Genre: book catalogue in a form of fiction. ⭐️Stars from Goodreads: 3.99. ⭐️Stars from me: 4.
What the book is about
It’s about a book store owner who lost his wife and then lost one valuable item from his store, but he has found something else instead. It’s also about a few other people in his life.
What I liked about the story
Claudia McGill found the list of books mentioned in The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry. Thank you for the link Claudia! Just look at this list! A whole library has fit into the book!
When a new character was introduced
I won’t say who it was so as not to spoil it for you, but I found it very unexpected and almost surreal. That’s when I resolved to keep reading the book. I also found the character very charming.
The actual story
It’s pleasant, kind and peaceful but it doesn’t get overly simplistic. It is light, but not silly.
Of course, people had felt sorry for him then, but they had felt too sorry for him.
They held their breath as they walked past the store, like it was a cemetery.
…a theft is an acceptable social loss while a death is an isolating one.
It’s very bookish
It’s a book about books, and about people who live books and breathe books. It feels like the book bloggers and reviewers are actually the target audience of the story.
They had only ever discussed books but what, in this life, is more personal than books?
Infinite Jest is an endurance contest. You manage to get through it and you have no choice but to say you like it.
Who are these people who think a book comes with a guarantee that they will like it?
The protagonist is a long distance runner
Just like yours truly. 😊 This detail doesn’t get too much focus but it’s always nice to relate to something in a book, isn’t it?
There are many challenges to long-distance running, but one of the greatest is the question of where to put one’s house keys.
What I found strange about the book
It feels very distant, as if someone is reciting contents of newspaper clippings. It is especially noticeable when something dramatic or tragic happens.
The shifting point of view
There is no stable point of view. Sometimes you get a bit of a story from one character, then you get another story from someone else. It’s always unpredictable and feels quite chaotic.
Redundant subplots and characters
There are a few characters who seem to be survivors from the first draft. It looks like their roles had got redundant but by the time it became obvious, they turned into close friends and family members, and so it was unethical to get rid of them for the sake of a more structured plot.
Would I recommend this book?
Yes, definitely. If you are looking for a quick and light read that will lead you to more books, you will likely enjoy this book.