All That Man Is

All That Man Is

Book - 2016
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Shortlisted for the 2016 Man Booker Prize

A brilliantly observed, large-hearted work of fiction that introduces to a North American audience a major and mature literary talent. For readers of David Bezmozgis, Nathan Englander, Neil Smith, John Cheever, and Milan Kundera.

Nine men. Each of them at a different stage of life, each of them away from home, and each of them striving - in the suburbs of Prague, beside a Belgian motorway, in a cheap Cypriot hotel - to understand just what it means to be alive, here and now. 

Tracing an arc from the spring of youth to the winter of old age, All That Man Is brings these separate lives together to show us men as they are - ludicrous and inarticulate, shocking and despicab≤ vital, pitiable, hilarious, and full of heartfelt longing. And as the years chase them down, the stakes become bewilderingly high in this piercing portrayal of twenty-first-century manhood.

Publisher: Toronto, Ont. : McClelland and Stewart, c2016.
ISBN: 9780771078002
Branch Call Number: FICTION SZA
Characteristics: 437 p. ; 21 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Nov 03, 2019

What happens when the world you once mastered, slowly slips away?

Beautifully written slices-of-life from nine aimless souls, stumbling across Europe. These men are trapped in a reality they no longer understand, longing for the past, or fearing the future. They discover, usually too late, that embracing the material and the transient pays off in emptiness.

“And this too shall pass. We don’t actually believe that, though, do we? We are unable to believe that our own world will pass. So will it go on forever? No. It will turn into something else. Slowly — too slowly to be perceived by the people living in it. Which is already happening, it’s always happening. We just can’t see it.“

Aug 24, 2019

I gotta say that any woman with any romantic history can tell you that this is al that man are without having to read a book: boring, selfish, self-consumed... I was stunned by the flyleaf reviews, it's a big meh. Maybe the only revelation is that a man actually wrote a book about boring, self-involved men, and the rest of us needn't clap.

Aug 19, 2019

Interesting collection... though, many in the USA may find many of the main characters difficult to relate to... because they are 1-European, eastern European, etc..., 2-many living idle type lives, internally and socially... but, it is well written, engaging... leads one along with enough that you want to find out more....

Jul 08, 2018

Referred by MinnPost Mar 2018
outlined an arc in men's lives--kind of sad and boring. Finished but wouldn't recommend.

ArapahoeAnnaL Apr 24, 2018

A pleasure to read with its powerful minimalist writing and perfectly chosen words and phrases. This novel consists of loosely connected short stories, each about a man in a different stage of life - from the uncertainties of young adulthood, the confidence of middle age, and the infirmities of old age. These characters are often struggling and on the margins of the law. Although not uplifting in the usual sense I came away with a broader and deeper understanding of what it can mean to be human, here in the 21st century.

Jun 04, 2017

While some reviewers call this a novel, I say it is a collection of short stories--interrelated in that each is about a man with needs or desires, including youth, money, love, and power. This is not a new idea. As has been noted, the book is readable, but my time could have been better spent.

Dec 11, 2016

Excellent series of stories about men at different stages of their lives. The author captures daily life beautifully while fitting in larger life themes and making them relevant to both men and women of all ages. A good book and one I would recommend.

Nov 06, 2016

These nine novellas/short stories are about men from youth to old age, from various classes, set across Europe. They are mostly lonely people, often not nice people, but portrayed with sympathy. Szalay 's idea of representing "all that man is" in this way is inventive and clever. The book is very readable.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at CPL

To Top