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The Midnight Library: A Novel de Matt Haig

The Midnight Library: A Novel (edição: 2020)

de Matt Haig (Autor)

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
2,5281424,386 (3.93)118
Título:The Midnight Library: A Novel
Autores:Matt Haig (Autor)
Informação:Viking (2020), Edition: 1st Edition, 304 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca, Lidos mas não possuídos

Detalhes da Obra

The Midnight Library de Matt Haig

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» Veja também 118 menções

Inglês (138)  Holandês (2)  Todos os idiomas (140)
Mostrando 1-5 de 140 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Nora has decided she wants to die so she chooses her time but instead of dying she goes to The Midnight Library which is a place between life and death. There are green books on all the shelves as well as the Book of Regrets which is a book of her regrets. Also there is Mrs. Elm, her library teacher from school who turns out to be her guide to the Midnight Library. Nora is given the chance to live other lives which her choices made impossible to live when she was still on earth. She has many choices but which ones will she want to relive? Which ones will she not relive? Are there more lives than we have been told about? Which life does she choose?

This was not what I expected but I enjoyed it throughly. While I liked Nora, she was a bit of a downer at times. As she is living her different lives I felt for her since she was dropped into the lives with no idea where she would end up and she ends up looking crazy each time. I also liked Mrs. Elm. She stayed with Nora at the Midnight Library helping her to choose and guiding her to a life. The secondary characters can be in more than one life but mostly they are in one of her lives and she tries to figure out how they fit in her life.

The story is interesting. It relies solely on Nora's choices. She recites philosophers often though the people in her lives have no idea the "real" Nora was into philosophy and it is the "real" Nora we journey with. I liked that we get larger views of her life and mentions of other journeys she has taken without us being aware of those lives. She needs to pick a life or she will be dead.

I wasn't sure which life I wanted her to choose but as Mrs. Elm said "the only way to learn is to live." I was glad to be on the journey with her. ( )
  Sheila1957 | Aug 4, 2021 |
Nora Seed's father, mother, and cat, Voltaire, have all died; she elected not to pursue competitive swimming as a teenager; she pursued philosophy instead of geology at University; she is in a dead end job at a music store; and she called off her wedding to Dan. Nora Seed is 35 years old when she decides she has nothing to live for and commits suicide. Then, she finds herself in the Midnight Library which is filled with books containing all of her alternate lives, which she can check out and experience. ( )
  baughga | Aug 3, 2021 |
This is a tricky one… I loved the premise: Nora Seed is seriously depressed - at the age of 15 she quit professional swimming, severely disappointing her father. Her mother died. Her brother, she feels, is in a rough spot because she quit his band.
Even her elderly neighbour doesn’t need her anymore and now her cat has died.

She just doesn’t want to go on.

»She imagined being a non-sentient life form sitting in a pot all day was probably an easier existence.«

(Or wishing to be one’s cat, yours truly would like to add.)

At this point, Nora tries to end it all (if YOU consider suicide, please google “suicide” in your native language and call one of the hotlines you’re going to find!) - only to find herself in the eponymous “Midnight Library”.

The concept of the Midnight Library builds upon the hypothesis of the multiverse which basically states that there is a(n) (infinite) number of parallel universes just like ours. Those universes may overlap, or consist completely independently of each other and will, by definition, diverge from each other with every single choice someone makes.

When Nora enters the Midnight Library and finds an infinite number of books, she learns that each book represents one possible life she might have lived. The one life she just tried to leave is her “root” life.

From her “root” life sprout innumerable other lives of which Nora may try any life she can sufficiently describe (e. g. asking for a “happy” life is not enough as she has to define what makes her life happy).
Once she opens the book that corresponds to her description, she enters that life and lives it until she is either so disappointed that she leaves and returns to the library, or she finds a “perfect” life into which she settles, forgetting the entire ordeal of getting there.

And this is where the cookie starts crumbling a bit: In one life Nora chooses, she is a glaciologist - but in her root life she wasn’t and how is she supposed to navigate a scientist’s life not actually being one?

Even more problematic to me: What about the lives of her alter egos? Ok, so if she leaves an usurped life, its original “occupant” will just feel weird but be well.

What if Nora stays in such a life, though? She would - quite literally - be taking a life. A life that its occupant presumably enjoyed. A life no more or less worth living than Nora’s root life.
Is “root”-life Nora’s life worth more than that of the non-root Nora’s? If we really accept the premise of the multiverse - wouldn’t all those parallel worlds be equally worthy of existence?

What if she robs humanity’s only chance at salvation because she steals the life of the one person who might have saved the planet? (Yes, highly unlikely in reality but this is more of a philosophical question.)

The Talmud states in Sanhedrin 37a: “Whoever saves a single life is considered by scripture to have saved the whole world.”

Isn’t the opposite also a valid idea? If we take a single life, don’t we destroy a “world”?

What about partners or children even? Nora would basically be “the other woman”, the one who cheats. The person who stole a child’s true parent. (Because Nora might grow into a version of said parent but she will not ever be that parent.)
Isn’t that a horrible betrayal?

And if we take that “permanently taking a life” seriously - doesn’t that ultimately amount to murder? (Or maybe: Suicide - again?)

Nora even recognizes this fatal flaw of the entire concept at one point:

»Everything was right, and yet she hadn’t earned this. She had joined the movie halfway.«

Unfortunately, this flaw - not having earned this - is inherent in the very premise of the book and it cannot be fixed because there’s only one life that Nora has earned a right to...

“The Midnight Library” doesn’t really deal with these questions because it mostly avoids them: The longer Nora stays in a “borrowed” life, the more she grows (or declines) into it. Thus, referring back to the earlier glaciologist example earlier, she might have grown into that life of a scientist. I can accept that even though it’s somewhat deus-ex-machina.

I fully buy into the concept of “second chances” (or more) and I found Nora endearing. I liked how she learnt what was right or wrong for her.

I’m not entirely happy with the ending (even though it’s a happy one) because it is the easiest way out of the prime dilemma (by avoiding it entirely).

I cannot fully overcome the “taking a life” issue (or the weaselling out of it) and yet I cannot not like this book either.

Four and Five Schrödinger stars out of five - you get to open the box!

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  philantrop | Aug 2, 2021 |
Nora Seed is in her mid-30s and is considering ending her “going nowhere” life. She is given an opportunity through a magical library, to try out alternative lives that she may have taken. There are some interesting moments here but it fell a bit flat for me, slipping dangerously close to Mitch Albom territory. Mild shudder...I know others have enjoyed it, including my daughter and SIL, so if you still want to read it, go for it. ( )
  msf59 | Aug 1, 2021 |
This book was left in my own Little Free Library and whoever that was thank you!

What an incredible book. If you had to live your regrets all over again would you do it? Or would you like to live another life altogether?

This book explains it all to Nina who disliked her life and decided to end it. It took her to the Midnight Library where her librarian was at. Nina would choose a book either to relive her life or find a new one. Such decisions.

It was an interesting concept and she really had to "fake" her way through scenarios since she had no idea who some of these people were in her life but yet she knew how life was without her back then and there.

A great read and a concept I have never read before. Such a magical book. ( )
  sweetbabyjane58 | Jul 26, 2021 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 140 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
If you’ve never pondered life’s contingencies—like what might’ve happened if you’d skipped the party where you met your spouse—then Matt Haig’s novel The Midnight Library will be an eye-opening experience. This gentle but never cloying fable offers us a chance to weigh our regret over missed opportunities against our gratitude for the life we have.... [Haig's] allusions to multiverses, string theory and Erwin Schrödinger never detract from the emotional heart of this alluring novel.... Haig brings her story to a conclusion that’s both enlightening and deeply satisfying.
adicionado por LondonLori76 | editarBookPage, Harvey Freedenberg (Oct 1, 2020)
Few fantasies are more enduring than the idea that there might be a second chance at a life already lived, some sort of magical reset in which mistakes can be erased, regrets addressed, choices altered.... The narrative throughout has a slightly old-fashioned feel, like a bedtime story. It’s an absorbing but comfortable read, imaginative in the details if familiar in its outline. The invention of the library as the machinery through which different lives can be accessed is sure to please readers and has the advantage of being both magical and factual. Every library is a liminal space; the Midnight Library is different in scale, but not kind. And a vision of limitless possibility, of new roads taken, of new lives lived, of a whole different world available to us somehow, somewhere, might be exactly what’s wanted in these troubled and troubling times.
adicionado por LondonLori76 | editarNew York Times, Karen Joy Fowler (Web site pago) (Sep 29, 2020)
...“between life and death there is a midnight library,” a library that contains multiple volumes of the lives she could have had if she had made different choices.... Haig’s latest (after the nonfiction collection Notes on a Nervous Planet, 2019) is a stunning contemporary story that explores the choices that make up a life, and the regrets that can stifle it. A compelling novel that will resonate with readers.
adicionado por LondonLori76 | editarBooklist, LynnDee Wathen (Aug 1, 2020)
An unhappy woman who tries to commit suicide finds herself in a mysterious library that allows her to explore new lives.... This book isn't heavy on hows; you won’t need an advanced degree in quantum physics or string theory to follow its simple yet fantastical logic. Predicting the path Nora will ultimately choose isn’t difficult, either. Haig treats the subject of suicide with a light touch, and the book’s playful tone will be welcome to readers who like their fantasies sweet if a little too forgettable. A whimsical fantasy about learning what’s important in life.
adicionado por LondonLori76 | editarKirkus Reviews (Jul 14, 2020)

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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Haig, Mattautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Mulligan, CareyNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones, and variations of mental and physical experience possible in my life.
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Nineteen years before she decided to die, Nora Seed sat in the warmth of the small library at Hazeldene School in the town of Bedford.
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She knew she should be experiencing pity and despair for her feline friend – and she was – but she had to acknowledge something else. As she stared at Voltaire’s still and peaceful expression – that total absence of pain – there was an inescapable feeling brewing in the darkness. Envy.
The universe tended towards chaos and entropy. That was basic thermodynamics. Maybe it was basic existence too.
Bertrand Russell wrote that ‘To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already three-parts dead’. Maybe that was her problem. Maybe she was just scared of living. But Bertrand Russell had more marriages and affairs than hot dinners, so perhaps he was no one to give advice.
A person was like a city. You couldn’t let a few less desirable parts put you off the whole. There may be bits you don’t like, a few dodgy side streets and suburbs, but the good stuff makes it worthwhile.
‘Want,’ she told her, in a measured tone, ‘is an interesting word. It means lack. Sometimes if we fill that lack with something else the original want disappears entirely. Maybe you have a lack problem rather than a want problem. Maybe there is a life that you really want to live.’
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