I very rarely pick up random books to try, but browsing through my university library's leisure collection made me want to take a book out. Just a random book. I'd seen this one everywhere, and people had been raving about it all over this site, so I thought 'Lets give it a go'.
All I really knew going into it that it was a book about a book. The premise sounded a lot like 'The Book Thief' to me, a book I thoroughly enjoyed and hence gave it 5 stars. What I didn't expect was for it to be a myriad of genres, flowing together to make a beautifully woven tale. There was elements of mystery, romance, horror, humour, and many more, which really added depth and character to the story.
Set in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, a 10-year-old Daniel finds a book that consumes his life for the next 10 years. His growing up and his hunt for the author is one story, the second, interwoven one, is the story of the author, Julian's, past, filled with intrigue.
There were many things I loved about this book: how Daniel was slightly flawed, the various characters that were as equally regarded as Daniel in the narrative, and Daniel's own life having remarkable similarities to that of Julian Carax's. It creates a very full narrative, one that I couldn't put down.
I think the one thing that frustrated me with the novel was how the mysteries and intrigues were rather easily and systematically wrapped up in Nuria's narrative section, but regardless, the plot twists within it lessened my frustration at it.
Overall, I would recommend this to anyone who is just looking for a book to read, with no real preference on genre. It covers everything, and is very very addictive. I even debated whether or not to go to the cinema because I wanted to finish it so badly.Favourite Quote:
The day was turning out to be longer than The Brothers Karamazov. (Who doesn't love a bit of Russian Lit humour?!)