Virgil Wander by Leif Enger

Genre: contemporary fiction. ⭐️Stars from Goodreads: 4.26. ⭐️Stars from me: 5.

Some books are like mystical creatures. I don’t know the exact numbers but they are rare. Maybe they are even a disappearing kind, although I hope not.

These books make you slow down and think, but not in a boring, obligatory way. You can fly through the book if you want to, but you will be robbing yourself. Alternatively, you can slow down, pay attention to each phrase, savour it and see it unwrap all the treasures it’s been saving for you.

That’s how good Virgil Wander is.

I like how even the name of the book implies some mythology and unusual characters although the book doesn’t sound pompous or overloading. It is deep, but in a very accessible, reader-friendly way.

Virgil Wander is about many different characters inhabiting a small town. Most of them are loveable, not only because they are special but also because of the things they do and say. There’s an old guy who flies kites. There’s a younger man who plunged his car into cold waters. There’s a sheriff whose cat walks with him everywhere like a dog. There’s also a creepy guy who’s charming and polite, but who scared the life out of me every time he appeared in a scene. I do not know how Leif Enger, the author, managed to achieve this effect. Virgil Wander is one of those books I cannot dismantle to see how it’s done, I can only enjoy it.

The book is really funny but not in a circus way. Its humor is genuine, clever and heartwarming.

I loved the book so much I started tweeting about it straight away. I underlined so many phrases, and now I can return and admire them again. Just look at some of them:

“He had the heartening bulk of the aging athlete defeated by pastry”

“my memories of her are more tender than specific”

“He had a close, curious way of observing people. You could mistake it for admiration.”

“Nothing seemed like the right thing to say, so that’s what I said for a while.”

Aren’t these pure treasures? There’s a whole book of them!

Some moments left me wondering, but not in an annoying open-ending kind of way. The book comes as a package: the book itself and all the thoughts that you will be having after you finish it. I can’t wait till 2nd October when Virgil Wander will be out so that you can read it and we can talk about it. I strongly recommend you do read it.

I’m very thankful to Leif Enger for this wonderful book, and to the publishers for providing me with a copy in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

7 thoughts on “Virgil Wander by Leif Enger

  1. Now this sounds like a book I need to read 😂 Those quotes are so beautiful!? They remind me a lil bit of some Douglas Adams quotes like “the spaceships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t” 😂😂

    1. I was actually doubting to put this line there or not (I usually do, but I liked how the text looked without it). Maybe you caught a drift of my doubts and that’s the effect it had on you 🙂

    1. I haven’t read it yet but I was thinking if I should. I liked Virgil Wander so much I’m afraid I’ll be expecting a lot from his other books. Taking into account that he wrote the previous one a decade ago, it might be very different from this one. You question about the review is very inspiring though 🙂 I think I will read it, after all.

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