I just finished listening (for the second time) this book. I remember consuming the story when it came out in one big gulp the first time I read it, but this time I distinctly cherished each piece. The vast variety of characters (all well characterized by narrator Stephen Hoye) usually don't co-exist in the same book.This book, in its divided narratives, shows off the best of a Brooklyn young man and his American mother, the 1611 narrative of William Shakespeare's younger "cousin", and the lawyer-protagonist Olympic weight-lifter who is the Catholic son of a Jewish mobbed-up con man and his Nazi war bride. How do all of these disparate elements work together? Well.
I recommend the book because it is a thoughtfully done mystery that expresses well each main character's inner motivations for the interesting circumstances and mystery they find themselves in. It also throws in the history of Shakespeare, his work and a take on what might have been his life in 1610-1611. Well done!
Michal Gruber is one of my favorite fiction writers of all time. This book was disappointing. It was an interesting story but didn't go deep enough.
Deceptive and alluring. He hooks you and then he reels you in....
Mishkin and Crisetti
I didn't like SH's narration at first, I found his voice a tad tedious, but he won me over.
I really liked it, just like I found "The forgery of Venus' enthralling.
Mr. Gruber is making me lose sleep.
I enjoyed this story from beginning to end. The whole idea was interesting, with well-developed characters. The narrator, Stephen Hoye did an excellent job with the many characters.
This was so much better as it went on - the narrator matches what seem at first to be the overly-elite and stuffy manner of the first character, but he also matches that of the second major character, Albert Crosetti, sometime bookbinder and aspiring fil-maker, who with his whole family are so engaging! Most of the characters are really well-drawn and complex, and if Jake Mishkin, with his indulgent ways and troubles he alone causes, is infuriating, the rest of the cast is superb. I was thrilled, and I am an easily-bored reader. Get past the first chapter or so, and you'll be glad you did.
Got to the 2nd section of the book and had to quit listenting. Story wasn't bad, but I couldn't liten to this reader any more.
I downloaded "The Book of Air and Shadows" after it was recommended to me by my local independent bookseller. It was just the diversion I needed while driving to Maine last summer.
My companion and I felt that the 17th century sections were a little slow--at least in the beginning--but once we were past the introduction, we were hooked. Noyes does an excellent job of separating the three separate narrators, so it's always clear who is speaking.
The story itself provides both mystery, romance and action. It was a great summer "read."
Management consultant, video game player, avid reader of all types of books, and happily married father of four. I'll read just about anything, from Fantasy and SciFi, to mysteries and ChickLit.
The main character of the book (the narrator) is an amoral, cheating jerk - making it very difficult to feel any degree of sympathy for his problems. The redemption of another of the main characters is also a bit unbelievable, and overall the book feels like another attempt to capitalize on the phenom of the DaVinci code (searching for the "most valuable portable object" in the world).
The second main character is more interesting. Though he's a little too much of the boy scout, he has some interesting lines.