Nicole Krauss is a fantastic writer. Her latest novel, Great House, has been on many "best of 2010" lists and was a finalist for the National Book Award. I read, and loved, The History of Love earlier this year. So, when I found her first, lesser-known novel, Man Walks Into A Room and Half Price Books, I knew I wanted to read it before I picked up Great House and once again, Nicole Krauss did not disappoint. Krauss' prose is some of the most eloquent I have ever read. Even if the story weren't all that interesting I would still read it, because her writing is so beautiful. But the story happened to be captivating as well.
Man Walks Into A Room explores the mind of a man who has lost 24 years of his memory. The only memories he holds are from his childhood, which offers a fascinating perspective from this lead character, Samson. A man who is free from his memories - a freedom the average person will never experience.
Although he was slowly beginning to understand the situation, he felt less as if he had forgotten time than as if time had forgotten him. That he'd fallen asleep in one life and somehow passed into this one along the axis of a consistent heartbeat, so that some memory of where he came from, of who he was, had stayed with him.Krauss speaks to the mind's daydreams and everyday pleasures, as well as it's confusion and uncertainty. She explores human relationships in an honest way by examining true empathy and the familiar, sometimes silly habits we develop with each other - habits that connect us to one person alone, habits that are unique to a single relationship. She highlights the importance of childhood in the development of one's adult identity, and explores what it is that makes us human and what it means to experience love.
And yet, what else does it mean to be loved, Samson wondered, than to be understood?After finishing this book, I like Krauss even more. The ideas in this book blew me away. She is an intelligent and creative writer that I will continue to recommend to readers. I look forward to Great House.
Publisher: Anchor Books, 2002