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A Little Life - Hanya Yanagihara

A Little Life

By Hanya Yanagihara

  • Release Date: 2015-03-10
  • Genre: Literary
Score: 4.5
From 1,464 Ratings


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A Little Life follows four college classmates—broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition—as they move to New York in search of fame and fortune. While their relationships, which are tinged by addiction, success, and pride, deepen over the decades, the men are held together by their devotion to the brilliant, enigmatic Jude, a man scarred by an unspeakable childhood trauma. A hymn to brotherly bonds and a masterful depiction of love in the twenty-first century, Hanya Yanagihara’s stunning novel is about the families we are born into, and those that we make for ourselves.


  • Epic

    I’ve never read a book quite like this. It took me over completely. I feel I know the characters like my own friends and family. The only author I’ve read who compares is Donna Tartt (Secret History and Goldfinch). This book is one of the most compelling and beautiful books I can remember, but get ready for a very intense ride. It will stay with me always. Wow.
  • A bit maudlin but a great story nonetheless

    By jfg2003jfg2003
    At times over the top but beautiful writing and character development.
  • Unbelievable

    By carocross
    Literally. While I think the author is basically a good writer, the book went on ad nauseum. While anyone experiencing that kind of abuse is to be pitied and allowed leeway, I found myself wondering how he got such an amazing group of caring people. And ALL of them unbelievably successful. Somewhere along the way I wanted him to put me out of his misery.
  • Maudlin

    By Freckles0309
    This may be the worst book I’ve ever tried to read. The characters were completely not believable. About a third of the way into the book I began skimming over sections only to then completely give up about three fourths of the way through. I don’t understand how this book won any award. I found it suffocatingly boring.
  • an absolute masterpiece

    By Navvi311
    I can truly say that this book has made me feel things that no other book has ever accomplished. The depiction of a character, who felt so incredibly real, their trauma and the ways in which it impacted not only them, but also their loved ones, is something I will never forget. I don’t think I have ever met a character who has meant more to me than Jude. The relationships in this book, the love, the friendship, I truly felt as if I had lived a lifetime while reading. This is a book I will forever cherish and one that has left a profound impact on me. It was devastating and heartbreaking, but also so beautiful and so, so real. I will never be able to fully describe what this book has done for me. All I can say is if you decide to read it, you won’t regret it. A literary masterpiece and an emotional whirlwind. Beware, tissues are mandatory.
  • Life changing.

    By AA Conner
    Very few books have had such a profound impact on me. A heart wrenching story told in a delicate way that shines on every detail, bringing each and every character to fullness. Jude, Willem, Malcom and JB felt so alive, so tangible - I will never forget them. Read this book and savor it. Let it wash over you and feel all of the pain. Honestly, it will be an experience like any other.
  • Fiction or Truth

    By gerards86
    Thank you for taking us through a multi faceted story telling, and again, for keeping us following, reaching, hoping for a better outcome. The main characters, their lives, interactions all seemingly realistic, and the more I read the greater my curiosities. A real page turner, although, at times the story of abuse unspeakable except in small doses.
  • Tender, insightful but not for everyone

    By quarantine_reads
    Can’t think of another book that’s had this much massive impact on me as this did. The writing is like magic and super accessible. You don’t even feel the length by the time you finish it. But it can take up a lot of space in your head and needs trigger warnings—I struggle with self-harm and emotional abuse so a lot of this stuff was mildly triggering so if you struggle with that, I’d say proceed with your own risk. Overall, one of the best novels I’ve ever read!
  • Stunning, soul changing

    By FrankCostanza6969
    There aren’t words i could write that would sum up my feelings on this novel. They’d sound too cheap, and would be, also. This book has left a brutal, beautiful mark on my soul. Painful, evocative, raging, haunting, stunning. I studied English literature in college. I’ve read all the so called great novels and classics. This surpasses them, easily so. A page turner, but with very, very heavy subject matter. This book is in a class of it’s own, and I’m grateful to have had the chance to read it. I can’t recommend it more. My god, what a novel. What a novel.
  • So painful & so beautiful

    By rossosraki
    I don’t think another book has affected me as this one did. In the years since having read it, I’ve been looking for another book to make me feel like this one did. Thee us so much pain & trauma, and yet so much empathy and clarity.