Among my top 10 favorite books of ALL TIME. At first you have no idea how these narratives all relate, but by the end, you're turning the pages so quickly as connection by connection, it's all revealed. I would read it again and again and again ... no surprise it's won dozens and dozens of awards and critical acclaim. Beautiful and unique storytelling.
At first, I wasn't sure if I was going to really like this book or really dislike it - and so put it down for almost 2 months. However, I picked it back up a few nights ago and absolutely got drawn in to the story.
Simply, it is a book about two people - elderly Leo Gurksy and teenager Alma Singer - who are lonely and looking for love and answers. Ultimately, those answers come in the form of the book "The History of Love." While the concept is fairly simple, the storytelling is not. It's multi-layered and complex, goes back and forth in time, and leaves the reader little clues along the way that you don't recognize until the end. In the end, I thoroughly enjoyed it and was sad to finish it.
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.
I am probably not popular with my review, but I struggled to finish this book. I thought the storyline was too hard to follow and I was constantly having to read back to remember the characters/plot.
This is a beautiful story - one of the best books I've ever read. And it has, hands down, one of the greatest characters ever written in Leo Gursky.