All I Have in This World: A Novel

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Overview

“A very funny, very moving novel about being lost and then found . . . I love this book.”
—Antonya Nelson, author of Bound


Two strangers meet over the hood of a used car in Texas: Marcus, who is fleeing both his financial and personal failures, and Maria, who after years of dodging her mistakes has returned to her hometown to make amends. One looking forward, the other looking back, they face off over the car...

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All I Have in This World

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Overview

“A very funny, very moving novel about being lost and then found . . . I love this book.”
—Antonya Nelson, author of Bound


Two strangers meet over the hood of a used car in Texas: Marcus, who is fleeing both his financial and personal failures, and Maria, who after years of dodging her mistakes has returned to her hometown to make amends. One looking forward, the other looking back, they face off over the car they both want. And after knowing each other for less than an hour, they decide to buy it together. All I Have in This World is a different kind of love story about the power of friendship.

“A Springsteenian ode to the promise and heartbreak of the highway.” —The New York Times

“Parker’s skillfully rendered story rolls like a restless, unpredictable west Texas river—calm depths here, turbulent shallows there—as Marcus and Maria communicate and lurch toward an imperfect union . . . Which feels a lot like real life.” —The Denver Post

“Both poetic and starkly real . . . All I Have in This World charts the emotional and geographic journey of two people trying valiantly to move forward.” —The Raleigh News and Observer

“A sweet, sinuous, and smart love story.” —Washingtonian magazine
 

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Editorial Reviews

Review quotes

“Springsteenian ode to the promise and heartbreak of the highway . . . Told with . . . emotional complexity and subtlety.” —The New York Times

“This is a very funny, very moving novel about being lost and then found, about that rarest gift--shared sensibility--and about being saved . . . I love this book.” —Antonya Nelson, author of Bound

“Parker's skillfully rendered story rolls like a restless, unpredictable west Texas river--calm depths here, turbulent shallows there--as Marcus and Maria communicate (sometimes with words, sometimes with silence, almost always in the car) and lurch toward an imperfect union. This makes Parker's story remarkable. But what makes All I Have in This World memorable is this: While any number of disasters can (and do) take place along the way, and while some are heartbreaking, the watershed moments happen not with sadness or blood or pain, but with cascades of laughter. It's through moments of unabashed humor, when Marcus and Maria let go and laugh, that his characters finally, and completely, connect. Which feels a lot like real life.” The Denver Post

“Don’t pass by Michael Parker’s book about a 'low-slung sky-blue 1984 Buick Electra' without kicking its tires, so to speak--it’s no lemon but a sweet, sinuous, and smart love story.” Washingtonian magazine’s blog

“The writing is direct, the characters vivid . . . In All I Have in This World, Parker, in prose clear as the Texas summer sky, gives us a portrait of two people who have tried their best to find themselves by running, literally from home or mentally from logic and good sense. Long may that Electra run.” Austin American-Statesman

“Parker deftly captures his characters’ uncertainties and hesitations as they struggle to move away from regret and toward the absolution they so desire.” —Booklist

“Parker is an assured and emotionally sensitive writer.” —Kirkus Reviews

“'Michael Parker's best novel yet. In front seats and back seats we conjure love and contemplate ruin, as do the wonderful characters in All I Have in This World. Parker again extends his geographical and emotional ranges here in this layered and nuanced story of heartbroken, debt-ridden and atonement-seeking creatures much like many of us. So get in and drive on.” —Mark Richard, author of House of Prayer No. 2

From the Publisher
“Springsteenian ode to the promise and heartbreak of the highway . . . Told with . . . emotional complexity and subtlety.” —The New York Times

“This is a very funny, very moving novel about being lost and then found, about that rarest gift—shared sensibility—and about being saved . . . I love this book.” —Antonya Nelson, author of Bound

“Parker's skillfully rendered story rolls like a restless, unpredictable west Texas river—calm depths here, turbulent shallows there—as Marcus and Maria communicate (sometimes with words, sometimes with silence, almost always in the car) and lurch toward an imperfect union. This makes Parker's story remarkable. But what makes All I Have in This World memorable is this: While any number of disasters can (and do) take place along the way, and while some are heartbreaking, the watershed moments happen not with sadness or blood or pain, but with cascades of laughter. It's through moments of unabashed humor, when Marcus and Maria let go and laugh, that his characters finally, and completely, connect. Which feels a lot like real life.” The Denver Post

“Don’t pass by Michael Parker’s book about a 'low-slung sky-blue 1984 Buick Electra' without kicking its tires, so to speak—it’s no lemon but a sweet, sinuous, and smart love story.” Washingtonian magazine’s blog

“The writing is direct, the characters vivid . . . In All I Have in This World, Parker, in prose clear as the Texas summer sky, gives us a portrait of two people who have tried their best to find themselves by running, literally from home or mentally from logic and good sense. Long may that Electra run.” Austin American-Statesman

“Parker deftly captures his characters’ uncertainties and hesitations as they struggle to move away from regret and toward the absolution they so desire.” —Booklist

“Parker is an assured and emotionally sensitive writer.” —Kirkus Reviews

“'Michael Parker's best novel yet. In front seats and back seats we conjure love and contemplate ruin, as do the wonderful characters in All I Have in This World. Parker again extends his geographical and emotional ranges here in this layered and nuanced story of heartbroken, debt-ridden and atonement-seeking creatures much like many of us. So get in and drive on.” —Mark Richard, author of House of Prayer No. 2

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781616204488
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
  • Publication date: 11/11/2014
  • Pages: 336

Meet the Author

Michael Parker is the author of seven works of fiction, most recently the critically acclaimed novel The Watery Part of the World. His work has been published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Oxford American, and many other magazines. He is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, an O. Henry Award, a Pushcart Prize, and three lifetime achievement awards, including the North Carolina Award for Literature. He teaches in the MFA writing program at UNC–Greensboro and lives in North Carolina and Texas.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 14, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    All I Have In This World by Michael Parker What first prompted m

    All I Have In This World by Michael Parker
    What first prompted me to apply to read this book was the title. It's not the material things we have that will live with us forever.
    This is a story about many people and I first found it confusing because of the chapters were from a different year and different people til I realized it was the story of the car and the previous owners lives.
    Loved learning about the terrain and nature around the various places the books take you to. Marcus has his dream and realizes he's a failure and tries to make his dream happen. Maria is from a mixed up family and they end up buying the car together.
    Found it interesting where their path takes them especially when they are out driving, talking and learning about one another and what they want to do.
    Loved the lists and charts. Love how the background of the car and its owners connect to the characters who buy it.
    I received this book from Library Thing via Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill in exchange for my honest review.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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