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The Lonely City

Adventures in the Art of Being Alone
Narrated by: Zara Ramm
Length: 8 hrs and 12 mins
4 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

What does it mean to be lonely? How do we live if we're not intimately engaged with another human being? How do we connect with other people?

When Olivia Laing moved to New York City in her mid-30s, she found herself inhabiting loneliness on a daily basis. Fascinated by the experience, she began to explore the lonely city by way of art. Moving fluidly between works and lives - from Edward Hopper's Nighthawks to Andy Warhol's Time Capsules, from Henry Darger's hoarding to David Wojnarowicz's AIDS activism - Laing conducts an electric, dazzling investigation into what it means to be alone, illuminating not only the causes of loneliness but also how it might be resisted and redeemed.

Humane, provocative and deeply moving, The Lonely City is about the spaces between people and the things that draw them together, about sexuality, mortality and the magical possibilities of art. It's a celebration of a strange and lovely state, adrift from the larger continent of human experience, but intrinsic to the very act of being alive.

©2016 Olivia Laing (P)2016 Audible, Ltd

Critic Reviews

"A triumphant book.... Laing is a brave writer, whose books open up fundamental questions about life and art." ( Telegraph)
"[Laing's] description of her acute loneliness feels unusually brave.... Sublime." ( The Times)

What members say

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Pansy Girl
  • 25-07-2017

Not what I expected.

There was alot of sexuality and the author obviously read alot into the subject but it wasn't clear how graphic the book would be before reading it. The book is full of many stories which have been well written and researched but I'd liked to have heard more about how loneliness affects the process of making art and not so much on sex. I would not have listened to this or have spent my money on this if I'd know. I am disappointed this wasn't made more clear from the blurb. I feel I have wasted my money as after the first couple of chapters it talks about sex and relationships of artists for almost all of the length of the book and less about the art its self, by then it was to late to get a refund.

6 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • MISS A.
  • 08-10-2018

Wonderful

A brilliant blend of memoir, psychology, philosophy, centred around the fascinating lives and works of several artists. Really interesting. I think the only thing the audiobook may lack compared to the book is pictures of the art discussed, but I will definitely listen again and look these up.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Ms. N. S. Bastemeijer
  • 29-08-2018

Disappointed

Rated 2stars because I was under the impression this book was about a woman who was lonely and how she dealt/coped with it. The book appeared to be mostly about the artist Andy Warhol and I was not entertained. In fact, I was bored to death by this story as it added nothing to my life and I wouldn’t recommend the book. I feel that synopsis is misleading and isn’t what the book is about at all :(

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-04-2018

Exceptional audiobook

Great, plain narration with emotional resonance conveyed where necessary. Plus extremely interesting meditations on art.

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  • A. Treffeisen
  • 04-04-2018

Loved it!

Many references to artists, books and movies which, when read and seen, would make this book an even more intense and gripping read. So I'm sure I pick it up some time again. That adds to the value of from a good book, isn't it?