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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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    820
  • 4 Stars
    548
  • 3 Stars
    340
  • 2 Stars
    133
  • 1 Stars
    81

Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    693
  • 4 Stars
    306
  • 3 Stars
    123
  • 2 Stars
    37
  • 1 Stars
    20

Story

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    561
  • 4 Stars
    316
  • 3 Stars
    211
  • 2 Stars
    67
  • 1 Stars
    39
Sort by:
  • Overall

A let down

After looking at the reviews, I was expecting a wonderful listen. For the most part, the reader's reviews are on the money for me. To be honest, though, I had a miserable time trying to stick with it. The only time I tuned in without effort was when Leopold Gursky was narrating. I would have enjoyed the book greatly if it had remained in his narration. I forced myself to finish it to the end and then questioned my decision.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • S
  • bozeman, MT, USA
  • 06-30-08

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.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Patti
  • Chittenango, NY, United States
  • 09-25-07

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.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jane
  • Kremmling, CO, USA
  • 01-25-06

Disappointing

I forced myself to hear this book to the end because after all, I had wasted a credit on it. Eccentric characters are all right as accent, but when ALL the characters are eccentric they lose any interest they might have had and simply become annoying. And the list/numbering technique of which the author is so fond should really be reserved for shopping lists. Entire chapters of numbered paragraphs and sentences is tiresome. From reading the reviews before I purchased this book, I was expecting some depth or nuances of feeling, but it was impossible for me to have any involvement with these incredibly boring characters. The interconnections of plot and character were only mildly interesting and not enough to lift this book out of the doldrums. My favorite words were "The End."

12 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Gorgeous

Beautifully written and performed. Lovely story very put together in a striking arrangement. Hearwrenchingly beautiful.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Even George Guidall couldn't save this one

What would have made The History of Love better?

I don't get it. I read the reviews and it sounded like this book would be worth the point (not to mention the time). But it wasn't worth it -- I found myself wanting it to be over. The character that was read by George Guidall was good; the other characters droned on and it was boring.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Love love

Some parts were slow and some parts I had to play over and over again. It's a sweet story that intertwines all forms of love. My grandmothers name is Alma, so this one is closer to my heart.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Beautiful Prose, Beautiful Performance

I listened to this book twice because I was afraid I missed something the first time. The narrator for Leo Gursky was really what had me coming back a second time. His performance of Gursky was warm, but haunting. His words left me thinking for months about how much people like him long just to be seen, but the way he said them left beautiful echoes behind. I would recommend this book to anyone who is attracted to strong characters, who lives in or appreciates New York City, and anyone who plans to live a long life. It was change your perspective on love and aging.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

I almost gave up!

I knew I'd chosen this book because of the rave reviews but once I started listening I couldn't understand why so many people had loved it. I listened, I re played, listened again and just could not get it. I went back to the reviews and found there had been quite a few like me. I continued listening and at chapter 5 was pulled in and enjoyed every last word, it was beautiful after all. I'm not sure why the first few chapters are so labored and uninviting, they're disjointed and seem random. In the end all is revealed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Let me upset.

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.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful