Customer Reviews for

The History of Love

Average Rating 4
( 213 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(108)

4 Star

(48)

3 Star

(25)

2 Star

(19)

1 Star

(13)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

16 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

Read this book

This was the best novel I have read in decades, and I read a lot. I cried through the last 20 pages, and then immediately started reading it over again.

posted by Anonymous on February 6, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

The Sadness of Love

The History of Love was a book chosen by our book club to read and, one I don"t regret; however, it's not to say I would put this on my top 10 list. The book is broken up and intertwined into past and present and you are looking at several lives throughout the chapters...
The History of Love was a book chosen by our book club to read and, one I don"t regret; however, it's not to say I would put this on my top 10 list. The book is broken up and intertwined into past and present and you are looking at several lives throughout the chapters only for them to come together at the end. The main character Leo Gursky has written a book (The History of Love) about his one and only love Alma only for it to have been stolen and published by a friend early on in his life. Leo and Alma were from a small town in Poland and prior to WWII reaching their town, a pregnant Alma and her family left for America leaving Leo to come to America a few years later only to find that she had moved on with her life. Leo spent the rest of his life dismal, thinking about death, and the son he never met or tried to meet. Through an odd mixture of events (that led me to reread several pages) a child named after the main character of The History of Love, Alma, and her brother helped Leo Gursky find life (now that he was in his eighties). I respect the writing and integrity of The History of Love-it makes for great discussion; however, I didn't have the same emotional feelings like so many did because I felt the novel was a little too fictionalized and some of the main characters weren't played out fully. There were points of humor throughout; however, the overall tone of the book was very melancholy.

posted by 2408403 on May 16, 2010

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  • Posted September 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Above average old man story?

    Didn't correlate differing icons for narrators at chapter headings immediately...
    I feel old reading about Leo Gursky; his body is mine, slowing, and failing. He wants to shunt aside pain or excitement until a connection, until proof, is recognized and felt.
    How much fear lingers near love? We carry love and its small memories. I want to plant a flag on this planet, a mark, if not celebrity. I want my thoughts and dreams remembered and carried over to the younger and this book reaches high to achieve these purposeful goals for Leo.

    6 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 7, 2009

    Brilliant, Dazzling...A must read!

    I really loved this book and I definetely recommend it. However, I didn't really understand the ending so much and left me with an incomplete and perplexed feeling...otherwise, great characters, interesting storyline and the best part for me was Leo's humor.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2007

    One of A Kind

    It is true that the book had its confusing moments, but if you were as captivated by the writing as I was, you will try to solve the puzzle before it is explained to you. The book had many characters and each one seemed to have something to relate to, even though they were extremely different people. All of my emotions were played with by the writing to the point where I saw that I had chills after reading the ending. The story was so good I couldn't wait for someone else to read it so I could talk about it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 25, 2012

    Touching beyond belief!

    Touching beyond belief!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2014

    A beautiful and insightful story we can all love

    How did she do it? The mystery and complex plot is one thing, but such characters that you come to know and love (or at least relate to or empathize with), and the poetic prose used to share this incredible story. I could not stop reading, I mourned its ending. I will read this book again and again. Each time, I believe, will provide additional insights and a chance to break my heart over and over again. Did I mention that I am an African-American, Muslim woman?

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  • Posted February 15, 2013

    worth a read

    This book was recommended by a friend I trust dearly in terms of good reads, so I figured I should check it out. Unfortunately, it starts a bit slow and was difficult to get in to, but since he told me to read it, I figured there had to be a reason. It looks at two sides of a similar story, and while both sides have their own perks, it was hard to see how they would overlap and made it a little tough to follow initially. But about halfway through it picks up, and then in the last quarter it just gets amazing and the end is just so incredible that it makes up for any negative feelings at the beginning. It's really a great read, and if you stick with it I promise it will be worth it in the end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2013

    .

    .

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2012

    A lifelong fave

    Krauss has a smooth and inviting prose that enraptures you with the characters from the start. Once you engaged the story unfolds in the right pace.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 1, 2012

    recommend

    I chose this book on the recommendations of several or my "reader" friends who raved about it. I thought the first part was beautifully written and enjoyed it thoroughly. I had difficulty with it on the second half as it was confusing at times which character was speaking. It was the choice of one of my book clubs and we will be discussing it this coming week. I think it will be an interesting discussion.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2012

    I rather liked it

    The last chapter was phenomenal

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2008

    Enjoyable

    I enjoyed the book. Leo, the old man, remind me of my grandpa which made the book ten times better. I liked the open ending of the book because it made me think of possibilities. Plus it made the book real to me for the reason that not all answers are given in life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2007

    Great Read

    If you like novels that you can relate to the characters, this novel is for you. Krausse breathes life into her characters with raw, real emotions that anyone can relate to. This is a top notch novel that I would highly recommend to all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2007

    A reviewer

    Kraus weaves the stories of each character so that they form a web of emotion, complexity, and constant curiosity. Each character is looking to find that one thing that makes them who they are, and I think Kraus perfectly displays the constant struggle to develop your identity and to discover the things that are part of us without our knowledge. I did find some parts less engaging than others, but Kraus makes a comeback towards the end with her creative writing technique. Overall, a stimulating read, not recommended for someone looking for an easy read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2007

    Creative writing style

    Krauss writes a creative page turning tale and the story is narrated by different characters. Things got a little confusing but then everything began to make sense. Krass has an amazing grasp of human nature and emotion and lots of things the characters felt I have also felt in life, feelings of lonliness, belonging, different definitions of 'love,' it is all great. Now that I know how the story goes, I would definitely read it again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2006

    Close to Perfect

    Here's what happened: I read 'Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close,' and when I finished, I went to pick a new book and randomly chose 'The History of Love.' I didn't know about Krauss and Foer at the time. When I was about 3/4 through with 'Love,' I thought, 'Gee, it's as if these two authors got together and laid out a basic plot and said, 'Let's see where each of us takes it.' This is a great book, primarily because it is so well-written. However, not that they should be compared, but I think Foer is much better at creating a likeable character. Also, I prefer to read male leads instead of female leads. But I love how Krauss intertwines the family's stories to create a tapestry of the bigger picture. At points she gets a bit high-brow for my taste, but all in all, it's a fantastic read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2006

    I'm in love with '...Love'

    I bought this book in Brussels, Belgium for 3 reasons: a long flight back to the States, it was one of two books I could find in English and I had a vague recollection of it being positively reviewed when it was first released. I cannot speak highly enough about this book! I fell in love with 'The History of Love' because of the utter devotion of all of the characters to LOVE. Each had their own definition, story of love and way of loving. My only criticism of the book is that it is a bit confusing at first. Once I saw the icon at the beginning of each chapter, I figured out whose voice was speaking. Even the most cynical person will think of their own loves, both present and lost when reading this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2006

    A bitter-sweet read

    The author does a great job of losing you and it is a little difficult to follow. There does come a point, though, where you do become very interested. As the book goes on, a bitter sweet love story unravels, and you learn the truth about the book, 'History of Love.' This book is a little slow, but I recommend to anyone who wants a good read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2006

    Fantabulous

    Great book. At first I was doubtful as to whether or not it would be a good read because of all teh people omplaining that it was confusing, but it's not. It's easy anf flowing, the change of character and scenes just add to the book's effect on the reader. Beautifully worded and funny, yet sad and moving. You go,Nicole Krauss!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2005

    okay

    i thought this was a good book overall, but not all it was hyped up to be...also it skipped around a lot and was kind of confusing throughout the first half of the book...the end made up for it and gave it four stars

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2005

    Better on Tape

    I too was drawn in by the title, but as a commuter, i checked out the book on tape. The characters were much easier to follow and the story progresses much more smoothly when three different narrators are reading it. don't give up on the book. try the book on tape if you are tempted to put the book down unfinished.

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