I think there’s been a lot of hype around this book. At least I’ve seen it featured heavily on the internet, and it was translated into a super expensive Portuguese hardcover edition, which I did not buy because, hello, I’m not made of money and because the translation was frankly bad. Translators, do not attempt to translate character names. The reason it was so hyped is probably because it’s sort of ground-breaking. It reads like T.S. Spivet’s field journal, a 12-year old cartographer from Divide, Montana, filled to the brim with illustrations, maps and ponderings about his family.
One day T.S. receives a phone call from the Smithsonian Institute to inform him that he has won the prestigious Baird Award for his illustrations, and he decides to leave his family ranch and travel to Washington D.C. all by himself to receive it.
While T.S. is a lovely, lovely boy, and I secretly wish I someday will have a son like him, the book itself falls short. About half of the book is made up from T.S.’s life in his ranch, his thoughts about his family and his routine. When he finally gets going to Washington, he spends most of the ride reading his great-great-great grandmother’s biography, written by his mother, and when he finally reaches Washington, we’re only given about 80 pages of adventures and endings and explanations.
Which, if you haven’t guessed, it’s not much. At least, for me, some things weren’t explained properly, could have been so much more developed, could’ve been more touching. It wasn’t T.S.’s fault; T.S. is awesome and so are his illustrations, they both easily made the book worth its money, but I wish a little more closure were given.