The Book of Love: Improvisations on a Crazy Little Thing

The Book of Love: Improvisations on a Crazy Little Thing

2.6 5
by Roger Rosenblatt
     
 

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from roger rosenblatt, author of the acclaimed memoirs making toast, kayak morning, and the boy detective, comes another lyrical meditation on—and celebration of—a universal and elusive subject

In The Book of Love, Roger Rosenblatt looks at love in all its themes and variations—romantic love, courtship, marriage,

Overview

from roger rosenblatt, author of the acclaimed memoirs making toast, kayak morning, and the boy detective, comes another lyrical meditation on—and celebration of—a universal and elusive subject

In The Book of Love, Roger Rosenblatt looks at love in all its themes and variations—romantic love, courtship, marriage, battle, heartbreak, fury, confusion, melancholy, beauty, delirium, ecstasy; love of lovers, family, friends, of country, of work, writing, solitude, of art; love of nature; love of life itself.

Using lines from love songs to create a kind of verbal jazz riff, as infectious as it is engaging, Rosenblatt intersperses thoughts about love and fictional vignettes that capture a variety of lovers in different situations with notes addressed to “you,” his wife of fifty years. “The story I have to tell is of you. Of others, too. Other people, other things. But mainly of you. It begins and ends with you. It always comes back to you.” Pieces follow upon one another in a continuous progression, as if composing one long song that flows through the entire mystery and magic of what it means to love and be in love. What is this thing called love? Lively yet profound, poignant yet joyous, The Book of Love is a triumph of intellect and imagination.

“Forget the flowers and candy. This year’s ultimate Valentine’s Day treat is Roger Rosenblatt’s impressionistic riff on what makes the heart beat faster.” —O, The Oprah Magazine

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Margo Rabb
If the thought of traditional candy hearts and red roses on Valentine's Day makes you want to hide under the covers, The Book of Love may be a heartening companion. The book defies convention: It's part jazzlike improvisation; part prose poem; part mash-up of music, art, literature, history, philosophy and pop culture. Rosenblatt…whips it all into a swirling meditation…for the open-minded reader ready to be taken for a wild, soulful ride.
Kirkus Reviews
2014-11-20
An improvisational, personal meditation on the subject of love. The concept of love can be tricky to pin down. Many definitions include a variation on the feeling of passion—something powerful, inflamed, wild, difficult to control and all-consuming. Intensity, desire and enthusiasm are common to feeling love for something or someone. In this warm, musical exploration on love, Rosenblatt (English and Writing/Stony Brook Univ.; The Boy Detective: A New York Childhood, 2013, etc.) wanders down all of those paths, but he spends extra time examining the idea of being in love. He begins with a story about the Chinese inventing the clock and it being stored away in the emperor's vaults, forgotten. When sailors from France arrived 400 years later with their new invention—the clock—their Chinese hosts were amazed, having never seen anything quite so wonderful. More than 100 pages pass before Rosenblatt tips his hand—"You don't forget something important to you unless it isn't important"—only to show that his cards won't reveal answers, except for the ones we already know but require a new perspective to see. If that sounds vague in an off-putting way, worry not; there's all manner of insight to be found, packed neatly into fewer than 200 pages. Rosenblatt pulls from popular culture, mythology and anecdotal stories to create a mural that is both wide-ranging and focused. "I sympathize with people who seek to create a unity of thought and emotion out of disorder," he writes, "but I also believe that trying to fit parts into a whole makes each component smaller, less interesting and inauthentic." While plenty of writers have tried their hand at capturing the improvisational brilliance of jazz, with varying degrees of success, Rosenblatt's wanderings with the subject of love are like Coltrane at the Village Vanguard. When you hear it, you know.
the Oprah Magazine O
“Forget the flowers and candy. This year’s ultimate Valentine’s Day treat is Roger Rosenblatt’s impressionistic riff on what makes the heart beat faster.”
Elissa Schappell
“Who wrote The Book of Love? This month, it’s Roger Rosenblatt; by interspersing romantic verses with personal and fictional vignettes, he composes a symphony of amore.”
Good Housekeeping
“Interweaving short reflections with notes to his wife of 50 years, Rosenblatt crafts a colorful riff on love in all its forms.”
USA Today
“Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Rosenblatt (The Boy Detective) uses lines from love songs to riff on everybody’s favorite subject.”
Bookreporter.com
“Brimming with lyrical musings and offering uniquely experiential perspectives, THE BOOK OF LOVE is delightfully inventive, imaginative and deep.”
O: the Oprah Magazine
“Forget the flowers and candy. This year’s ultimate Valentine’s Day treat is Roger Rosenblatt’s impressionistic riff on what makes the heart beat faster.”
Booklist
“[This book] could probably be read in one sitting, but it’s too clever, and it dashes here and there, and for many such reasons, it’s a book to savor. Moreover, it can be opened and read at nearly any point. For Rosenblatt—wittily, urbanely, wholeheartedly—is in love…

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062349422
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
01/20/2015
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
1,121,337
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 7.60(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Roger Rosenblatt  is the author of six off-Broadway plays and eighteen books, including Lapham Rising, Making Toast, Kayak Morning and The Boy Detective. He is the recipient of the 2015 Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement.

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The Book of Love: Improvisations on a Crazy Little Thing 2.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Save your money. What a crappy, disjointed, stupid book. Worst book I have ever read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hf
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nice
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Huo
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It makes me freaking sick this book