Book Reviews of The Confessions of Max Tivoli

The Confessions of Max Tivoli
The Confessions of Max Tivoli
Author: Andrew Sean Greer
The Market's bargain prices are even better for Paperbackswap club members!
Retail Price: $17.00
Buy New (Paperback): $13.29 (save 21%) or
Become a PBS member and pay $9.39+1 PBS book credit (save 44%)
ISBN-13: 9780312423810
ISBN-10: 0312423810
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 288
Rating:
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 113

3.4 stars, based on 113 ratings
Publisher: Picador
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

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

reviewed The Confessions of Max Tivoli on + 42 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
One of the most moving books I've read in ages. It seemed too unbelievable at first. But then by the end of the first short section, I was drawn in and spent each day looking forward to getting back to the story. Tremendously romantic in the strangest of ways. The parallels to real life are many and deep--very thought provoking. Highly recommend.
reviewed The Confessions of Max Tivoli on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
absolutely loved this book - the story is unique and keeps you enthralled until the very end - highly recommended
reviewed The Confessions of Max Tivoli on + 72 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
This is one of the worst books I have ever read in my entire life. I had to force myself to finish it in hopes that maybe it would get better--it did not. I found the descriptions of any female over the age of 30 to be very offensive, (I'm sure back in the day once you hit 30 you were todays equivalent of 85). I also found his love for Alice to be unconvincing at best. Alice herself is an unlikeable character as is Max.
reviewed The Confessions of Max Tivoli on + 44 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
UNUSUAL PLOT
There are certainly some likeable aspects to this strange tale. Mr. Greer's wry humor and well-sketched characters are entertaining, to say nothing of the inventive nature of his protagonist's plight. Was it my imagination or did the author's ingenuity evident throughout fail him at the denouement? Too many times in telling their stories authors seemingly lose interest and/or their muse at the crucial resolution. This being the only negative in the midst of numerous positives, meet Max Tivoli, a man unlike any you're likely to encounter in or out of literature for quite some time.
reviewed The Confessions of Max Tivoli on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This book made me re-examine my life and the whole idea that our lives proceed on any "plan" whatsoever. Beauty in unexpected places is its chief theme.
reviewed The Confessions of Max Tivoli on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
The message of the story was conveyed in a beautifully constructed, yet still surprising way. Definitely a must read if you enjoyed "Time Traveler's Wife."
reviewed The Confessions of Max Tivoli on + 115 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I just finished this book and am still not certain how I feel about it. At first it was a bit difficult to follow, though well-written. It was really rather depressing as the main character had no grand effect in life and seemed to only bring misery to those with whom he was involved.
reviewed The Confessions of Max Tivoli on + 384 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
"Max Tivoli has aged backwards: born in San Francisco in 1871 looking like a 70-year-old man, he's now nearly 60 and looks 11. Other than this "deformity," the defining feature of Max's life is his epic love for Alice Levy, whom he meets when they are both teens (though he looks 53). Max's middle-aged gentility endears him to Alice's mother and, like an innocent Humbert Humbert, he allows Mrs. Levy to seduce him so that he might be near his love. When he steals a kiss from Alice, the Levys flee. But heartbroken Max gets another chance: when he encounters Alice years later, she does not recognize him, and he lies shamelessly and repeatedly to be near her again. Max's parents, whose marriage is itself another story of Old San Francisco, have advised him to "be what they think you are," and he usually is. But his lifelong friend Hughie Dempsey knows Max's secret, and is intimately connected to the story that unfolds, via Max's written "confessions," in small, explosive revelations."

this fairly short book 266 pages,is sad,fun and definitly out or the ordinary.a wonderful love story lived out over the ages. all in all a good read.
reviewed The Confessions of Max Tivoli on + 774 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Recommended to me by a friend, this is a good book - but not one that really suited my mood this week. It's a melancholy musing on the futility of love.
The narrator, Max Tivoli, was born appearing to be a wizened old man of 70 - and for his entire life, ages backwards, gaining perspective and experience as physically, he becomes younger.
At 17 (when he appears to be an elderly gentleman), he meets the love of his life, Alice. However, she falls in love with Max's best friend, the young and handsome Hughie. Max has an affair with Alice's mother instead, but the two women move away when the elder notices Max's seemingly perverted attentions to her daughter.
Years later, Max rediscovers Alice and, under an assumed identity, marries her. They are happy for a while, but then she leaves him for another man.
Hughie sticks by Max's side, even as he gets younger and younger.
When Max appears to be only 11, he concocts a scheme to infiltrate Alice's life yet again, this time becoming her adopted son.
However, he drags Hughie into this scheme - not considering the emotional ramifications - that Alice has always loved Hughie, and that Hughie, all these years, has actually loved Max.
No one actually ever gets to have and keep what they truly want.

The language of the book is very flowery - some may find it to be a bit much. Max is a rather self-pitying character - not as loathsome as he makes himself out to be, but not that attractive, either.
reviewed The Confessions of Max Tivoli on + 44 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
UNUSUAL PLOT
There are certainly some likeable aspects to this strange tale. Mr. Greer's wry humor and well-sketched characters are entertaining, to say nothing of the inventive nature of his protagonist's plight. Was it my imagination or did the author's ingenuity evident throughout fail him at the denouement? Too many times in telling their stories authors seemingly lose interest and/or their muse at the crucial resolution. This being the only negative in the midst of numerous positives, meet Max Tivoli, a man unlike any you're likely to encounter in or out of literature for quite some time.
reviewed The Confessions of Max Tivoli on
Helpful Score: 1
Beautifully written love story that is unlike any I have read before. I really enjoyed this read since it was so unique. The author did such a wonderful job of describing the time period as well as the story itself. I just felt such sorrow for Max and kept hoping that in the end he "got the girl".
reviewed The Confessions of Max Tivoli on + 384 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
this is a very interesting book. to this day, i'm not sure if i loved it or not...LOL it is sort of a love story thru the ages of the main charachter who starts out old and ages backward. sometimes hard to dechiper what time you are in it is certainly worth the read. if you like unusual books this is for you!
reviewed The Confessions of Max Tivoli on + 88 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
The story of a man who is born old and becomes young, and an obsessive love that follows him throughout his journey.
reviewed The Confessions of Max Tivoli on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Interesting due to the descriptions of the era in which the book is set, although I found it to be a little gimmicky.
reviewed The Confessions of Max Tivoli on + 19 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Very interesting book.
reviewed The Confessions of Max Tivoli on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
although an old theme it is well-written with a slight twist. Martin Amis wrote a book set during the Holocaust that I would also recommend
reviewed The Confessions of Max Tivoli on + 46 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Imaginative story about a VERY strange life. Good read.
reviewed The Confessions of Max Tivoli on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This had a slow start for me, but soon I really began to enjoy the story and the author's writing style. The premise will be familiar to anyone who has seen The Curious Tale of Benjamin Buttons (though I have not seen it). I found the story heartbreaking and endearing, all in one. It was fun to read about old-time San Francisco. It's well-worth a read. Check it out!
reviewed The Confessions of Max Tivoli on + 2 more book reviews
pretty much the same plot as "the curious case of bengamin buttons" but with some slight changes and written 80 years later.
reviewed The Confessions of Max Tivoli on + 636 more book reviews
This was a beautifully sad book. I really enjoyed it and will most certainly keep an eye out for this author - I just loved the history of it, the sad magic and all of the lost love. It was a lovely book and completely fascinating. Even the lack of chapters didn't drive me nuts as that sort of thing usually does. Still, it was very good!
reviewed The Confessions of Max Tivoli on + 127 more book reviews
I thought this book was excellent. Very original
reviewed The Confessions of Max Tivoli on + 5 more book reviews
The Confessions of Max Tivoli is an interesting book about a man who lives his life in reverse. He starts out as an old man and as he ages, becomes a child. This is Andrew Sean Greer\'s first book and caused me to ponder the process of aging, living in the moment and love.
reviewed The Confessions of Max Tivoli on + 9 more book reviews
Was a best seller but I couldn't get into it. Oh, well...
reviewed The Confessions of Max Tivoli on + 68 more book reviews
I loved this book, set in San Francisco at the turn of the century. Max Tivoli is a character I won't soon forget. An amazingly inventive novel, very lyrical. I want to see the movie "Benjamin Button" which is based on this novel, but I can't believe it can match the book!