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Publisher's Summary

From a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist, a ferociously intimate story of a family facing the ultimate question: How far will we go to save the people we love the most?
When Margaret's fiancé, John, is hospitalized for depression in 1960s London, she faces a choice: carry on with their plans despite what she now knows of his condition, or back away from the suffering it may bring her. She decides to marry him. Imagine Me Gone is the unforgettable story of what unfolds from this act of love and faith. At the heart of it is their eldest son, Michael, a brilliant, anxious music fanatic who makes sense of the world through parody. Over the span of decades, his younger siblings - the savvy and responsible Celia and the ambitious and tightly controlled Alec - struggle along with their mother to care for Michael's increasingly troubled and precarious existence.
Told in alternating points of view by all five members of the family, this searing, gut-wrenching, yet frequently hilarious novel brings alive with remarkable depth and poignancy the love of a mother for her children, the often inescapable devotion siblings feel toward one another, and the legacy of a father's pain in the life of a family.
With his striking emotional precision and lively, inventive language, Adam Haslett has given us something rare: a novel with the power to change how we see the most important people in our lives.
©2016 Hachette Audio (P)2016 Adam Haslett
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Critic Reviews

"Spectacular.... You should buy this book, you should read it, and you should admire it.... [It] is the herald of a phenomenal career." ( The New York Times Book Review)
"Exceedingly well written...a high-spirited, slyly astute exploration of our great bottoming out." ( The Boston Globe)
"Haslett possesses a rich assortment of literary gifts: an instinctive empathy for his characters and an ability to map their inner lives in startling detail; a knack for graceful, evocative prose; and a determination to trace the hidden arithmetic of relationships." ( New York Times)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Jeff Lacy on 04-19-17

Brilliant, excruciating, a work of virtuosity

Imagine Me Gone is the work of a virtuoso. Told in the first person from the point of view of the five family members, Haslett brings the characters to life in such a way that one feels that they are witnessing to us, bringing one into their lives, and we are coming to understand the excruciating pain and devastation that mental illness has on a family. I laughed, I cried as well reading Haslett's rendering of these character's anguish, especially the scene at the end of the book when Michael is apologizing to Alec for going back to London and being a bad brother. There were so many well crafted scenes, great dialogue, page after page of piercing insight. Mental illness is pernicious. Hopefully the chemical imbalance can be regulated by pharmaceuticals. Blessed relief. Haslett relates the consequences in a clear and authentic way. The most gifted novel I have read, accurate, showing exactly the face of the monster and how it feels the pain and exhaustion. Better that any memoir or psych book. This is the story of a family in crisis dealing with it the best they can.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Jen B. on 07-05-16

A melancholic foray into the world of mental illness

Excellent narrators. They did a great job of conveying the current mindset of the characters, which changes throughout the book (example: Michael on meds and off meds). The narrators didn't sound like they were reading at all.

A sense of melancholy and foreboding pervades this book, which is primarily what held my interest—the knowledge that something bad will happen, but having yet to discover what, when, how, and why. The writing is strong. I especially liked that the story is told through the alternating points of view of the different family members; an interesting and effective approach, particularly in this case, as it enables the reader to see how the circumstances affect each family member, in turn. I'm not sure I can say I "enjoyed" it per se—this book addresses mental illness and the toll it takes on the victim and everyone close to that person, so although enlightening, it's also quite depressing. Well done, but unless someone is seeking to understand what people suffering from mental illness go through, to "walk a mile in their shoes," I don't know that I would go out of my way to recommend it.

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11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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