July 13, 2011
The History of Love
The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
2005 W. W. Norton and Company
Quit on 6/14/11
Fourteen-year-old Alma Singer is trying to find a cure for her mother’s loneliness. Believing that she might discover it in an old book her mother is lovingly translating, she sets out in search of its author. Across New York an old man named Leo Gursky is trying to survive a little bit longer. He spends his days dreaming of the lost love who, sixty years ago in Poland, inspired him to write a book. And although he doesn’t know it yet, that book also survived: crossing oceans and generations, and changing lives….
I’ve had this book on my shelf for several years and decided to give it a read when it was shortlisted for the 2011 One Book, One Lincoln. After more than a hundred pages, I decided it was time to call it quits.
Marvelous? (San Francisco Chronicle) Astonishing? (Washington Post) Ingenious? (New York Times). I beg to differ. I had a hard time following the flow of the narrative, which jumped from one topic to another, and I didn't care at all for any of the characters.
Final thoughts: Dull. Convoluted. Obscure.