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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 1,595 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.


  • A mixed bag, as is life..

    By JayJup
    At times a page turner, other times slow and uneventful. I have never been so surrounded by a world as I was while reading this book. These characters are a part of me and feel like people I used to know.
  • Really long and extremely morose

    By dleyh
    It was hard to read. Can someone really hate himself that much? Not an uplifting book. I had to put it down for two weeks because the main character was so self destructive. Should’ve been way shorter of a story.
  • Too much of a painful thing

    By PGSchoene
    I persevered and read to the end but really think the novel would have had a greater emotional impact if it had been a few hundred pages shorter. Jade’s early life and all he endured are unquestionably horrific. And I guess the author wants the reader to understand how nearly impossible it is to recover from the kind of abuse that Jude suffers. His later life is almost as extremely positive as his early life was beyond horrible. But nothing - not the love of friends nor the devotion of a new set of adoptive parents can relieve the self loathing that plagues Jude. And I know this is the burden of the abused- victims suffer a lifetime of shame and often pursue all sorts of the various means of self destruction. But for me it seemed the author just drags the reader through page after page of this misery so that I grew weary rather than emotionally moved. I wanted to cry -I love books that move me in a deeply emotional way. But in the end I wished the editing had been more effective- making something longer (over 800 pages) does not necessarily make it better.
  • This book will break your heart.

    By lavendergir
    Such a beautiful story about a group of friends who truly love one another. But the ending and Jude’s story will break your heart into a million pieces and make you wish you could have done something, anything, for him. I’ve never been one to cry whilst reading a book, but this changed that. I don’t think I’ve ever cried so much at such a sad ending. Five stars because it is a great book that made me feel vivid emotions I haven’t experienced in a while. Please read this book at your heart’s own risk.
  • 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.