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The History of Love
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 »
ISBN-13: 9780393060348
ISBN-10: 0393060349
Publication Date: 5/2/2005
Pages: 252
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.

3.5 stars, based on 135 ratings
Publisher: W. W. Norton Company
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 0
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review
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Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The History of Love on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
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.
reviewed The History of Love on
Helpful Score: 7
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.
reviewed The History of Love on + 113 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
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.
reviewed The History of Love on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
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.
reviewed The History of Love on + 45 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
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.
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reviewed The History of Love on + 119 more book reviews
Other reviewers say that people loved this book. I read it based on its strong positive reviews. It didn't work for me. I read it clear to the end, hoping to understand it or to like it better. I read a lot, and this book was a total waste of time...I hated it! The idea was good, but it was too disjointed to follow easily, too broken up to be a smooth story. Very sorry I spent the time on it. D.
reviewed The History of Love on + 71 more book reviews
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.
reviewed The History of Love on + 289 more book reviews
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.