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The Life Before Her Eyes Paperback – Oct 31 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Reprint edition (Oct. 31 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156027127
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156027120
  • Product Dimensions: 20.5 x 13.4 x 1.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 299 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #563,049 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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First Sentence
IT WAS ANOTHER BEAUTIFUL DAY IN A PERFECT LIFE: June again, and all the brilliance that came with it. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Meg on Feb. 28 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is the type of book that completely hinges on the last 30 pages. So many odd things happened throughout the book, I was dying for a great ending that would wrap up the story and give an explanation for all the the crazy happenings. However, the ending never came. I was left to image for myself why Diana acted the way she did... and for the life of me, I couldn't seem to figure out why. The reader is shown so many of Diana's thoughts it sometimes seems as though we are intruding on her fractured mind. Diana's mind is so odd... I couldn't help but wondering if this book was going to end up with Diana in a psych ward.
In conclusion, this is a beautifully written book that was incredibly intruiging, but very unsatisfying.
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Format: Hardcover
Honestly, this book is about a 3 and 1/2 stars. Again, a book with a great concept- posing the question- who wants to die? Would you offer to take the place for your friend?
The book held my interest for the most part, however the frequent changes between when Diana was young & when she's a housewife, are often hard to follow. There's some sequences that don't seem to belong to either- they're like dreams. And they're never really explained. This book is like you're in one big dream- with a lot of poetry & prose.
To some degree I enjoyed the flowery writing and the strangeness of the dreams. However, after a while, it got very frustrating and I just wanted to know what was REAL and what was not. Also- as she's describing the younger years between Diana & Maureen, she never uses names, it's just "the girl" or "the friend"-- thank god sometimes she'll say "the blonde"- then you know it's Diana. Often I found myself not sure of who was who. And frankly, being an avid reader- if it confused me, I think it will confuse most people.
I guess I'd recommend this book with caution. Nothing is cut & dry, it's pretty much all up to you to figure out what's going on and what the ending means. I was really hoping there would be more of an explanation at the end or a study guide, comment from the author, but there wasn't any of that.
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Format: Hardcover
My book club chose this book for the month. I will readily admit that the reason I didn't like this book is due to my own stubborness. I kep waiting and waiting to get to the meat of the tale.
I like books with a story. There was no point to this book other than for the author to write pretty, pretty prose. Yes, I get that you are a poet. Now please tell me what is going on instead of hiding behind alliteration. I don't need a page after page of colorful descriptions. I need a reason to care about the characters.
I felt that Kasischke was deliberately obtuse with the facts in order to be more "artistic." Much ilke a beginning director will stage odd shots, or shoot in black and white just to prove how different they are than the commercial directors. Her lack of straightforwardness was not interesting, and it left me feeling very dissatisfied by the end of the book.
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Format: Hardcover
I started this book one afternoon never having heard of Laura Kasischke. I found it in our local library. From the moment I opened it I could not put it down. I was somewhat surprised to read the negative reviews of The Life Before Her Eyes. Ms. Kasischke's style grabs the reader immediately. I was never confused by time, place, or character. I have scoured the book stores and libraries for more books by this author. I was so enthralled reading about Diane McPhee that I finished the book in 48 hours!
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Format: Hardcover
A carefully written and timely story about a woman who was involved in a school shooting during her senior year, _The Life Before Her Eyes_ was both a quick read and difficult to put down. At the beginning of the book, the reader is introduced to a pair of best friends primping in the mirror when gunshots ring out. Just as they begin to realize they are in danger, the shooter --a boy from their biology class-- walks into the bathroom. Reminiscent of some of the stories to come out of the Columbine tragedy, the girls' classmate asks them which one he should kill. The rest of the book flows from that moment in both flashbacks and in the present day, when the girl who tells the shooter she wants to live is a grown woman. The book ends with a poetic twist, but most astute readers will not find it entirely surprising. A very enjoyable and well written book.
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Format: Hardcover
I was extremely excited to start this book. I am extremely glad that I am done with it. I still don't really know what the point of the story was or really what I read. I had to go over some chapters again just to figure out what character the author was referring to. I think that other reveiws were correct in saying that it is hard to know which character was which in the high school segments because there was no reference by name. I think that the concept of the book was interesting, however, follow through just wasn't there.
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Format: Hardcover
What a disturbing and compelling book. I felt like I was caught up in a nightmare. The two stories told simultaneously added to the dream-like quality of the book. The adult story starts with an idyllicallic life that slowly spirals into a nightmare to close the circle of betrayal from past actions. It was haunting. The only problem I had was with the teenager story - the main character was my age and I know we didn't say things like "go girl" and "girlfriend" when I was a teenager and there was no such thing as Sunny Delight back then.
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