corner corner Man Walks into a Room

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Man Walks into a Room
by Nicole Krauss | Literature & Fiction
Registered by wingAntof9wing of Lakewood, Colorado USA on Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Average 7 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by hazrabai): travelling


This book is in the wild! This Book is Currently in the Wild!

3 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by wingAntof9wing from Lakewood, Colorado USA on Wednesday, November 22, 2006

This book has not been rated.

I absolutely loved History of Love, the first book I'd seen by this author, so when I saw this in the store, I grabbed it. It looks like this is her first. 


Journal Entry 2 by wingAntof9wing from Lakewood, Colorado USA on Tuesday, January 20, 2009

7 out of 10

I really liked this book ... until I got to the end. I don't mean I disliked it, but I realized that as I was reading it, I was really enjoying it, but that was sort of anticipatory of what I thought might happen near the end. Perhaps it was the misleading back cover (which I hardly ever even read!), or perhaps it was just my naive desire for a happy ending, but I really thought it would end differently.

It was fascinating, and really well written. I'm always surprised when a woman writes from a man's point of view, or a man writes from a woman's point of view, and it's believable. But it was, and was very well done. It was also interesting to read Samson's perceptions and observations about Anna, as she grieved for her husband and their relationship.

Sometimes when you're watching a movie, you notice something that is missing, rather than something that happens. It's when I assume that the scene that would have explained what I'm confused about must be "on the cutting room floor". The same thing happened at one point in the book. Samson is having a conversation with Lana over lunch, and he says, "I'd follow you in a paddle boat and shout encouragement." Her response: "Thanks. And if you ever decide to walk across the country again, I'll follow you in a car." This never comes up again, but I felt like it told us how he ended up where we first met him. Why isn't this discussed? Why doesn't the author follow up on this? Why doesn't Samson ask Lana more about this? Or tell Anna about it? I think the answers must have been edited out. This is the kind of thing I would ask the author about if I were a reporter.

There was also a use of "disorientated" that I thought should have been "disoriented": Soon the long corridor gave way to other long, equally sterile stretches of corridor and Samson became disorientated. The sour chemical smell in the air, so archly inhuman, and the vile light that cast everything in a flat and sickly hue were enough to lend the place a tense, unnerving quality... Maybe it's small of me to pick at that one word when the rest of the writing is so good (as illustrated by the words around it), but that bothered me!

I did like this -- don't get me wrong. But I wanted more hope at the end than I got. It won't usurp History of Love as my favorite of her books, but I'm glad I've read her first novel. 


Journal Entry 3 by wingbookczukwing from Charleston, South Carolina USA on Friday, January 23, 2009

This book has not been rated.

I, too, loved History of Love and also have a fasination with "first books". I look forward to reading this, and haven't let myself read Antof9's full review yet. :) Onto the TBR pile it goes! Thanks for sending it. I've been thinking of rereading H of L, but maybe this'll fill the need instead. 


Journal Entry 4 by wingbookczukwing from Charleston, South Carolina USA on Friday, February 20, 2009

7 out of 10

I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this book, now that I am through with it. I am convinced that Nicole Krauss is a marvelous writer. Of that, there is no doubt. But I never fully engaged in the story here. Part of that is Samson's fault, though. I don't think he fully engaged in his story either. The ending came abruptly -- a rapid change of pace, with the epilogue in a different character voice which left me disorientated. (Ha! Just a note to add that I, too, find the use of this word distracting. It appeared in two books I was reading on the same day, and startled me both times. It led to a flurry of emails to my grammar goddess, Antof9, with the query "Two separate books within 12 hours. Is it a real word? What happened to disoriented? And how do they differ?" She told me "File it under 'those crazy Brits'. Here's a very entertaining bulletin board on the topic. We don't use it. We say disoriented. Or "confused", as one poster on that bulletin board noted :)") And on p 144, when Donald says "Palmolive, take me away", I also was distracted. Was it Palmolive rather than Calgon, because of his character, or because of poor editing? Sometimes, I think too much.

Anyhow, the premise of the story both captured and scared me. One of my biggest fears is the loss of my beloved. (I have told him that if he dies before me, I'll kill him.) To think about totally losing your loved one, but to have him physically still on the earth, lost to you by loss of memory, is shattering. I almost think that divorce would be easier, because your past together still exists in more than your own mind. There is a shared history.

One passage made me very sad, mostly because I am a parent and hope this hasn't happened for my son. Pip is talking about her experiences in India, watching the scattering of ashes in the Ganges, while downstream people collect drinking water, and she thought

...is that safe? Aren't they going to catch some awful disease? And then you go back to the room you share with like ten other people and you get into your dirty bed and cry, because you realize your probably never going to be that spiritually enlightened that you stop caring about germs and disease and just trust the power of Brahman. Because you grew up in America in a nice clean house with parents that tried to shelter you but ended up fucking you up, and you'll always be branded with that."

Is it so bad to want to provide protection for a child? To know about disease prevention and staying healthy? Surely if we are temples to God, and if God, however you chose to define the concept, lives within us, then keeping that home clean and safe isn't a bad thing, is it?

I will ponder this book a bit more. Again, I thought the writing quite fine, and overall the book was good. It just left me with more questions than answers. Sometimes that's a good thing, though. One should read to expand the mind, not just for entertainment.

 


Journal Entry 5 by wingbookczukwing from Charleston, South Carolina USA on Thursday, March 05, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Hazrabai is in the US for a visit to her west coast family. I won't see her this trip, but am sending her some books and will include this one. She is the person I passed the copy ant and I read of The History of Love to, so this is a fitting controlled release. She may leave it in California or take it on to India with her. 


Journal Entry 6 by wingbookczukwing at San Francisco, California USA on Friday, March 06, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Released 5 yrs ago (3/6/2009 UTC) at San Francisco, California USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Mailing today! 


Journal Entry 7 by hazrabai at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) - details in note in San Francisco, California USA on Monday, March 23, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Released 5 yrs ago (3/17/2009 UTC) at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) - details in note in San Francisco, California USA

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

Unable to carry this with me to India as initially planned. Will have to find another copy someday to read. Left at the airport for the next reader to find. 




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