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The History of Love | [Nicole Krauss]

The History of Love

Nicole Krauss' first novel, Man Walks Into a Room, was shortlisted for the Los Angeles Times Book Award and her short fiction has been collected in Best American Short Stories. Now The History of Love proves Krauss is among our finest and freshest literary voices.
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Publisher's Summary

Nicole Krauss' first novel, Man Walks Into a Room, was shortlisted for the Los Angeles Times Book Award and her short fiction has been collected in Best American Short Stories. Now The History of Love proves Krauss is among our finest and freshest literary voices.

It has been decades since Leo Gursky first surrendered his heart, then wrote a book about it, at the tender age of 10, and he's been in love with the same person ever since. Leo believes his book is lost to time, but what he doesn't know is, not only has it survived 60 years without him, it has also been an inspiration to others. Fourteen-year-old Alma was even named for a character from the book. When she realizes how deeply the story touched her lonely mother, she embarks on a search for answers.

The History of Love is an imaginative tale of love and loss that is at once funny, mysterious, and deeply passionate.

Don't miss Nicole Krauss and Salman Rushdie at The New Yorker Festival.

©2005 Nicole Krauss; (P)2005 Recorded Books, LLC

What the Critics Say

"An intriguing books-within-a-book narrative....Venturing into Paul Auster territory in her graceful inquiry into the interplay between life and literature, Krauss is winsome, funny, and affecting." (Booklist)
"Writing with tenderness about eccentric characters, [Krauss] uses earthy humor to mask pain and to question the universe. Her distinctive voice is both plangent and wry, and her imagination encompasses many worlds." (Publishers Weekly)
"If for no other reason than the range of voices she has persuasively created, Ms. Krauss would stand out as a prodigious talent....Ms. Krauss's work is illuminated by the warmth and delicacy of her prose." (The New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (1013 )
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4.3 (358 )
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Performance
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  •  
    S bozeman, MT, USA 06-30-08
    S bozeman, MT, USA 06-30-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I loved it"

    I never read or listen to a book twice, but I'm going to listen to this one again! It's rich, it's funny, and it's deep. The plot isn't a fast-moving one; rather it's about the depth of one's love and the existential question of how and why we love. There are 4 voices for the characters, and I found them all pleasant. I'd put this one up with Life of Pi and Bee Season as mature, philosphically pleasing and also a great read.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E yorba linda, CA, USA 12-17-07
    E yorba linda, CA, USA 12-17-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "palpable poetry on the page"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patti Chittenango, NY, United States 09-25-07
    Patti Chittenango, NY, United States 09-25-07 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I Liked It"

    This book did not get a perfect rating only because book-within-book sotries tend to confuse me. Maybe I am too simple for them, but they bother me a little. Nonetheless, I loved this selection.

    The character development was rich. The narration was superb. The story kept drawing me in. The end was satisfying. And of course I wanted more.

    I am amazed by an author who can take simple daily events and tell a tale with them. My life is not that different from many of those in this book, but I would not think many would want to read about it. But Nicole Krauss did just that. I will look for more of her titles.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BeckyC 08-23-07
    BeckyC 08-23-07
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    "Such an enjoyable read!"

    What a good book! I'd been wondering how it would work to have multiple narrators--and it was great. The narrators were all wonderful, and the story was so engaging and moving. Leo's "and yet..." resonates with me still. Highly recommended!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Laurel, MD, USA 10-12-05
    Chris Laurel, MD, USA 10-12-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great story, fabulous narration"

    George Guidall's characterization of Leo Gursky is the heart and soul of this novel. The writing is beautiful, the characters real-even in their eccentricity. You'll keep thinking about this book long after you've finished it - and I agree it would be well worth listening to a second or even third time.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jean Morristown, NJ, USA 09-01-05
    Jean Morristown, NJ, USA 09-01-05
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    "True Love"

    You must be alert to catch all the details of this book, but it is worth every minute of your attention. The charactors are threaded together slowly - each one narrated by a different voice. It is a book worth a second listen just to pick up little tidbits of the story missed the first time around. I sighed at the conclusion and felt my heart expand alittle.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Knight Nashville, TN USA 03-23-14
    D. Knight Nashville, TN USA 03-23-14 Member Since 2011

    romans55

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    "Unique and Beautiful Writing"

    What an interesting story written in such a lovely way. This book is different and the unusual cast of characters (voices) keeps the story moving (although you are kept wondering about the connections sometimes--but it's supposed to be like that, right?). To define love in such beautiful terms is refreshing and not the usual "sappy" romance. Both genders would like this book and I thoroughly enjoyed her lovely writing. Worth a listen!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Littman OH 04-14-13
    D. Littman OH 04-14-13 Member Since 2003

    history buff

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    "a great American novel"
    What made the experience of listening to The History of Love the most enjoyable?

    The book is told by several protagonists and each has its own narrator.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It is a combination of a cultural novel, a human interest story, and a mystery story.


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

    No particular favorite. The book is written so beautifully that you can identify with each protagonist.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    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.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane North Wales, PA, United States 09-30-11
    Jane North Wales, PA, United States 09-30-11
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    "Loved it"
    Would you listen to The History of Love again? Why?

    I did not want it to end. And when it ended, I rewound it to favorite parts and listened again.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael kansas city, MO, United States 04-11-09
    Michael kansas city, MO, United States 04-11-09 Member Since 2007

    Say something about yourself!

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    "exceptional."

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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