Noah's Compass

Noah s Compass Liam Pennywell who set out to be a philosopher and ended up teaching fifth grade never much liked the job at that run down private school so early retirement doesn t bother him But he is troubled b

  • Title: Noah's Compass
  • Author: Anne Tyler
  • ISBN: 9780345516596
  • Page: 135
  • Format: Paperback
  • Liam Pennywell, who set out to be a philosopher and ended up teaching fifth grade, never much liked the job at that run down private school, so early retirement doesn t bother him But he is troubled by his inability to remember anything about the first night that he moved into his new and spare condominium on the outskirts of Balti All he knows when he wakes up the nLiam Pennywell, who set out to be a philosopher and ended up teaching fifth grade, never much liked the job at that run down private school, so early retirement doesn t bother him But he is troubled by his inability to remember anything about the first night that he moved into his new and spare condominium on the outskirts of Balti All he knows when he wakes up the next day in the hospital is that his head is sore and bandaged His effort to recover the moments of his life that have been stolen from him leads him on an unexpected detour What he needs is someone who can do the remembering for him What he gets is well, something quite different.Look for special features inside Join the Circle for author chats and RandomHouseReadersCircle

    One thought on “Noah's Compass”

    1. Anybody can write an interesting story about interesting people. But how about a good story about uninteresting people? That's a more difficult challenge. This novel meets that challenge.This is a novel that features a normal person with ordinary abilities and no particular passion for life. Unmotivated readers (aging with nothing in particular to look forward to in life) will be able to identify with this story. It starts out a bit slow, but for the reader who makes it through to the end of the [...]

    2. (Melinda) The most compelling concept to me was actually the title. The story of the biblical Noah refers to a man chosen by God to survive the coming flood because "Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord." Consequently, Noah survived and actually was led on to high and dry ground And all of this without "steering" the ark! No compass, no map. Liam's grandson actually brings up the idea. Somehow,this theme is threaded into the fabric of this story making me wonder if Liam knew that if he just [...]

    3. As I read this book, I was often reminded of the television show,Seinfeld, which was purportedly about nothing, but beneath the surface there was usually more. I have read and enjoyed many of Anne Tyler's novels. They all seem to share the trend of family disharmony and often are similar in style, if not content.Noah's Compassis a low-key, meandering story. While sleeping, Liam Pennywell sustained a head injury as a result of an attack by an assailant who broke into his room. This concussion cau [...]

    4. I started reading Anne Tyler in 1988. And though I've always loved her, there were times when I thought some of her characters were a bit too quirky. As I've gotten older, I've thought that less and less -- whether because I've met 'quirkier' people through the years, or because I'm now quirkier myself, I don't know. In any case, the characters in this novel are absolutely real. It is amazing how real they are. I don't know when I've seen a more real depiction of a 'normal' 17-year-old girl, for [...]

    5. Since I am almost 60 and had a recent "forced retirement" I thought this would be interesting. Anne Tyler is smooth reading and the characters grow naturally to life in your mind. There is a fairly small cast of characters which is something I appreciate in a novel. I listened to this on audio but I think I would have preferred to read it at my own faster pace. It reminded me of a book I read a long time ago but I can't remember the details - it was also about an older retired professor who had [...]

    6. It is easy to write about larger than life, exciting characters. Not so easy to write about the everyday and ordinary. There is probably not a writer around who can handle small moments and the lives of ordinary people as well as Anne Tyler. Retrenched from his job as a teacher, 60 year old Liam decides he needs a new start and moves into a new and smaller apartment. After going to sleep the first night in his bed in the new place, he wakes up in hospital. He cannot remember what happened. That [...]

    7. Anne Tyler's 18th novel "Noah's Compass" is more twee than Zooey Dechanel wrapped in the orange and brown tones of a home-knit afghan. It starts in a good place: 60-year-old Liam Pennywise, once widowed, once divorced, a philosopher-turned-elementary-school teacher has been laid off from his job at a mediocre school. He begins downsizing an already modest life by moving into an apartment complex off the highway near the mall. He goes to bed his first night in his new home, and wakes up the next [...]

    8. Normally I enjoy Tyler's novels, but with Noah's Compass I failed to see the point. I suppose if you look at it in a simple manner, just your average person living a mediocre life then it makes sense. There were certainly quirky moments, and Eunice started out as an interesting character but I kept expecting to be taken somewhere fun only to be returned home, and early. Kitty fed the novel a little but his other daughters didn't really give much to the storyline. The elder daughters were flat an [...]

    9. I think I've read all of Anne Tyler's books and this is probably the weakest. In other books her characters tend to live on the fringes of society, outwardly losers, but through Tyler's eyes we get to like them and understand their often odd behaviour. Liam Pennywell, the main protagonist of Noah's Compass, provokes none of this sympathy. With his grumpy disconnection from the modern world, deliberate obtuseness in conversation and total lack of concern for his family he is a weak, unlikeable an [...]

    10. Some may find Anne Tyler too formulaic. "quirky character muddles through life and suddenly has epiphany"ever I personally find reading her books as comforting as a warm blanket on a cold night or a nice chat with a good friend. Noah's Compass doesn't disappoint as the main character, Liam, is a retiree who has stripped down his life to the bare bones, moving into a small, gloomy condo with a few books, a couple chairs, and some canned soup. He has almost no friends and is disconnected from his [...]

    11. The characters were well developed but I never really got to the POINT of the book until Liam's grandson was so ticked off at Noah for letting so many animals die and Liam was telling his grandson about Noah and the ark. These few paragraphs made the book make sense, albeit a little late. Maybe worth a re-read. Not a waste of time, I just didn't get it until the last few chapters.

    12. OMG! What a waste of my time. Would not recommend this book to anyone. God knows why it's called Noah's Compass, I could think of a couple more titles for it! lol. Not even worth one star. Sorry Anne.

    13. There are certain things you can count on with Ann Tyler - the book will be well written, for one, the characters well sketched with the detail of a perceptive thinker. And I found this to be an easy and enjoyable read just about the whole way through.Interestingly, Tyler attempted a sort of mysterious beginning which, as far as I know, is unlike her - a sixty year old man goes to sleep one night and wakes up in the hospital. But the noir-ness ends there, which is fine since I don't think it sui [...]

    14. I liked this book a lot. It is very simply written, about a man who is very ordinary. I liked that. It’s nice to sometimes read about someone who is not a superhuman being, who knows how to parachute out a plane with just an umbrella or some such. The main character, Liam, at age 61, has just lost his job, not that he liked it much anyway, and has moved to a small apartment, and seemingly has no-one in his life and little to do. But suddenly and then in growing numbers, people begin to populat [...]

    15. This is a very short novel, really more of a novella - I read the whole thing on a two-hour train journey, and I'm not someone who whizzes through books. But not a word is wasted and I think Anne Tyler still manages to create compelling characters and the sort of moral dilemmas which will leave you going round and round in circles. The central character, a reserved teacher called Liam who has just been made redundant, rather reminds me of the hero of 'The Accidental Tourist', and I think perhaps [...]

    16. This is a book about my father- and all the people who are always so emotionally distant and nonchalant no matter how much we love them. Liam is a man who floats through life, seemingly non-curious about others, his family and himself but who is lovable even for all that. This is the story in which he wakes up and begins to swim a bitThe ending is a bit staged but I found this book to be both beautiful and healing. Tyler also has a keen grasp in how idiosyncrasies in others can make us cringe bu [...]

    17. What can you say about a book that pulls you in so completely that you finish it within seven hours? I read Noah's Compass in the space of an evening, and was so engrossed I was surprised to find it eleven o'clock (way past my bedtime) when I stopped reading. Anne Tyler's trademark blend of quirk, bittersweetness, and pathos are in full supply here, eliciting laughs and gasps alike. This is a solid, relatable novel and a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.

    18. Nicht ganz so einnehmend wie andere Bücher von ihr, aber die Geschichte eines Mannes, der gezwungenermaßen früher in Rente geht und insgesamt mir dem Leben auf ganz eigene Weise hadert, hat mir dennoch gefallen.

    19. I have heard some pretty harsh reviews of this new offering from Anne Tyler, but I liked it. Keep in mind though, I don't need much plot, I am a lover of character studies.

    20. Anne Tyler has the extraordinary ability to subtlety observe the quiet moments of seemingly ordinary lives and then describe in understated and beautifully composed prose how they deal with an unforeseen disruption or challenge. In "Noah's Compass" we meet Liam Pennywell, a 60 year old private school history teacher. Forced to take early retirement, he decides to economize and move into a smaller apartment. On his first night in the new place he goes to bed and wakes up in the hospital with no c [...]

    21. Nobody will raise a Botoxed eyebrow at the claim that men age badly. It's not just our bodies; it's the whining, the self-absorbed fear, the carcinogenic rage. Even the best writers follow the hoary advice to write what they know, and if they live long enough, what they know is old age. Shakespeare closed his last play with Prospero saying, "Every third thought shall be my grave."Our modern masters have been just as grim. Rabbit Angstrom aged through the second half of the 20th century until Joh [...]

    22. Noah’s Compass is the eighteenth adult novel by American author, Anne Tyler. When sixty-year-old Liam Pennywell is retrenched from his job as a fifth-grade teacher, he decides to downsize his life, moving to a smaller apartment with less possessions; he even considers retiring altogether. But after going to sleep in his new bedroom, he wakens in a hospital bed with no memory of intervening events. His capable ex-wife Barbara and his three daughters (the rather bossy Xanthe, the born-again Chri [...]

    23. Like most of Anne Tyler's books, Noah's Compass was gently written and uncomplicated. No postmodern literary gimmicks for her, thank goodness. Just a straightforward story with a few surprises, and with eccentric characters who probably live down the street.I love the way Tyler takes everyday happenings and makes the reader realize that nothing is really insignificant, that everything has meaning or value.While reading the book, you hardly realize the layers of character development that she has [...]

    24. Liam lives a quiet life. He’s been a teacher for most of his life at private schools though he’s been heading down the status scale from his first teaching job to his second. His first wife commits suicide when their daughter is a toddler. He never quite understands why she died; she just seemed to fade away. His second wife is a practical, no nonsense kind of woman who seems to be exactly what he and his daughter need. She gives him two more daughters and for awhile they hobble along togeth [...]

    25. ~ "Oh it was so tiring sometimes, this business of engaging with other human beings!" ~NOAH'S COMPASS - despite the weak plot and dismal vibe, it's a good character-study story; it's interesting and dryly humorous, in a dysfunctional, fatalistic, grumpy old man sort of way. "This was like those accidents you read about in the paper: an overpass collapses and a man driving underneath is instantly killed. He stayed in his lane, obeyed the lights, checked his rearview mirror, observed the speed lim [...]

    26. It had been a long time since I'd read an Anne Tyler novel and I'd almost forgotten how much I like them. I'm always able to identify with her quietly quirky characters (say that ten times fast), but maybe that says more about me than them!This time it's Liam Pennywell, a sixty-one year old who has just lost his job as a fifth grade teacher. Educated as a philosopher, he never cared all that much for teaching anyway and is coming to terms with his forced retirement. He moves into a smaller apart [...]

    27. Liam is 61, unexpectedly unemployed, and the victim of a home break-in during his first night in a new apartment, but he can't remember even a moment of that event. What this mix of events has on Liam's life and family is the subject of Anne Tyler's 2009 novel "Noah's Compass." You can read more about this book in my review here. drchazan/2017/

    28. I found this to be a very mediocre book. Essentially, I thought the characters didn't make much sense. It felt as if the author were trying too hard to be philosophical, and as a result the story suffered. Most significantly, the character of Eunice seemed completely unreal, as did the romance between Liam and Eunice. I was also unimpressed by some of the author's dramatic choices, particularly the suicide of Millie and having Liam surrounded almost entirely by women. Liam could easily have beco [...]

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