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He Wants

by Alison Moore

Books with reviews by our Reader Review Panel eBooks of the Month Family Drama Modern and Contemporary Fiction Relationship Stories

LoveReading View on He Wants

This is an evocative novel about a soon to retire teacher that cleverly interconnects snapshots of his childhood and his life since but drawn to the front of his mind by events and thoughts in the here and now and particularly on the unexpected encounter with an old school friend, Sydney. Lewis feels unfulfilled as he approaches retirement, believing now, that his life would have been different if he'd chosen a more dramatic career. In each chapter we hear his thoughts; what he wanted, what he still wants but has never quite managed to grasp and what he's achieved and what he'd like to achieve. With simple yet eloquent writing from Man Booker shortlisted Alison Moore, the author describes relationships, much like any other, yet the focus is very much on unfulfilled dreams, wishes, desires. There are times you might feel a little frustrated by Lewis and want to shake, to shout, to implore him to get out and live his life. Whether he does or doesn't, only the reader will know but rest assured the ending will surprise.


He Wants Synopsis

Lewis Sullivan, an RE teacher at a secondary school, is approaching retirement when he wonders for the first time whether he ought to have chosen a more dramatic career. He lives in a village in the Midlands, less than a mile from the house in which he grew up. He always imagined living by the sea. His grown-up daughter visits every day, bringing soup. He does not want soup. He frequents his second-favourite pub, where he can get half a shandy, a speciality sausage and a bit of company. When an old friend appears on the scene, Lewis finds his routine and comfortable life shaken up.

He Wants Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

  • Sue Broom - 'Fewer than 200 pages yet this book packs quite a punch...I loved this beautifully written story and cannot recommend it highly enough.' Read full review >
  • Mary Gibson - 'Subtle literary references are threaded through this elegant novel and Alison Moore has created  a remarkable character in the apparently unremarkable Lewis.' Read full review >
  • Andrea Dean - 'This very thought provoking novella invokes pity and encourages the reader to always sieze the moment.' Read full review >
  • Judith Smith - 'A thought provoking and well observed book.' Read full review >
  • Sharon Matthews - 'A story about a retired man in his early 70’s who meets an old friend and what happens.' Read full review >
  • Alison Layland - 'A surprisingly page-turning read with hidden depths.' Read full review >
  • Laura Anne Paton - 'For a novella Alison Moore’s new work certainly packs a punch!' Read full review >
  • Margaret Freeman - 'A bleak tale of a man whose life did not turn out as he expected or wanted.' Read full review >
  • Carol Peace - 'A deeper look into a unusual life.' Read full review >
  • Phylippa Smithson - 'The Lighthouse by the same author was brilliant.  I have not enjoyed He Wants anywhere near as much.' Read full review >
  • Alison Burns - 'I cannot think of any book I have read which is more misrepresented by its back page blurb.' Read full review >
  • Judith Curtis - 'A compelling, poignant and funny tale about finding the courage to live the life of your dreams.' Read full review >
  • Clare Topping - 'I loved this book...It’s an easy, short read, but pulls you in wanting to know where the story is going next.' Read full review >
  • Jayne Burton - 'I am rather baffled by this book.' Read full review >
  • Ruth Carson - 'a good, easy read which could be devoured in one afternoon.  I'd definitely recommend it.'  Read full review >

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781907773815
Publication date: 15/08/2014
Publisher: Salt Publishing
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781907773815
Publication date: 15th August 2014
Author: Alison Moore
Publisher: Salt Publishing
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 192 pages
Genres: Reader Reviewed Books, eBook Favourites, Family Drama, Modern and Contemporary Fiction, Relationship Stories,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),

About Alison Moore

Alison Moore's first novel, The Lighthouse, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Awards (New Writer of the Year), winning the McKitterick Prize. Both The Lighthouse and her second novel, He Wants, were Observer Books of the Year. Her shorter fiction has been included in Best British Short Stories and Best British Horror anthologies, broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra and collected in The Pre-War House and Other Stories. Born in Manchester in 1971, she lives near Nottingham with her husband Dan and son Arthur.

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