"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.
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".
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.
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!