The History of Love Author:Nicole Krauss A long-lost book reappears, mysteriously connecting an old man searching for his son and a girl seeking a cure for her widowed mother's loneliness. — Leo Gursky is just about surviving, tapping his radiator each evening to let his upstairs neighbor know he's still alive. But life wasn't always like this: sixty years ago, in the Polish vill... more »age where he was born, Leo fell in love and wrote a book. And though Leo doesn't know it, that book survived, inspiring fabulous circumstances, even love. Fourteen-year-old Alma was named after a character in that very book. And although she has her hands fullâ€”keeping track of her brother, Bird (who thinks he might be the Messiah), and taking copious notes on How to Survive in the Wild -- she undertakes an adventure to find her namesake and save her family. With consummate, spellbinding skill, Nicole Krauss gradually draws together their stories.
This extraordinary book was inspired by the author's four grandparents and by a pantheon of authors whose work is haunted by loss -- Bruno Schulz, Franz Kafka, Isaac Babel, and more. It is truly a history of love: a tale brimming with laughter, irony, passion, and soaring imaginative power.« less
I was excited to read this book - it had some good reviews and the title was intriguing. However, I felt the book was disjointed; the author did not effectively move between time periods and I had to re-read some passages to figure out who was narrating the chapter I was reading.
The chapters that focused on Leo were much more interesting to me than the sections on Alma. Some of the sections written from Leo's perspective are very well written and descriptive. However, as I was reading the book I felt like the author was building up to something that never materialized.
I also felt the use of the one and two word sentences were annoying. It would have been fine to use them occasionally for effect but it was too frequent IMHO.
I’m glad I reserved this book at the library and didn’t spend my $ to purchase it.
This novel is well-written, moving, imaginative, surprising, and delightful. But it's one of those multi-plotline books, so you'll want to read it once to fall in love with the story, and twice to put all the moving pieces together.
I absolutely LOVE this book! It's complex, it's well written, it's compelling, it's a keeper! The stories intertwine enough to follow the characters, but could be read separately. The little tics "And yet." and "But." were so real, I could hear them being said, with a wistful sigh. I will read it again, just for the sheer joy of reading such a great novel.
The History of Love, a novel within an novel, champions the idea of enduring love and connection. Three storylines—a retired locksmith in New York, a teenager named after the protagonist of the title novel, and a Polish-Chilean writer— are slowly woven together, entreating the reader to discover the connection between them. Nicole Krauss does an admirable job keeping those voices distinct and playing with inventive forms (for example, the teenager's chapters are formatted with numbered headlines). However, I didn't find one of the major characters sympathetic and didn't care for the short sentence fragments that dot his chapters. Although the connection is realized in the end, it seemed anticlimactic as the other interesting characters that Krauss has created are swept aside for the moment of the All-Important-Connection. The story collapsed into being about the life of that one character. Overall, it was an interesting read.