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Didn’t Like It1 of 2 members found this review helpful
“Umm...yeah. Part of the premise of this novel is that the bookstore of the title only stocks the best novels available. All I need to tell you is that they would not stock A Novel Bookstore.
“Best book I have read all year!”Meavis wrote this review 2 weeks ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Very strange book. Started slow and a bit confusing; then got very interesting; then got boring; and, finally, ended oddly. Is it a mystery? Is it a romance? The plot revolves around a bookstore created to sell only good books (as defined by an anonymous group of 8 writers and the two bookstore creators). Along the way there are threats and attacks. There are shifting narrators and you need to stop now and then and figure out who is speaking. Also, the translation is a bit spotty, or else no one proof-read it.
“(barely) 3 stars
A beautiful, wealthy woman approaches a down-at-the-heels bookseller and asks him to help her open a bookstore that will sell nothing but Good Books. They recruit a secret committee of authors to choose which books they will sell. The store opens in Paris and is an instant success...until someone begins to slander the store and its owner and eventually begins to threaten the lives of the members of the secret committee. Along the way, many questions are raised about literature: who decides what we should read, what makes a book worthy of being called literature, why are readers so devoted to certain books and so on. In the background, much unrequited and tortured love, Parisian style.
This was a 200 page story floundering about in a bloated 400 page manuscript. While some aspects, particularly the parts relating to what draws readers to the reading life are quite interesting, the story is damaged by the author's endless self-indulgence. She leaves nothing to the reader's imagination and there are countless repetitions and digressions that lead nowhere and add nothing: a page describing the hiring of the bookstore's cleaner (never mentioned again), a half-page describing the beige and white furnishings of a meeting room (never returned to again) and so on. The thriller angle that opens the story (with the committee members being attacked) does not fit well with the rest of the story. Additionally, the translation seemed quite clumsy. Nonetheless, I've given this a 3 star rating for the story's exploration of reading and readers.”
“A wonderful story that invites readers to question the consequences of cultural demagogy and what it would mean to fight against it. I have some qualms about this translation, and the ending seemed a bit rushed, but overall, the novel makes for a very enjoyable read. ”Amanda M wrote this review Tuesday, July 9, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“The location is Paris France,the concept is to open a bookstore of just great books. It is a struggle and a near failure. After ups and downs there was success and then the owner dies and there is again near failure. ”A. Rochester wrote this review Sunday, June 30, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Unbalanced-not much intrigue to it-hard to believe that anyone would care enough to attack the bookstore. Overly refined sensibilities, except for the parts that read like a business model.”Judy S wrote this review Saturday, February 2, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Interesting mystery, interesting concept if not a little farfetched. The translation could have been better.”Elizabeth wrote this review Thursday, August 23, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This definitely does not read like an American novel and while that might be off-putting for some I found it to be interesting to read a significantly different voice than I'm used to. This story wasn't what I expected it to be but it raises some interesting questions about what a "good" novel is and how we determine that and what effect judgments like that have.”Michelle F wrote this review Saturday, January 28, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I liked reading books about books and I found myself enjoying some pages of it but when it gets so drawn out, it makes me want to put it down and ask myself if I'm wasting my time on this book. Can't really say if I like it but I'll keep on it until it's time to return it to the library.”Myra wrote this review Sunday, October 23, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No