First it was hard to follow the book & I thought maybe I wasn't paying attention while listening. So I looked up the plot on Wiki.
Towards the end of the book it all started falling into place. Too many sub plots without closure.
The ending left me feeling empty & upset. If you're thinking about buying this book, don't. I recommend A Man Called Ove. It was much better.
I did give this book 5 stars for the performance because the readers were very entertaining.
The book is told by several protagonists and each has its own narrator.
It is a combination of a cultural novel, a human interest story, and a mystery story.
No particular favorite. The book is written so beautifully that you can identify with each protagonist.
I would have, but it was too long. But I did feel compelled to listen to it over and over to get to the end.
I did not want it to end. And when it ended, I rewound it to favorite parts and listened again.
The ending. But I won't give that away. I also enjoyed the part where Leo comes back to his apartment to find his friend has baked him a cake and everywhere is covered in flour. On the floor, Leo sees where his elderly friend has laid down and made an angel in the flour. The image is sweet and funny.
The narrator for Leo was exceptional. He conveyed passion and humor and sadness so effectively. I rewound these parts several times, just to hear him tell them again.
I listened all the way to the end because I wanted to know what happened. If I had read it on paper, I would have hurried through huge swaths of text. This book is such a tangle of magical realism (which I often love) and Jewish history (which I often love) and weird plotting. The main problem for me was that almost every event in it and all the problems experienced by the people in it are the results of misunderstandings. I HATE this as a key issue in fictional action or non-action. Won't watch movies with this concept. It's a very artful writer, indeed, who can hold me with even ONE misunderstanding carrying some weight of plot. This author plays this same string with everybody, everything.
Say something about yourself!
a masterpiece. i could talk about how great this story was but its at its best when you go right into it blindly.. moving.. in fact this most definitley needs a movie.
I hate chick lit. So, with a title like the History of Love, you might expect chick lit. Not so. Does this mean dudes will like it? Probably not, but it's not that ridiculous self-obsessed Sex in the City crap. This is a very touching book about love and a book about love. (You read that right.)
I was charmed by both Leo and Alma. I was convinced of their ages and emotional states as much by the writing as the excellent narration. Alma's list-making was a particularly inventive way to tell her parts of the tale.
Although, it seems a small part of the story, the book within a book also has some imaginative prose/ideas.
I thought the author particularly bold in one instance to suggest that an obituary Leo has written is a superior and inspired piece of writing. We accept this as fact, forgetting that its author is not the fictional Leo, but Ms. Krauss. Suffice it to say, she is a talent.
So, if you appreciate a creative yarn that's well written with quirky characters and NOT chick lit, this is a good option.
This novel has several narrators and a number of inter-related stories. I was drawn to this book because the town of Slonim (Belarus) is one of my ancestral towns, and some of the characters similarly emmigrated to Chile and the U.S., just as in my family. The separate, inter-related stories and characters were intriguing. However, it was just a tad confusing at times to keep them all straight! Worth the effort, and the resolution was satisfying.
I enjoyed this audiobook enough to know that I'd want to re-read and savor certain passages. One really needs to be able to *read* this to get at the narrative's richness. When I bought the book, I was surprised to see how much Krauss had taken into account the page layout -- indeed, the rhythm of turning pages and unfolding revelations. It's a beautiful book-thing, and I don't know how effectively an audiobook can approximate the white space of the page.
I'm so glad I didn't pay any attention to the poor reviews and followed the recommendations of the good ones. Funny, intelligent, literary, beautifully narrated.