Let me start by saying Leo Gursky, one of the novel's protagonists, is one of the most compelling characters I have read in a long time. A retired locksmith who immigrated to the US from Poland, he is the first speaker in the novel and immediately he drew me in - I was literally laughing out loud at his witty thoughts and crazy tenancies.
"I often wonder who will be the last person to see me alive. If I had to bet, I'd bet on the delivery boy from the Chinese take-out. I order in four nights out of seven. Whenever he comes I make a big production of finding my wallet. He stands in the door holding the greasy bag while I wonder if this is the night I'll finish off my spring roll, climb into bed, and have a heart attack in my sleep."Overall I really liked this book. The multiple narrators made it a little hard to follow at first but once Krauss established her style I couldn't put it down. The novel is actually about a fictional book The History of Love (I love books about books) and the interconnectedness of the of the people this book has affected. Of course, each plot line is creatively linked in the end in a way that made me think Wow - I really like Nicole Krauss.
"Sorry. It's a long story," I said, and part of me wanted him to ask me why I was looking for her, so I could tell him the truth: that I wasn't really sure, that I had started out looking for someone to make my mother happy again, and even though I hadn't given up on finding him yet, along the way I began to look for something else too, which was connected to the first search, but also different, because it had to do with me."Ultimately this book functions as a conceit for the endless potential of love, however it's much more than just a love story. From the characters to the prose to the multiple plot lines - it all consumed me.
In a related note, Nicole Krauss is married to Johnathan Safran Foer. I have been meaning to read one of his books for awhile now and his wife has just inspired me further.