- Audio CD: 9 pages
- Publisher: Recorded Books; Unabridged edition (April 5, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1419333429
- ISBN-13: 978-1419333422
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.3 x 5.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (767 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #868,803 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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History of Love Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged
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Nicole Krauss's The History of Love is a hauntingly beautiful novel about two characters whose lives are woven together in such complex ways that even after the last page is turned, the reader is left to wonder what really happened. In the hands of a less gifted writer, unraveling this tangled web could easily give way to complete chaos. However, under Krauss's watchful eye, these twists and turns only strengthen the impact of this enchanting book.
The History of Love spans of period of over 60 years and takes readers from Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe to present day Brighton Beach. At the center of each main character's psyche is the issue of loneliness, and the need to fill a void left empty by lost love. Leo Gursky is a retired locksmith who immigrates to New York after escaping SS officers in his native Poland, only to spend the last stage of his life terrified that no one will notice when he dies. ("I try to make a point of being seen. Sometimes when I'm out, I'll buy a juice even though I'm not thirsty.") Fourteen-year-old Alma Singer vacillates between wanting to memorialize her dead father and finding a way to lift her mother's veil of depression. At the same time, she's trying to save her brother Bird, who is convinced he may be the Messiah, from becoming a 10-year-old social pariah. As the connection between Leo and Alma is slowly unmasked, the desperation, along with the potential for salvation, of this unique pair is also revealed.
The poetry of her prose, along with an uncanny ability to embody two completely original characters, is what makes Krauss an expert at her craft. But in the end, it's the absolute belief in the uninteruption of love that makes this novel a pleasure, and a wonder to behold. --Gisele Toueg --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. The last words of this haunting novel resonate like a pealing bell. "He fell in love. It was his life." This is the unofficial obituary of octogenarian Leo Gursky, a character whose mordant wit, gallows humor and searching heart create an unforgettable portrait. Born in Poland and a WWII refugee in New York, Leo has become invisible to the world. When he leaves his tiny apartment, he deliberately draws attention to himself to be sure he exists. What's really missing in his life is the woman he has always loved, the son who doesn't know that Leo is his father, and his lost novel, called The History of Love, which, unbeknownst to Leo, was published years ago in Chile under a different man's name. Another family in New York has also been truncated by loss. Teenager Alma Singer, who was named after the heroine of The History of Love, is trying to ease the loneliness of her widowed mother, Charlotte. When a stranger asks Charlotte to translate The History of Love from Spanish for an exorbitant sum, the mysteries deepen. Krauss (Man Walks into a Room) ties these and other plot strands together with surprising twists and turns, chronicling the survival of the human spirit against all odds. Writing with tenderness about eccentric characters, she 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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
This book is an exception to this rule.
The History of Love weave together three story lines stretching back to German occupied Poland in World War 2, to South America, and New York City. It follow the story of a book written by a young man in love with a girl who left for America to escape the Germans and the books convoluted path to publication and readership affected the lives of all of the characters.
While the writing was gorgeous, moving, funny, and absolutely quotable, I found myself sometimes lost in what was actually happening. This was especially true in the excerpts from the book that supposedly spawned all of the events. The passages were dense, lyrical, confusing, and didn't seem to have a point other than to be beautiful. I kept going back and rereading them thinking that I would find the point, but then eventually I just had to resign myself to push on and accept that not every part of this book would make complete sense to me.
Bird and his sister Alma were my favorite characters in the book. The way the Krauss told their story through their unique voices really touched me. I can't quite put my finger on why the writing in this novel moved me, but it just did.
Check this one out! I certainly enjoyed it, despite it's issues.
What a reading experience! I went into this book knowing absolutely nothing about its premise. All I knew was that it is highly regarded by many of my Goodreads friends. What you should know is that right after I finished reading it, I spent the rest of the day rereading and underlining passages and clues I might have overlooked. Did you find yourself doing the same thing after watching The Sixth Sense for the first time? Don't lie!
This book is a compelling, heartwarming study of loneliness, loss and adolescence. At least ten to fifteen characters are inadvertently drawn together by a book published soon after World War II called The History of Love. The mystery behind its author and publication, and the different lives it touches up to present day unfold in a series of personal journal entries. Central to the novel are a group of teenagers who each survive and/or escape the Nazi occupation of Poland only to find the overwhelming loneliness and grief that awaits them when they attempt to "start over."
I guess it depends on what you're going through at the moment, but this book just made my heart hurt so much. Not enough to cry, but enough to remind me that I am human, and that we all have personal circumstances that we're struggling to overcome. Sometimes one good day in a gloomy month is so precious that we dread the setting of the sun. The more I think about it, the more questions I have. Love is such a complex thing, whether it's fufilled, reciprocated, or never comes to fruition...it can be the thing that pushes us forward and makes us get out of bed every morning. That is pretty powerful, and Krauss did a magnificent job of relaying that message.
Most recent customer reviews
with poignancy and innocence. This is her masterpiece.....