Storied Life of A. J. Fikry Paperback – 2 December 2014
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|Paperback, 2 December 2014||
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- Paperback : 288 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1616204516
- ISBN-13 : 978-1616204518
- Product Dimensions : 13.97 x 1.83 x 20.96 cm
- Publisher : Algonquin Books (2 December 2014)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: 170,501 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
"This novel has humor, romance, a touch of suspense, but most of all love--love of books and bookish people and, really, all of humanity in its imperfect glory." --Eowyn Ivey, author of The Snow Child "Marvelously optimistic about the future of books and bookstores and the people who love both." --The Washington Post "You won't want it to end." --Family Circle "A natural for book groups." --Richmond Times-Dispatch "A reader's paradise of the first order." --The Buffalo News "A fun, page-turning delight." --Minneapolis Star Tribune "Captures the joy of connecting people and books . . . Irresistible." --Booklist "A wonderful, moving, endearing story of redemption and transformation that will sing in your heart for a very, very long time." --Garth Stein, author of The Art of Racing in the Rain "Readers who delighted in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, and Letters from Skye will be equally captivated by this novel." --*Library Journal, starred review
About the Author
Gabrielle Zevin is a New York Times bestselling author whose books have been translated into more than thirty languages. Her eighth novel, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry, spent more than four months on the New York Times Bestseller list, reached #1 on the National Indie Bestseller list, and has been a bestseller all around the world. She has also written books for children and young adults, including the award-winning Elsewhere.
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With a big-hearted offering such as this, clearly aimed at the mainstream, it's easy sometimes to overlook the quality of the writing but Gabrielle Zevin has clearly put her extensive reading to good use. There are wonderful set pieces here that tug at the emotions and such impressive restraint characterises the writing, preventing it from falling into schmaltzy overkill.
Strongly recommend this! Book clubs will love it . . . as will anyone with an ounce of humanity.
There's a truly cringe inducing scene in the otherwise ok film "Sideways" when one character asks another which wine was the one that got them hooked. This book has some similar moments - all the characters seem to find bonding moments when talking about their favourite books.
This has a kind of Wonder Boys feel to it, and oddly reminiscent of the Harvey Keitel/William Hurt movie Smoke. It's also cute and lightly Dickensian, with a touch of Judy Blume, and slightly corny (bitter man reconnects to life and love through an abandoned child he's forced to look after). I got the several small "twists" right away, but that's not really the point of the book. As the blurb and other reviewers have pointed out it's about the love of books. And it succeeds, warmly. It's not earth shattering or life changing; not every book needs to be, but it's a quick, smartly written read that will leave you with a little smile and autumnal glow. I can already see the second tier movie; starring the kind of B list workmanlike actors you've seen before but couldn't say in what. Gently memorable.
Initially AJ came across as a spiky unlikeable character, but as you get to know him you'll realise he's just protecting himself and really has a heart of gold. The secondary characters all play significant parts with none of them feeling like fillers which I liked. I honestly don't think I disliked any of them which is rare.
What really comes through also is the author's love of books and how well read she is to be able to have the mini analysis and empart these little pearls of wisdom at the start of each chapter. These some way link to main character's daughter throughout and as she grows up which is really sweet.
Occasionally twee, but I think any book lover will take Island Books and its owners and customers into their hearts and will think about them long after the final page is turned.