0448 | The History of Love | Nicole Krauss

0448 | The History of Love | Nicole Krauss

Context: Started feeding doves on my windowsill with Trill while I was reading this. Nice to have some company!

You know, I’m always disheartened when picking up a book to find a sticker staring back at me declaring that it’s been “Shortlisted by Richard & Judy’s book club.” What is that supposed to mean? That it didn’t even make the final? It did however live up to my expectations. Bland, unoriginal and desperate to please.

There was a story here but boy she didn’t half labour to get it out. And was it worth it? Not really. I did collect a few quotes here and there, but you can join the dots in your own mind way before the writing does it for you. The characters are okay. Well, no. Wait a minute. The main character is okay. He’s a kind of sane version of Ignatius J. Reilly I suppose – which of course takes all the fun out of him. But the young girl, was absolutely two dimensional and the parts that were written from her point of view were the worst in my opinion. She just seemed like a last minute plot invention to solve the problem of a vehicle to convey how the threads of the needlessly fragmented storyline came together.

For some reason I kept thinking of The Book Thief as I read this. I think it was the fact that both dealt with Jewish culture as well as suffering from writers trying too hard. As with Thief, this was a novel trying to impress you with ‘clever’ little literary devices which I suspect may mask the ability to actually write. Take for example, the opening line below. Are we supposed to be intrigued by the use of a dependent clause bereft of its main clause mother? And towards the end, we had whole pages with just a few lines on them. Why? Okay. Why not? You’re right. It certainly helps me get to the end quicker as my progress graph below from Goodreads shows.

No idea whatsoever what this is doing on the 1001 books list. No idea at all.

 

OPENING LINE

When they write my obituary.

99TH PAGE QUOTE

This far into the book, some of the plot might be revealed. If you want to see the quote, click show

QUOTES

“I would say larger than life, but I’ve never understood that expression. what is larger than life?”
“once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his while life answering”
“there are two types of people in the world: those who prefer to be sad among others, and those who prefer to be sad alone.”
“the warmth of a pile of books”

CLOSING LINE

This might reveal the ending. If you want to see the quote, click show

PROGRESS historylovep
RATING 0448 | The History of Love | Krauss | 49% | Mediocre
Key: Legacy | Plot / toPic | Characterisation / faCts | Readability | Achievement | Style

Read more about how I come up with my ratings

  • Karen April 12, 2014, 8:16 am

    This sounds like style over substance. Thanks for alerting me since I’ll now save money by not buying it.

    Reply

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