RaveThe New York Times Book Review... a parade of small stories, intimate connections and complex characters whose lives illuminate the tedium and cataclysms of the 20th century ... It’s hard to encompass all that happens in this whopper of a book, partly because it spans four decades (and more than 450 pages), but even more so because much of it is just the stuff of life, suffused with copious dialogue so casual and idiomatic that it almost subverts its own demand for attention ... This is a theme that runs through the novel, and it’s a bold authorial move, insisting upon the transformative power of aesthetics. Winman makes the case over and over again that beauty is truth, truth beauty, and of course it raises the reader’s expectations. If the book itself isn’t transcendent, the scaffolding will not hold ... But the scaffolding, for the most part, does hold (although I could have done without the talking parrot, who seems to have flown in from another story). The real magic of Still Life is the elevation of the ordinary, the unabashed consecration of human experiences ... Sentence after sentence, character by character, Still Life becomes poetry.