals with grief. Let's just say you never know what will happen next in his journey. I found it very interesting.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2013

    Not highly recommended

    I was a little disappointed with this book. I thought the without could have given a deeper look into the characters. The end came ttoo soon and left me wanting more.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2012

    Loved it

    Please keep writing anne,my very favorite writer,

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2012

    146 pages

    Totally not worth the money. What happened, i expect lots more from this author. This was a short

    story only.

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 26, 2012

    Not my favorite Anne Tyler book

    Don't think this was Anne Tyler's best book. It just never grabbed me. There wasn't much character development so you were left wondering about the characters past. It felt to me like there were too many stories going on. And the ending felt like it was an after thought because she couldn't think of a good ending.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 31, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    As much as I like Ann Tyler's books, this was just, well, tediou

    As much as I like Ann Tyler's books, this was just, well, tedious

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2012

    Delightful

    Wonderful perspective on loss, grieving.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2012

    LOVED THIS BOOK

    Loved it. Couldn't put it down. Great story. She's the best!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2012

    Enjoyable!

    In The Beginner's Goodbye, Aaron, the narrator, who has been crippled and fussed over since childhood, must cope with the sudden and unexpected loss of his wife, Dorothy, who is also a bit of a misfit, and rebuild his life without her presence in it. Things are complicated by Dorthy's sudden and periodic reappearances. I enjoyed looking over Aaron's shoulder as he realizes that though he is surrounded by others who are sort of goofy, he is goofy, too (just as he and Dorothy always were, even if they didn't think so at the time), as he learns to say goodbye. An enjoyable novel, with some--as always with Tyler--lovely writing.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2012

    Gold

    Go to next result

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 27, 2012

    The Beginners Goodbye..Mixed Feelings

    I eagerly await the release of each new Anne Tyler book, and I have enjoyed them all, including this one. The only fault that I can find with this book is that it was too short. It was only 146 color nook pages, which seems more like a novella than a book and $12.99 is too expensive for a novella. That being said, I still enjoyed reading this book, and really enjoyed getting to know each character. I'm rating it four stars, taking away one star for the brevity of the book itself.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2012

    Where's the sample?

    I've been waiting to read a sample and there's nothing there. What's up with that?

    1 out of 32 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 29, 2013

    I just finished reading The Beginner's Goodbye. It is written by

    I just finished reading The Beginner's Goodbye. It is written by Anne Tyler. It's about this man who looses his wife tragically. He's coping with her loss and dealing with getting his house back in order. He starts seeing his wife in various places months after she dies. He doesn't know why or how it happened.




    I'm personally on the fence about this book. I loved the storyline itself, but I was not very fond of the way it was written. I feel it could have been more detailed and informative. Some of the parts that I feel were important to the story were chopped and poorly described. I also was not very fond of the main character. I found him very self centered and rude. I'm sure there will be others that will get more out of this than I did. I don't find the book bad at all. I just think it could have been written a little better.

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  • Posted July 28, 2013

    My new favorite of Anne Tyler's books!  I originally ordered

    My new favorite of Anne Tyler's books! 



    I originally ordered the Beginner's Goodbye for my Nook, simply because it was written by Anne Tyler. I can't imagine that Ms. Tyler would be able to write a bad book, if she tried. I've read most of them, and haven't been proven wrong yet. But this book ended up being even better than I expected. Beginner's Goodbye, the story of a man dealing with the death of his wife, is the kind of book that can make you late for work, because you make the mistake of thinking "I can read just a few pages," and then you  don't want to put it down. It's the kind of book you find yourself thinking about, while you are at work or driving your car.  Beginner's Goodbye's characters are like people that we know, or even people that we are. It is an affecting book. Even if you already cherish your spouse, after you read this book, i would be surprised if you didn't show just a little more appreciation of him/her. If you don't get anything else out of this book, you will find a poignant reminder to cherish the precious ordinariness of everyday life, or to quote the protagonist Aaron, to be "happily, unremarkably maried." My favorite quote was this ironic and heart-rending one from Aaron: "That was one of the worst things about losing your wife, I found; your wife is the very person you want to discuss it all with." This book is a quick read, not only because it has fewer than 200 pages, but also because once you start reading it, you don't want to do anything else until you finish it. Don't miss out on this gem.

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