Charlotte Reads Classics

Slowly, slowly, she sipped a sentence.

Tag: Nicole Krauss

Broad Concepts

The History of Love, Nicole Krauss

And then I started to think about her. Alma. Who was she? My mother would say she was everyone, every girl and every woman that anyone ever loved.

I did enjoy this, but she is so pretentious! This book was less cryptic than Great House, which is a plus (better plot?), and was very well put together. There isn’t a word that doesn’t seem considered; the result being many sentences beautifully but self consciously put together. I really liked the idea of the book within the book, but I thought what was actually written as part of Leo Gursky’s book sounded awful!

Things I did like:

  • The characters, particularly Alma and Leo. I sympathised with people more than I anticipated and enjoyed the way these strangers became linked together.
  • The general plot: the research, the letters, the lost loves, the families, the identities, the history.
  • Everyone told the story. The many narrators really worked.
  • The way she writes about being Jewish and what it means to different people.

The History of Love speaks universally whilst looking at the tiny parts of life. I just can’t believe Nicole Krauss is a real person.

Whose House? Great House!

Great House, Nicole Krauss

Well, I had a good run of reading nothing but well written and thoroughly entertaining books. Nicole Krauss has very kindly ruined it. Before anything else, it has to be said that she is an excellent writer. Words aren’t used without careful consideration and it shows. She can write the descriptive beautifully. Well done. On the other hand, the characters are so shallow and self indulgent the whole narration is pretty off putting. But really, I’m just picking at the details because… I don’t get it. I don’t get Great House. I don’t understand why the message at the end is never alluded to during the other 200 odd pages. I don’t understand how all the characters fit together and I don’t really understand the point of the desk. The end was so unsatisfying, it all felt incredibly anti-climactic.

But for thirty pages, I thought I was onto a winner. What went wrong?