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Dying Young [Mass Market Paperback]

Marti Leimbach
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

The premise of this first novel is initially provocative: Victor, a rich young man, intelligent and talented, chooses to end his treatment for leukemia and spend his remaining months with Hilary, the young woman hired to take care of him. Having fallen in love, the pair moves from Boston to the seaside community of Hull, "a discreet place to die," where Hilary becomes powerfully attracted to Gordon, a divorced entrepreneur. Torn by longing for a "normal" relationship with Gordon and guilt over betraying Victor, Hilary gradually confronts her chronic insecurity and feelings of inadequacy. Although this slim story begins with grace and assurance, the narrative soon becomes tiresome as the three chief characters take on the whiny, self-absorbed behavior of adolescents. We never understand why the rabbity heroine is so appealing to two men; Gordon callously threatens to tell his dying rival (and new friend) about his own affair with Hilary. Even Victor, supposedly determined to bow out of life with courage, is surly and arrogant; he says he has chosen to commit suicide because fighting his disease is "boring." While Leimbach shows promise, her first effort is a disappointment. First serial to Cosmopolitan; film rights to Fogwood/20th Century Fox .
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Eager to escape her aimless existence and the tyranny of her mother's home, Hilary begins by answering an ad for a caretaker and ends by becoming the lover of the man who hired her. But this is no ordinary relationship, for brilliant young Victor--scion of a patrician Boston family that might have snubbed Hilary had they ever met her--has decided after years of fighting leukemia to die on his own terms. As the novel opens, Hilary is contemplating an affair with Gordon, attracted by his very normalcy. How she manages this affair while remaining fiercely loving and loyal to Victor is the gist of this touching, well-wrought story. The 25-year-old Leimbach offers some remarkably astute perceptions on death's power to confound our expectations and love's power to confound death as she moves toward an ending that is both satisfying and unexpected. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 9/15/89.
-Barbara Hoffert, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars :) May 3 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I liked this book because Victor (who has leukemia and who has, against the advice of family, friends and doctors, discontinued chemotherapy) is presented as a complex human being. Victor is unsure of his own feelings about death or even whether he wishes to die. Throughout the book, he alternately romantices, embraces and fears death. Victor is, at once, afraid to die and afraid to live. He is very human. Aware that a bone-marrow transplant would offer hope, he reasons that it would probably not be worth the pain. Victor defies the phrase "brave fight against terminal illness"...for those who are ill really have no choice in the matter and are just trying to make it through each day like the rest of us. An excellent book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars AN EXCELLENT NOVEL ONE OF THE BEST I'VE READ Feb. 4 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I felt DYING YOUNG THE NOVEL by MARTI LEIMBACH was one of the best books I have read and here's why. I felt that you really got to know HILLARY and VICTOR and thier situation through HILLARY'S narration and why she choose to take care of VICTOR and what circumstances led her to him. Also I found the supporting character's in the story such as GORDON and ESTELLE were'nt too one dimensional as they had been in the movie which was great. This book I feel doesn't sanatize what a terminally ill person goes through and how they might feel when dealing with it how victor deals with his illness I won't give away just read and find out. I felt I could really connect with VICTOR and HILLARYwho seemed like real people. I would recommend DYING YOUNG to anyone who likes to be moved and inspired at the same time that's all I have to say.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! July 23 1998
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The movie stunk, but the novel is thousands of times better and presents the two leads as characters instead of the weak caricatures that appeared in the film.
Leimbach's people are unique and interesting and she has a great ear for dialogue.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't really compare to the movie June 5 1998
By A Customer
Format:Unknown Binding
'Dying Young', starring Julia Roberts and Campbell Scott, was one of the better films I've seen. I find the character of Victor, the young man stricken with lukemia, wonderfully three-dimensional and all in all very impressive. That's the movie. In the book, Leimbach really doesn't make an effort to properly describe the other characters in the story. Instead, she focuses on Hilary, a character who is not interesting or complex enough to justify the entire book being narrated by her. I can completely understand why Richard Friedenberg made the choices he did when he wrote the screenplay for the movie. The incidences in the novel are skewered by Leimbach's fumbling, underdeveloped style. It would have been so much better if Leimbach had at least written in third-person, so the reader could get a sense of each individual character. I found Leimbach's style of writing particulary annoying. Too much first-person set in the wrong tense distroys this book. I did get a few interesting quotes out of the story, but all in all, don't bother to buy it. Rent the movie instead.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! Feb. 4 1998
By A Customer
Format:Unknown Binding
It is rare to find a book that really speaks about the narrator herself. Hillary (a bummer) has a relationship with an eccentric but highly intelligent Victor. Victor, plagued by leaukemia cannot give Hillary the wholesome love she desires for. To satisfy her needs, she finds solace in Gordon. An all American lover who befriends Victor. Now Hillary has to find balance in between caring for a sick man and giving her fullest to Gordon without having to spill the beans about the love triangle. The movie (if anyone remembers, starring Julia Roberts and Campbell Scott) is a poor substitute for the print version of the story. In the book we can explore the complex character of Hillary and Victor because Leimbach allows little side-thoughts to seep into the plot and is not afraid of making a Hillary sound like a fool at times which is what happens to all of us at certain times. It coyly brings us into the ever self reflecting mind of Hillary, the way she sees the world around her yet at the same time not trying to superimposed her opinions on the readers. Because the patient is her 'lover' afterall, readers sometimes wonder what is the rational behind her caring for Victor. Out of love or of compassion. Victor the sick man is not spared of such suspicions too. But his love for Hillary and his realisation of his predicament gathers him to the conclusion that it is better to let sleeping dogs lie as he goes on trying to battle the illness that plagues and weakens him evryday. Victor knows that he is dying and makes no effort to defy the odds, but he tries to taunt the medical world by trying to outlive their predictions. Read more ›
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