First off, I’d like to say that Andrew Davidson (the author of this splendid debut novel), is in fact Canadian. I love to see that there are people here who have tremendous talent, but if that wasn’t enough to catch my eye, he’s from my province. You see
is a great place, but not many people get to hear about how amazingly talented people from here are and so this is my “shout out” (rereading that, I sound like a moron). Manitoba
Ok, that’s done now. About the book…. I LOVED IT! I think this book captures never ending love in a new light, in a way that a reader can feel every emotion and understand the pain that comes with a love this deep and true. I also loved that it didn’t give definite answer to everything. Answer to questions like: Why all the never-ending love stories? Was she really crazy or did it all happen? Did the narrator enter Hell? And so many more. It seems that not only did Andrew Davidson’s imagination run wild, he gave permission to the readers to interpret things as they want to. I also enjoyed the fact that we never learn the Narrator’s name. It gives the novel a mysterious quality.
♥Narrator: So mystery man doesn’t have a name, which if you’re reading this without first reading the book (SHAME ON YOU) you think it makes no sense. But it’s amazing. This narrator gives an introduction to the story that no other character could have. He has to start to understand that maybe Marianne was telling the truth, that they did fall in love in medieval
and are still loving each other to this day. I feel as though he is not the monster that he thinks himself to be at the beginning of this book, but rather the man we see at the end of it. He doesn’t look for the easy way out of things, nor does he give up when Marianne’s time has come. He preservers and carries on. As well, in the beginning we see an arrogant man, who has made some “interesting” choices in his life, but realizes that if these mistakes hadn’t been made and he wasn’t in the burn ward he would have carried out life without meaning. Without true friends, love or passion. Germany
♥Marianne: So its sort of left to us to decide whether Marianne was schizophrenic/manic depressive or really 700 odd years old. I think that she really was this old, simply because of the details she knew and because she had the 2 translations of Dante’s Inferno in her safety deposit. It’s really to bad that she lived so long without her one true love and when he finally comes back, she only has one heart to give him and then she will die. That doesn’t seem fair, but supposedly it was her penance. And now maybe, if there is one, she’s in Heaven. I loved Marianne as a character simply cause you didn’t know what she would do next. She was creative and obviously a very passionate person. I wish she hadn’t died, but it seems like a fitting end to the book.
♥Gregor: I loved that this guy thinks he’s such a badass. He’s a psychiatrist. It’s not that that should be a specific label. Anyway, he’s probably the Narrators best friend in this book after he finally starts to open up to Gregor. I loved that him and Sayuri got married and are expecting. Such a sweet little side love story.
♥Sayuri: I imagined her to be a tiny little asian woman who had so much energy she didn’t know what to do with it. She really is the reason that the Narrator makes such a tremendous recovery. She pushed him and believed him. A very warm and motherly character.
♥Nan: In a way she was right that Marianne couldn’t take care of the Narrator, but in the end he has learned to take care of himself, so it’s really a gain in the long run.
♥Jack: She is just crass enough that I love her. She says what’s on her mind without a second thought, and although it comes off mean, I think she just sometimes forgets to filter.
♥Note I decided not to include the characters from the stories that Marianne told, including the story of her true love. I did this because it should be up to you to decide if these characters are true in the whole scheme of the story.
♥Moments to Remember♥
May contain adult content (You’ve been warned)
“The irony was not lost upon me that after making all my money in the skin trade, I was now trading all my money for skin.”
“’I was stoned and I drove off a cliff.’
‘He who eats fire, shits sparks.’”
“Now that we had more privacy, my talks with Marianne Engel grew more varied: how to cook vegetarian lasagne; what carnival games are played in Hamburg; the beautiful melancholy of Marcello’s Oboe Concerto in D Minor; the settlement habits of West Coast Indians; why people sing in rock bands; the merits of Canadian literature as contrasted with Russian literature; how harsh winter climates shape personality; the history of European prostitution; why men are fascinated by the concept of ‘Heavyweight Champion of the World!’’ the conversations that might occur between a Jehovah’s Witness and an archaeologist; and how long chewing gum remains fresh in the mouth.”
“A timid hand went up. ‘What about sex?’
‘I like it.’”
“’This book,’ you said. ‘there’s something strange about it. When I first saw it, it seemed to call to me. As if it wanted me to take it.’
‘That’s not so odd. I feel that way about book all the time.’”
“’I’m an atheist.’
‘Well, God believes in you,’ he said.”
Final Line: “It is moving across time, coming to me in every language of the world, and it sounds like pure love.”
Thanks for reading,