Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Table of Contents: The History of Love

The History of Love: A NovelAuthor: Nicole Krauss
Publisher/Year: W.W. Norton & Company, 2005
Synopsis: Leo Gursky, an elderly Jewish man who survived World War II in Poland before coming to New York City. He's a terribly lonely man who missed out on the life he wanted to live and the woman he wanted to love, and he does something every day to try to get someone, anyone, to notice him. While in Poland, he wrote books where he named the female character after the woman he loved. Alma Singer is a 15-year old girl named after a character in her parents' favorite novel, The History of Love. Her father has died and her mother has been hired to translate The History of Love from its original Spanish. Alma and her brother, Bird, struggle to understand their world after their father's death, and Alma sets out to understand the story of this novel and the woman for whom she was named.

What Others Have To Say
Houston Chronicle
"The plot involves a book-within-a-book, with characters from one story invading the other one in Paul Auster-like fashion, and depends on some largely undigested globs of magical realism to move things along."

The Washington Post
"...involves several narrators and moves back and forth through the 20th century and around the world. But that's just for starters: It contains a lost, stolen, destroyed, found, translated and retranslated book called "The History of Love," characters named for other characters, cases of plagiarism and mistaken identity, and several crucial coincidences and chance meetings that are all maddeningly scrambled in an elliptical novel that shouldn't work but does."

The New York Times
"there's less of the earnest A-student striving that often mars Krauss's efforts to live up to her idols, especially when she's trying to be funny."

The Guardian
"Krauss is undoubtedly an entertaining, humane and intelligent writer, but this novel is just too neat and too sweet for her talent to fly freely."

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