The Illusion of Separateness

The Illusion of Separateness

A Novel

Book - 2013
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This gripping novel--inspired by true events--tells the interwoven stories of a deformed German infantryman; a lonely British film director; a young, blind museum curator; two Jewish American newlyweds separated by war; and a caretaker at a retirement home for actors in Santa Monica. They move through the same world but fail to perceive their connections until, through seemingly random acts of selflessness, a veil is lifted to reveal the vital parts they have played in one another's lives, and the illusion of their separateness.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Harper, [2013]
Edition: First edition
Description: 211 p. ; 22 cm
ISBN: 9780062112248
Branch Call Number: VanB


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ArapahoeKati Oct 21, 2016

If you are looking for an incredible writer, and also someone you may never have heard of, try Simon Van Booy. I was blown away by this novel and have been recommending it to everyone. It's brilliant.

debwalker Aug 01, 2014

Pennie Clark Ianniciello, Costco's book buyer, has chosen The Illusion of Separateness: A Novel by Simon Van Booy as her pick of the month for August 2014.

TulsaTimeTraveler Mar 02, 2014

If you are feeling a disconnect and need a reminder that we're all in this together, do yourself a favor and check out this book. The author skillfully laces together the lives of his characters, takes you for a walk in their shoes, and makes you experience a broad spectrum of emotions ranging from compassion to triumph. This beautifully written story demonstrates the lasting effects of actions and relationships over many years and taking place all around the world. Every single page seems to contain some profound pearl of wisdom. So although the book is brief, take your time with it and savor the meaningful and often subtle messages waiting for you within its pages.

Michael Colford Aug 13, 2013

With compact yet masterful prose, Simon Van Booy's latest novel explores the connections between strangers, and how seemingly random interactions can have a profound effect on a life. Spanning decades and oceans, the varied characters in The Illusion of Separateness are all struggling with loss of a kind; loss of sight, loss of family, loss of wholeness, loss of innocence. There is love, war and family. They struggle, they feel, the move unerringly forward. And how they unknowingly help strangers whose paths they cross gives this novel its coherence and its joy.

In the hands of a lesser writer, The Illusion of Separateness might have come across as gimmicky... let's find out how this character relates to that character. Fortunately, Simon is leagues beyond that kind of convention, using words to paint images and to make the reader feel the emotions coursing through the characters. In past work, Simon's focus has often been the love between two people, and while there is still that element in some of the individual tales in this book, he has broadened from love to life, and perhaps how one informs the other.

If you've never read Mr. Van Booy, I highly recommend you give him a try. His short stories, Love Begins in Winter are essential, and his previous novel, Everything Beautiful Began After soars. I look forward to each new work this talented author undertakes.

Jul 01, 2013

"There is a pond near the garden. It attracts dragonflies. Sometimes Martin sets down his wheelbarrow and follows them to the edge. Water conjures the surface of an afternoon, but remembers nothing." This is my favorite kind of writing - clean, well-crafted sentences that pack a punch. No need for an abundance of adjectives and adverbs strewn about. Do not be mistaken however; the writing is NOT simple. The horrors of war and the power of connections between people are examine; the reader is invited to wonder about how one feeds into the other.

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