The History of Love, Nicole Krauss

The History of Love has a great title, that’s about it.  I ended up skimming the end of the book and yawned. The first 100 pages were exciting, they drew me in, captivated by some moments and the words of the author. The rest, was a slow steady fall down a steep hill into the gray pond of dissatisfaction. 

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

I don’t want to seem too disgruntled (I know, to late), yet this novel is one of the few, that I’d like to send back to the agent and editor to ask, “What were you thinking?” The characters are endearing, in the beginning, yet never grow, or grow to slowly. The loneliness of the old man with his famous estranged son, is palpable. 99% of this novel reads like a Lifetime Movie. I was expecting the Golden Girls to thank me for being a friend as I turned the page. 

This is literary chick lit at it’s worst. I don’t want to smack down the author to hard, because she does have a sense for the written word and spacing, there is much good inside these many pages. Yet overwhelmingly, it’s a young voice, new and untested, trying to fit an old mans nature. I can’t help wondering, not about the story itself, yet how the book made it through the many hurdles of the publishing industry. 

Read The History of Love, only if you want to test your patience. Do check the 5 star reviews on Amazon and the 1 star for comparisons sake.

Do leave a comment if you disagree.

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6 Responses

  1. I exactly agree with you. Wow. Comforting to know I wasn’t alone on this one.

    I’m of the belief that under our commercial publishing model an author has SOME responsibility to the reader who has bought her book. And Nicole, you let us down!!! Irresponsible novelism!!

  2. […] The History of Love, a book which holds itself in high esteem, Turning Tables is a well written story that […]

  3. Couldn’t disagree with you more, it’s one of the best books of the decade. It isn’t chick lit so I’m wondering if you were expecting something else. I felt like I had an interior view of the people we, in California, see on the street that should have pschological help. I also remember realizing that in addition to the loss of straight human life in the Holocaust, we lost innumerable works of all types of art.

  4. I agree with Kim — this is one of the all-time great reads. Perhaps this website’s author wanted a book she could skim to understand. “History of Love” has a complex narrative that takes work to untangle, and it’s work that is worthwhile. Subtle language, the magical reality of the book-within-the-book, deep unforgettable characters. It’s a tale of unreliable narrators striving to tell their own unique truths. Skip it if you like fluff. Put it on your must read list if you prefer literature.

  5. I couldn’t disagree more. I’ll guess I read this a year ago, and I’m still talking about the book, and the main character, Leo Gursky. I felt the book explored the nature of love in a way few books have done. Krauss’s use of magical realism was simply masterful, creating startling, deeply moving images that I just can’t forget.

  6. So in other words, you skimmed the book and then trashed it. Not really worth a blog post…

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