The Man Who Saw Everything by Deborah Levy

The Man Who Saw Everything

Deborah Levy

Saul Adler is hit by a car on the crossing on Abbey Road made famous by the Beatles. This incident is at the centre of the book where past and present blur and nothing is quite as it seems. Set partly in the DDR in 1988 and later in London in 2015, this is a fragmentary story of Saul's life, sometimes hard to follow but always intriguing.


I was thinking about how Jennifer Moreau had told me I was never to describe her beauty, not to her, or to anyone else... This was on my mind when I stepped on to the zebra crossing with its black-and-white stripes at which all vehicles must stop to allow pedestrians to cross the road. A car was coming towards me but it did not stop. I had to jump backwards and fell on my hip, using my hands to protect myself from the fall. The car stalled and the man rolled down the window. He was in his sixties, silver hair, dark eyes, thin lips. He asked if I was okay. When I did not answer he stepped out of his car. "I apologise," he said. "You walked onto the crossing and I slowed down, preparing to stop, but then you changed your mind and walked back to the kerb" His eyelids were quivering at the corners. "And then without warning you lurched forward on to the crossing"

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