Imagine Me Gone

Imagine Me Gone

by Adam Haslett


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TOP 10 NOVELS OF THE YEAR — TIME, Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, BBC, Newsday

ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: Barnes & Noble, BookPage, BuzzFeed, Elle, Financial Times, Huffington Post, Kirkus, NPR, Refinery29, Seattle Times, Shelf Awareness, WBUR's On Point

"Haslett is one of the country's most talented writers, equipped with a sixth sense for characterization" —Wall Street Journal

"Ambitious and stirring . . . With Imagine Me Gone, Haslett has reached another level." —New York Times Book Review

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, and 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780594890447
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 02/21/2017
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 41,686
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Adam Haslett is the author of the short story collection You Are Not a Stranger Here, which was a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist, and the novel Union Atlantic, winner of the Lambda Literary Award and shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize. His books have been translated into eighteen languages, and he has received the Berlin Prize from the American Academy in Berlin, the PEN/Malamud Award, and fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations. He lives in New York City.


New York, New York

Date of Birth:

December 24, 1970

Place of Birth:

Porchester, New York


B.A., Swarthmore College, 1993; M.F.A., Iowa Writers¿ Workshop, 1999; J.D., Yale Law School, graduating May 2003

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Imagine Me Gone 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Intelligently and beautifully crafted novel. The three siblings are complex and each are self-centered. It is difficult to relate to any of them, nor are they likable . The Mother has her own issues , but at least she realizes that the earth does not revolve around her---something she has failed to instill in her children. A sad, pitiable family .
Anonymous 20 days ago
Depressing trip through the minds of the mentally unstable couched in the pretense of sophistication.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have mixed feelings about this book. The story is very interesting, stirring and emotional. The characters are well developed and, at times, fascinating. The effect mental illness has on an entire family is well described and relatable. So, on the whole, I felt the story lent itself to a very good read. For me, the problem lies in the author's choice of wording. I felt it was a bit pompous and way too flowery (not the best descriptive word I could come up with but close). I constantly felt like no normal person, no matter how introspective they might be feeling, would speak this way. I am listening to it on audio so maybe it would come across differently if I were reading it in my own voice but I found the heavy wording distracting from the story and, sorry to say, quite boring. I actually had to turn it off to listen to a different book for a while. Although the writing is beautiful I just don't feel it goes with the story. Even though I'm eager to hear how the book progresses and learn where the characters go, I'm having a hard time slogging through the vocabulary. It just feels contrived and not at all natural. It may just be my straight-forward taste. I wish it were a little more believable because I so want to see where the story goes but not sure if I'll be able to stay focused to the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This glimpse into the world of the Michael and his family is riveting. So well written. As an extra bonus I also got to learn about and hear some fabulous new musicians by looking up and sampling the ones that Michael talks about in the story. I highly recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JayneMartin More than 1 year ago
Savored every moment of this brilliant book. A deeply moving character piece. I loved this family in all their flaws. Exquiste writing. Bravo!
KarenEvans More than 1 year ago
A perfect rainy day read that draws you in with talk of summer vacation in Maine and subsequently causes you to mourn as you watch the characters over the decades to follow. This book is about mental illness and the impact it has on a family. It’s about childhood with a mentally ill parent and the adulthood that follows. If you have any experience with either, it may be a challenging and emotional read. Imagine Me Gone tells of Margaret, an American, who falls in love with a British man and discovers that he struggles with depression when he is suddenly hospitalized. She marries him anyway and this novel follows their life together focusing mainly on their three children. The first chapter is a view of the end before whipping back to tell things from the beginning. The writing is beautiful, really well done! "I had never understood before the invisibility of a human. How what we take to be a person is in fact a spirit we can never see." Imagine Me Gone was released Tuesday and is the May selection of the First Edition Book Club so I have a signed copy! I can’t wait to see what other books will come my way this year! What have been your favorite reads in 2016? *** Update, I met Adam at the 2016 Chicago Lit Fest! ***
Piney10 More than 1 year ago
I would rate this around 3.8, not quite up to a four star. This is a very depressing story. It was excruciatingly painful to read. It concerns mental illness among a few family members and the impact of this disease on the whole family. There is no short term solution here and the novel in my view gave a fairly realistic portrayal of those with the disease as well as how it impacted all of the other characters throughout their lives.. The characters were all very well defined. The only reason I hesitated in giving a higher rating is that I thought the ending was very contrived. I do not want to say more as it might be a spoiler.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A beautifully written novel dealing with family, with loss, with mental illness. Unforgettable. ~*~LEB~*~
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was so hard to follow and try to grasp. I would not refer this to snyone
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You just have to read it to know.....