The Friend

The Friend

A Novel

eBook - 2018
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FINALIST FOR THE 2018 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD  "Nunez’s prose itself comforts us. Her confident and direct style uplifts—the music in her sentences, her deep and varied intelligence." –The New York Times Book Review "A penetrating, moving meditation on loss, comfort, memory...Nunez has a wry, withering wit." —NPR "[A] sneaky gut punch of a novel...a consummate example of the human-animal tale." —Harper's Magazine A moving story of love, friendship, grief, healing, and the magical bond between a woman and her dog. When a woman unexpectedly loses her lifelong best friend and mentor, she finds herself burdened with the unwanted dog he has left behind. Her own battle against grief is intensified by the mute suffering of the dog, a huge Great Dane traumatized by the inexplicable disappearance of its master, and by the threat of eviction: dogs are prohibited in her apartment building. While others worry that grief has made her a victim of magical thinking, the woman refuses to be separated from the dog except for brief periods of time. Isolated from the rest of the world, increasingly obsessed with the dog's care, determined to read its mind and fathom its heart, she comes dangerously close to unraveling. But while troubles abound, rich and surprising rewards lie in store for both of them. Elegiac and searching, The Friend is both a meditation on loss and a celebration of human-canine devotion.
Publisher: [S.l.]: Penguin Publishing Group, 2018
ISBN: 9780735219465
Characteristics: 224 p
Additional Contributors: cloudLibrary

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May 06, 2019

Well-written, light, paean to relationships in all their variety.

May 03, 2019

I read this for the "An Ugly Cover" part of my 2019 reading challenge. I really enjoyed the writing style of the first chapter of this book, but after that the plot lost me. I didn't like the psychological detours and the ending was unsatisfying.

Apr 12, 2019

If I had read the final chapter of this book first, I probably would have given it a much higher rating as the writing is exquisite. Their are moments in this book of astute observation and some of the often unsaid emotions around the grieving process as well as dog ownership. However, it is heavily bogged down, especially in the first half of the book, with descriptions of a writer's process. Unless you are a writer or want to be one, this adds nothing to the book. The woman grieves over a man who is simply not likeable and I couldn't have cared less about his ex-wives or his conquests. The Friend has been marketed as being about a woman's loss and her relationship with her inherited dog and there is simply not enough about the dog or this relationship for far too long.

Mar 27, 2019

Could not get through it. Gave up after about 30 pages. So pretentious.

Mar 26, 2019

I recommend reading pages131-133 first. Then be a friend to Yourself and read the book aloud.

Mar 23, 2019

book group

Mar 18, 2019

Not impressed; takes at least a quarter of book length to even get to anything about the dog and he, Apollo, the dog is why I got from the library. Not sure I will finish it; too much about past wives.

Jan 22, 2019

October Bookclub Book

Jan 21, 2019

One of my favorite reads in the last several months. Not much plot for a novel. Reads more like a memoir, but I like the voice of the narrator and was more than happy to exists in her life and musing for several days. The "friend" from the title is probably the man who has recently committed suicide, her former writing teacher. But it could also be the great dane she inherits from him. A reflection on loss and grief and caring for another creature, in this case her aging companion. It's a beautifully written novel.

Jan 05, 2019

Serious, funny, heartbreaking and heart healing, The Friend is one of the best modern novels I've read in a long time.

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