Now, honestly, I could try to review this book and be original, but I think about 80% of the Tumblr book community has either read it, or heard a lot of good things about it.
And well, it’s a terrific book, and deserves all the praise it gets. The story shifts mostly between three narrators: Leo Gursky, an old man from Poland living in America, who is lonely and reduced to drawing attention to himself in public places by embarrassing accidents; Alma Singer, a 15-year-old girl, is coping with the death of her father and her mother’s withdrawal from reality, while living with her brother Bird who believes he is the next messiah; and an unnamed narrator who tells us the story of the book “The History of Love” which links all the characters together.
Even if the plot doesn’t interest you, which it should, read it just for Krauss’s prose. She twists words in such a beautiful way that tugs at all the right heartstrings. Having read one of her husband’s books (she’s married to Jonathan Safran Foer), I couldn’t help but to notice some similarities between their writing. I hate to say it, but I just kept thinking of “Everything is Illuminated” over and over again. Not that this is a bad thing, the influence they have on each other is really obvious.
The only thing I regret about reading this book was reading it in Portuguese, and even though the translation is really well done, I always think there’s something lost with translated works. This book most certainly deserves a re-read, because after I’d finished it, I felt I’d rushed through it (that’s the problem with beach-reading, I think).
Read from July 16th to July 21st, 2010.