"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." Groucho Marx

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

Sometimes I wish I could rate books in parts. Stop after the first 30%- rate and review. 65%- stop again, rate and review. And then a final. For some books that might be redundant but for books like The History of Love, rating parts would allow me the freedom to 4 and 5 star the sections I loved and apply 2 stars to the sections I found less inspiring. The History of Love starts with Leo as an old man, and I fell in love with him. I also fell in love with his lifelong friend Bruno and how they sustain each other through long, lonely years, tapping on the radiator to signal to the other that all is well. A few minutes into this book I thought, "I better get a pen; this is going to get quote worthy." Then the book moves on to young Alma and I didn't enjoy that portion of the story as much. Alma is introduced after Leo so the bar of my expectations was set very high and the adolescent Alma didn't get there for me. Consequently, each time the story went back to Leo my opinion of the book creeped up, up, up. Then upon return to Alma the rating began the downward slide. Portion rating this book would have resembled the trek of a sleep monitor: First part- 4 stars, second part- down to 2, then up to 3-3.5, down to 2.5, and at the close- down to 2 when the ending got very strange and even the Leo I had fallen in love with seemed to lose touch with the elements of his character that made him so easy to love initially.
I did notice and enjoy the synchronicity in the tale. The separate stories of the characters touch periodically throughout showing the threads that will ultimately weave them all together in a six degrees of separation way reminding me of the movie Crash and the breathtaking reminder that we are all connected.

You will find an official plot line description at: 

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