Anywhere but Here

Anywhere but Here Anywhere But Here is a moving often comic portrait of wise child Ann August and her mother Adele a larger than life American dreamer As they travel through the landscape of their often conflicting

  • Title: Anywhere but Here
  • Author: Mona Simpson
  • ISBN: 9780679737384
  • Page: 341
  • Format: Paperback
  • Anywhere But Here is a moving, often comic portrait of wise child Ann August and her mother, Adele, a larger than life American dreamer As they travel through the landscape of their often conflicting ambitions, Ann and Adele bring to life a novel that is a brilliant exploration of the perennial urge to keep moving, even at the risk of profound disorientation Simpson s fiAnywhere But Here is a moving, often comic portrait of wise child Ann August and her mother, Adele, a larger than life American dreamer As they travel through the landscape of their often conflicting ambitions, Ann and Adele bring to life a novel that is a brilliant exploration of the perennial urge to keep moving, even at the risk of profound disorientation Simpson s first novel is ultimately a heart rendering tale of a mother and daughter s invaluable relationship The two women in this book are American originals Ann is a new Huck Finn, a tough, funny, resourceful love of a girl Adele is like no one I ve encountered, at once deplorable and admirable and altogether believable Walker Percy Anywhere But Here is a wonder big, complex, masterfully written, it s an achievement that lands Simpson in the front ranks of our best novelists Newsweek

    One thought on “Anywhere but Here”

    1. This is a wonderful novel. It is about the relationship between a mother and daughter -Adele and Ann. They journey together to California, to a life Adele is seeking but can never attain. She can never attain what she is seeking partly because she is unable to accept what she has, partly due to not recognizing what it is she is and is seeking, and partly due to her crazy longing for a self and way of life that is not embedded in reality.Adele is crazy, cruel, self-centered , almost sociopathic, [...]

    2. I've had this book for so long, I'm not sure where I got it. Started reading it for the first time recently because my two-year-old pulled it off the shelf and put it in my lap on a lazy day when we weren't doing much. I was pleasantly surprised when, after reading 2 or 3 pages, I realized I was really interested in learning more about the characters. It moved quickly and easily. While you realize pretty quickly that things are not quite right between the main characters, and that poor 12-year-o [...]

    3. Great multi-generational physchological study of the female coming-of-age experience! Also, a STELLAR first novel by Steve Jobs' biological sister.

    4. Mona Simpson is Steve Jobs' sister and I first heard about this book in Jobs' autobiography by Walter Isaacson. The book was given rave reviews wherever I looked, but I just couldn't get into it. I found it quite dark and depressing - not the genre I want to be in right now. I'll give it another go sometime soon. What I did read was definitely well-written.

    5. "Strangers always love my mother," Ann August tells us at the start of Anywhere But Here. "And even if you hate her, can't stand her, even if she's ruining your life, there's something about her, some romance, some power. She's absolutely herself. No matter how hard you try, you'll never get to her. And when she dies, the world will be flat, too simple, reasonable, fair." Indeed, over the course of the dozen or so years chronicled in Mona Simpson's first novel, Ann and everyone else related to t [...]

    6. Mona Simpson's debut novel is pretty much a memoir, which could be titled "This Girl's Life." It's a tale of a single mother (Adele) and her daughter (Ann) and the challenges they face over the years, first in Wisconsin where Adele's from and later in SoCal when Ann's a tween/teen and her mother has delusions of making her a child star. Of interest to me, which I discovered only after starting this book, is that Simpson is married to Richard Appel, producer of The Simpsons, hence the character M [...]

    7. i saw the movie first, many years ago, and it barely scratched the surface of the depth of these characters. the movie almost made the mother, adelle, seem like "any kooky mom" with delusions of greatness. any american can relate, right? but immediately upon reading the book, i could see that adelle was not just kooky or starstruck, this was a woman suffering from a serious mental disorder. she seemed to meet all 9 traits for borderline personality disorder (parent2parentbpd/wowbb). one of the m [...]

    8. I recently reread this book and loved it. I think Simpson sets the stage for many of the disenchanted teenage girls who have since become so important in the cultural dialogue (I'm thinking about My So-Called Life and Daria, maybe even Buffy), or at least among Gen-Xers, and the mother Adele is a pitch-perfect description of someone sadly/hilariously on the brink of losing her sanity. I will never not love this book, sorry haters!

    9. A brilliantly drawn portrait of a dysfunctional mother-daughter relationship (along with tour-de-force sketches of their kin) that is both eccentric and eerily familiar. We can't believe such a selfish, smart, dysfunctional mother exists, yet still empathize and even recognize flashes of our own motives in her. We ache for the daughter and wonder how she will survive and keep bouncing back (and always again toward her mother!) This is one of those master novels that makes cinema-lovers like me t [...]

    10. Slow, boring and dull, this book disappoints. The last straw was when the daughter starts taking semi-pornographic photos of other children. I don't find this engaging or entertaining. It just gives me a bad feeling all over. Nor did I find the mother to be a particularly engaging character.I tried three times to read this book and finally gave up.

    11. طبق کتاب زندگینامه استیو جابز، این کتاب نوشته خواهر استیو جابز و بر اساس زندگی مادر بیلوژیکی استیو جابز (خانم جوآن شیبل جندلی سیمپسون) نوشته شده

    12. A painful-joyous roller-coaster of a mother-daughter relationship. Simpson gets under the skin of blockbuster emotion, and the honesty of her characters stops you short, leaves you wondering why all other protagonists are so flat.

    13. I vacillated between two and three stars for this one - a lot of what I disliked were actually the book's strengths - but felt too negatively to go the extra star.This book centers around a selfish, immature and heavily delusional mother who packs up her daughter and runs off to California to pursue the daughter's Hollywood career. Through a series of linked annecdotes and flashbacks the reader eventually pieces together all the ways this mother has let Ann down and in many ways created their pr [...]

    14. A masterpiece as far as I'm concerned. One of the great mother-daughter relationships I've found in literature. Also a terrific chronicle of not-so-long-ago Los Angeles. It's marvelous and masterful the way we float through time, rarely certain of Ann's age, oddly distanced from many key events by a dispassionate, unreliable narrator who's herself trying to sort through the story of her life. The subtle evolution of Ann's voice over the years is deft and exquisite, the abstracted innocence of he [...]

    15. I'm sort of undecided about this one. At first (and actually probably until about halfway through the book) I really liked it. I was ok with the meandering plot because I enjoyed her style of writing and her ability to make you empathize with the characters. I didn't mind reading the same event from different characters' perspectives. However, my enthusiasm dropped off after sticking with it and waiting for something monumental to happen. But I just finished the book, and here I am, still waitin [...]

    16. To start off there may or may not be spoilers in this review. This book was a push and pull between 2 and 3 stars for me. I had hope that this would be a story told from the mothers and the daughters point of view about Ann going up but the reader only hears from Ann and occasionally her Aunt. In the end, it felt like a rambling diary of a young adult remembering her life through “grown up” eyes. I have enjoyed some alternative non-linear storytelling and do not believe this is why I did not [...]

    17. This book has two major strikes against it: the fact that it was later made into a movie starring Susan Sarandon and Natalie Portman, and the fact that there is neither plot not conclusion. But I still loved the writing and the characterization of everyone except the mother character, who was clearly supposed to be this charming but shiftless Unique Person, and I had very little sympathy for her. But I loved a lot of the other voices in the book, especially the sections that were told from the d [...]

    18. This gets 3.5 stars. It wasn't bad, but it just completely lacked structure. It meanders along episodically for several hundred pages, not necessarily chronologically, but not with any meaningful pattern of switching between past, present, and future. It was too long for a book in which very little actually happens, and there were so many characters and digressions that took up hundreds of pages but barely figured into the story at all. The last chapter is kind of a cheap, tacked on Happy Ending [...]

    19. My favorite novel, right up there with "In Cold Blood" (but having nothing whatsoever in common except a very compelling and realistic narrative tone).Mona Simpson was included in the famous collection of short stories "Twenty Under Thirty," that's how I found her.Interesting fact, she is Steve Jobs biological sister, adopted in childhood into a different family from Jobs.The vast architectural and aesthetic sense of the novel is relative to what is known about Steve Jobs, a family trait it woul [...]

    20. I picked up this book from the library where I work. Simpson's prose is lovely but the book ended up feeling like a slog to get through. There's no real plot, and one of the main characters is so infuriating I just got sick of reading about her doing the same annoying, narcissistic things over and over again. I much preferred the few, short sections from the older women's perspective that evoked the Midwest of the past where small towns were actually thriving and people appreciated the quiet lan [...]

    21. It was this single book, read as a young girl and my early 20's about a half dozen times, that helped me see that I wasn't alone in the madness. It gave me hope. Mona Simpson sparked a life long love of memoir reading, and more recently, the act of putting ink on paper. To this day, when asked what's my favorite book, I say 'Anywhere But Here'. I'll have to re-read it to see if my perspective has changed, and even if it has, I'll remain eternally grateful for it.

    22. Jumps around a lot with out giving context so what is past and what is future seem blurred. But if the idea is just to see into life without the need for a chronological storyline it is a slice of life story. Really a child's persepctive that accepts the world without judging it as good or bad except in how you feel about yourself in the moment.

    23. F@$!#&* comma splices!! Reading this drove me crazy. I couldn't decide whether to be more annoyed by the sentences, the narrative (lack of) structure, or the celebrated assholery of the characters. Thematically, this book is right up my alley, and I wanted to like it, but it was so poorly executed. Don't even get me started on the wrong Great Lake

    24. This book is incredible. I read a lot of it twice over, I loved the language and character development that much. A beautiful study of human relationships, so evocative in its rendering of time, place and character.

    25. "The thing about my mother and me is that when we get along we're just the same."This book hit a little too close to home. Details the relationship between a shy daughter and her (at most times) delusional mother. Wonderfully written.

    26. The New York Times Book Review said it was "Brilliant, funny, astonishing."I found it random, weird, and so astonishing at one part that I stopped wasting my time.

    27. Much better book than a movie. The book is neither oversentimental nor hostile. Poignant moments are not over done and give the book a greater impact that stays with you after reading.

    28. This book really hit home. I really felt with Ann and Adele. Even though it took me forever to read I really enjoyed it. The characters were complex and interesting. I almost cried at the end.

    29. I liked this book a lot and on how the self-absorbed mother, Adele, who claimed that she lived her life for the sole purpose so Ann could get ahead in life decided she would just live and just BE since the universe has a way of letting the exact life you want come to you for this I give this book 4 stars.Ann and Adele being women who were daughter/mother team who liked to travel were a like when they were happy. Adele was hippieish and not big on disciplining Ann. Adele exudes a charisma that ma [...]

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