Top critical review
3 people found this helpful
on July 21, 2009
I bought this book for my kids because both my son and I so enjoyed Gopnik's book, Paris to the Moon. While I did like parts of the book, and it starts well, the plot simply becomes too convoluted and confusing for the book as a whole to succeed. Complication upon complication are added, alternative realities, the mirror maze, lost children, and on and on until it simply overwhelms the reader. If the book had been simpler and shorter it would have been much more effective. In addition, Gopnik's inspiration seems to fade at times and he repeats words in an annoying way. Oliver, the main character, is "inexorably" pulled towards a mirror on page 97, Charlie is "inexorably" sucked into an ice cube on page 192, Oliver and Neige are "inexorably" pulled along on pages 210, 215, and 221. Use a thesaurus!
Even given that, as I said, there is some enjoyment to be found. My daughter and I visited the little known (at least to most Americans) Musee Grevin a few weeks before reading the part of the book where Oliver also rushes to the same museum. Continually finding places in Paris referenced that we had visited was nice, but for life in Paris find Gopnik's earlier book and read it.