Book Reviews of Breathing Lessons

Breathing Lessons
Breathing Lessons
Author: Anne Tyler
ISBN-13: 9780425117743
ISBN-10: 042511774X
Pages: 338
Rating:
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 272

3.5 stars, based on 272 ratings
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

51 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

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Helpful Score: 4
One of Anne Tyler's best books. She gets the domestic relationship between this husband and wife just right. Lovely book.
reviewed Breathing Lessons on
Helpful Score: 3
We read this delightful Pulitzer Prize winner in our book club a few months ago and had one of our liveliest discussions ever! It seemed as though each of us could relate to at least one of the characters - either we had known someone who was just like a character or (even funnier) we could see something of ourselves in one of the characters!

And if you're an Anne Tyler fan, this one is a must!
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Helpful Score: 3
Did not care for this book - very disappointing!
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Helpful Score: 3
Discovering the extraordinary in the ordinary.
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Helpful Score: 2
As I remember it, this book was an excursion into a relationship between two people that are married, set against a trip as a perfect parallel. You know how conversations happen in a car on a long drive or stopped for gas or lunch that never seem to take place at home? I remember this being a sweet journey.
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Helpful Score: 2
Pulitzer prize winning author Anne Tyler's story of a couple who get reacquainted with one another during a long automobile trip to a friend's funeral. The reviewers loved this one, with good reason.
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Helpful Score: 2
I really enjoyed this book. It was a pretty fast read, especially for a Pulitzer Prize winner. There are touching moments and hilarious moments as well. It's about a woman who is a wife, mother, grandmother & friend. She is reflective about her many roles in life as she is travelling to a friend's husband's funeral with her husband, all the while she is trying to develop a plan to reunite her son & estranged daughter-in-law. She has some adventures & eventually comes to accept herself and her life as it is and that is really satisfying.
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Helpful Score: 1
Not one of my favorites. It's a novel about a couple's insight into their own lives.
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Helpful Score: 1
good story-teller.
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Helpful Score: 1
Very entertaining!
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Helpful Score: 1
Anne Tyler writes about simple, but unusual, people in realistic situations. Although the book's action is through one day, the flashbacks emcompasses the whole of the character's lives. I enjoyed this book very much.
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Helpful Score: 1
A husband and wife discover how extraordinary their ordinary lives are.
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Helpful Score: 1
Long-married Ira and Maggie have a comfortably routine marriage, but on the road to a friend's funeral, they make some unexpected detours and discover how extraordinary their 'ordinary' lives really are . . .
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Helpful Score: 1
A wonderful novel, glowing with the insight and compassion of an artist's touch.
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Helpful Score: 1
One of my newest favorite authors. This woman can write.
From back cover:
Everyone knows a couple like the Morans. They've learned all that they know about each other-twopeople living 2 ordinary lives. But on the way to a freinds funeral, they make some unexpected detours and realize how extraordinary their lives really are. AWESOMe
reviewed Breathing Lessons on
Helpful Score: 1
Anne Tyler = great book!
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Helpful Score: 1
4 stars out of five in my opinion.
Maggie Moran's mission is to connect and unite people, whether they want to be united or

not. Maggie is a meddler and as she and her husband, Ira, drive 90 miles to the funeral of

an old friend, Ira contemplates his wasted life and the traffic, while Maggie hatches a plan

to reunite her son Jesse with his long-estranged wife and baby. As Ira explains, "She thinks

the people she loves are better than they really are, and so then she starts changing things

around to suit her view of them." Though everyone criticizes her for being "ordinary,"

Maggie's ability to see the beauty and potential in others ultimately proves that she is the

only one fighting the resignation they all fear. The book captured the Pulitzer Prize for

literature.
reviewed Breathing Lessons on + 109 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Everyone knows a couple like the Morans. Maggie with her scatterbrained ways and her just slightly irritating--but goodhearted--attempts to make enerything right for everyone...And Ira, infinitely patient, who's addicted to solitaire and who whistles out popular tunes, the only barometer of his moods. They've learned all there is to know about each other--two ordinary lives in a comfortably routine marriage.
But on the road to a friend's funeral, they make some unexpected detours--and discover how extraordinary their ordinary lives really are...
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Helpful Score: 1
One of Anne Tyler's best
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Helpful Score: 1
Typical Anne Tyler. She is adept at writing about human emotions. Very powerful and moving.
reviewed Breathing Lessons on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I loved this book. Anne Tyler's quirky sense of humor and all of her neurotic characters are very entertaining. Very sweet (and sometimes complicated) look at marriage & what we all put up with when we love someone.
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Helpful Score: 1
Not my kind of book. seemed very sad, dragged along.
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on the road to a friends funeral, the Moran's make some unexpected detours and discover how extraordinary their ordinary lives are.
"an occasion for laughter & tears" New York Post
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Everyone know a couple like the Morans. Maggie with her scatterbrained ways and Ira, infinitely patient. Two ordinary lives in a comfortable routine marriage. But on the road to a friend's funeral, they make some unexpected detours and discover how extraordinary their ordinary lives really are...
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On the road to a friend's funeral, Maggie and Ira Moran make some unexpected detours and discover how extraordinary their ordinary lives really are.
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Writer lives in Marin County. You get a flavor of life there.
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I loved this book! Anne Tyler took everyday events and quirky ways of thinking and wove them into it. The main character sees herself so very differently than others see her and this frustrates her. As an example of her quirkiness, she gets mad at her husband and is going to leave him... she stops at the store immediately after deciding to do so and finds herself thinking how she wished she had the coupon for the shampoo with her. Her mind just changed tracks and the people in her life realize she has a tendency of doing so. It is not that she is cold an unfeeling... quite the opposite. She cares a great deal for the people around her. The people around her love her despite the zaniness and I think that is the really neat part.
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Food for thought. Great Characters.
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Entertaining, funny, touching & inciteful.
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This is my favorite Tyler book.
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Fascinating - couldn't put this one down!
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Excellent book by Tyler.
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unabridged. 10 cd's read by Alexandra O'Karma
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Maggie and Ira Moran have been married for twenty-eight years and it shows. Maggie is an easy-going free spirit: impetuous, reckless and unpredictable. Her husband Ira is Maggie's polar opposite: amazingly competent, infuriatingly practical and seemingly infallible. Yet, despite all the countless petty squabbles, annoying routines and various personal eccentricities experienced in their life together, Maggie and Ira have managed to make their marriage work for almost thirty years.

Maggie considers herself to be a romantic matchmaker of sorts. Her life's ultimate mission is to unite people and bring couples together; whether they want to be connected or not. Ira secretly wonders if he should have married Ann Landers. In truth, Maggie is a meddler - a well-meaning meddler, yes, but a meddler nonetheless. She is a soft and loving person; who is determined to see only the innate goodness and limitless potential in the people she loves.

On a particularly hot summer day, the couple is driving to Deer Lick, Pennsylvania - ninety miles from their home in Baltimore - to attend the funeral of Maggie's best friend's husband. During the course of that journey, with its several unexpected detours along the way - into the lives of old friends and fully grown children, into fond memories of the past and valiant, if misguided, attempts to rearrange the present - the entire intimate story of a marriage is revealed. All the expectations, the disappointments; the way children can create storms within a family; the way that wife and husband can fall in love with each other all over again; the way that everything - and nothing - changes.

When I first started reading this book, I was expecting it to be relatively uneventful; even slightly boring. However, the story really was very interesting to me. I have always enjoyed reading Anne Tyler's work - in my opinion, she always does an excellent job with characterization and plotting. This was just such a book - a quick and easy read for me; pleasant and poignant, and filled with intricately familiar and well-developed characters. I give this book an A+!
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No one expresses the eccentricities of ordinary people better than Anne Tyler.
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We read this Pulitzer Prize-winner in our book club a few months back and had one of our liveliest discussions ever! It seemed we could all relate to at least one of the characters in the story --- either we could see ourselves in a character or we knew someone who was "just like him/her". A quick read and very enjoyable. If you're an Anne Tyler fan, don't pass this one up!
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I was not overly impressed with this book. It was boring and there seemed to be no point to it. Disappointing!
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The book with this ISBN number is an oversized paperback, NOT an audiobook!
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Everyone knows a couple like the Morans. Maggie, with her scatterbrained ways and her just slightly irritating-but goodhearted-attemps to make everything right for everyone...And Ira, infinitely patient, who's addicted to solataire and who whistles out popular tunes, the only barometer of his moods. They've learned all there is to know about each other, two ordinary lives in a comfortably routine marriage. But on the road to a friend's funeral, they make some unexpected detours and discover how extraordinary their ordinary lives really are...
Another wonderful book by Anne Tyler!
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Maggie and Ira Moran have been married for twenty eight years--- and it shows: in their quarrels, in theie routines, in their ability to tplerate with affection each other's eccentricitie. Maggie, a kooky, lovable meddler and irresessible optimist, wants nothing more than to fix her son's broken marriage: Ira is infuriatingly practica, a man " who should have marreied Ann Landers."
Simple, wise, touching
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From Publishers Weekly
In perhaps her most mainstream, accessible novel so far, Tyler spins a tale of marriage and middle-class lives, in an age when social standards and life expectations have gone askew. While she remains a brilliant observer of human nature, there is a subtle change here in Tyler's focus. Where before her protagonists were eccentric, sometimes slightly fantastical characters who came at the end to a sense of peace, if not happiness, Maggie Moran and her husband Ira are average, unexceptional, even somewhat drab; and outside of some small epiphanies, little is changed between them at the story's close. It's this very realism that makes the story so effective and moving. Taking place on one summer day, when Maggie and Ira drive from Baltimore to Pennsylvania to a funeral, with an accidental detour involving an old black man they pass on the road and a side trip to see their former daughter-in-law and their seven-year-old grandchild, the novel reveals the basic incompatibility of their 28-year marriage and the love that binds them together nonetheless. This is another typical Tyler union of opposites: Maggie is impetuous, scatterbrained, klutzy, accident prone and garrulous; Ira is self-contained, precise, dignified, aloof with, however, an irritating (or endearing ) habit of whistling tunes that betray his inner thoughts. Both feel that their children are strangers, that the generations are "sliding downhill," and that somehow they have gone wrong in a society whose values they no longer recognize. With irresistibly funny passages you want to read out loud and poignant insights that illuminate the serious business of sharing lives in an unsettling world, this is Tyler's best novel yet.
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Breathing Lessons was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1988.

Breathing Lessons is the wonderfully moving and surprising story of Ira and Maggie Moran. She's impetuous, harum-scarum, easy-going; he's competent, patient, seemingly infallible. They've been married for 28 years. Now, as they drive from their home in Baltimore to the funeral of Maggie's best friend's husband, Anne Tyler shows us all there is to know about a marriage - the expectations, the disappointments, the way children can create storms in a family, the way a wife and husband can fall in love all over again, the way nothing really changes.
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Anne Tyler also wrote The Accidental Tourist. This is another very enjoyable read.
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Amazon.com: "Maggie Moran's mission is to connect and unite people, whether they want to be united or not. Maggie is a meddler and as she and her husband, Ira, drive 90 miles to the funeral of an old friend, Ira contemplates his wasted life and the traffic, while Maggie hatches a plant to reunite her son Jesse with his long-estranged wife and baby. As Ira explains, "She thinks the people she loves are better than they really are, and so then she starts changing things around to suit her view of them." Though everyone criticizes her for being "ordinary," Maggie's ability to see the beauty and potential in others ultimately proves that she is the only one fighting the resignation they all fear. The book captured the Pulitzer Prize for literature in 1989."

From Publishers Weekly: "In perhaps her most mainstream, accessible novel so far, Tyler spins a tale of marriage and middle-class lives, in an age when social standards and life expectations have gone askew. While she remains a brilliant observer of human nature, there is a subtle change here in Tyler's focus. Where before her protagonists were eccentric, sometimes slightly fantastical characters who came at the end to a sense of peace, if not happiness, Maggie Moran and her husband Ira are average, unexceptional, even somewhat drab; and outside of some small epiphanies, little is changed between them at the story's close. It's this very realism that makes the story so effective and moving. Taking place on one summer day, when Maggie and Ira drive from Baltimore to Pennsylvania to a funeral, with an accidental detour involving an old black man they pass on the road and a side trip to see their former daughter-in-law and their seven-year-old grandchild, the novel reveals the basic incompatibility of their 28-year marriage and the love that binds them together nonetheless. This is another typical Tyler union of opposites: Maggie is impetuous, scatterbrained, klutzy, accident prone and garrulous; Ira is self-contained, precise, dignified, aloof with, however, an irritating (or endearing ) habit of whistling tunes that betray his inner thoughts. Both feel that their children are strangers, that the generations are "sliding downhill," and that somehow they have gone wrong in a society whose values they no longer recognize. With irresistibly funny passages you want to read out loud and poignant insights that illuminate the serious business of sharing lives in an unsettling world, this is Tyler's best novel yet." Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --
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It's not often that I don't finish a book..... I didn't even make it halway through this one before giving up.
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well loved and well worn book
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Not my kind of book.
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This is not on cassettes as the description says. It is a paperback book.
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duplicate copy for me......haven't read yet!
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no review comments..
reviewed Breathing Lessons on
Pages in great shape, cover slightly worn.