Book Review: The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

The long talked about Review of The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

I read this for a book club and would suggest it for other book clubs because of its “universal” appeal. At 252 pages, this book is a quick read. I say that because I am currently engrossed in George R.R. Martin’s books which run around the 1000 page mark. In the heart of this book is another book, entitled The History of Love, which becomes the things that binds the seemingly far flung characters together. The authorship of the book and its readers create the story of their lives around the creation, publication, and translation of The History of Love. Even the smallest character in this book is in some way a tragic hero, crippled by the decisions they have made because of love for another, or in Bird’s case, his love for God.

I liked that Krauss threw in a few surprises that made the entire form of the story change. The central characters are given their own chapters with which to tell parts of their narrative, each in a distinctive voice. I found this compelling, though others may find the rambling narrative of Bird or the quirky thoughts of Leo cumbersome and annoying. The parts of Krauss’ book which I enjoyed the least were the excerpts of The History of Love. They were strange and rarely brought insight into the plot or characters. In short, I recommend this book for the uniqueness of its characters, the emotional plot, and the simple language that propels the story forward.

–Jane, reads and reads