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The History of Love Hardcover – 26 May 2005

4.1 out of 5 stars 130 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Viking; First Edition edition (26 May 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670915548
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670915545
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 2.6 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 539,922 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'A bewitching novel, it brims with all manner of romantic possibility and luminous connection' -- Harpers and Queen

'A new star in the literary firmament... one of the most touching stories you are ever likely to read' -- In Style

'Characters fly off the page and into your consciousness' -- Good Housekeeping

'Charming, tender and wholly original' -- J.M.Coetzee

'Her distinctive voice is both plangent and wry, and her imagination encompasses many worlds' -- Publishers Weekly

'This is a wonderful novel, erupting with life . . . building to a perfect, heartbreaking end' -- Daily Mail

Poignant and evocative...the writing is beautiful... the twists and turns keep you riveted until the last page' -- Easy Living

‘Vertiginously exciting . . . vibrantly imagined . . . Ms. Krauss's work is illuminated by the warmth and delicacy of her prose’ -- New York Times

From the Publisher

Described by JM Coetzee as ‘charming, tender and wholly original’, an extract from The History of Love appeared in the New Yorker earlier this year. Nicole Krauss is one of the most exciting writers to have emerged from America in recent years and The History of Love is truly unforgettable: wonderfully funny, vivid and heartbreaking in equal measure.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Intricately woven around the story of a book within the book, are the two worlds' of a fifteen-year-old girl called Alma Singer, and an old man called Leo Gursky, living their separate lives across New York City.

Without giving too much away (I hope!), following a theme of "lost loves" both characters strive to fill a void of emptiness and loneliness left by the departure of a loved one. Leo Gursky, epitomises the endurance of a love so all-encompassing that 60 years on from his adolescent dream a long time ago in Poland at the start of the war, he yet spends his days contemplating his lost love, his childhood sweetheart, and conspicuously drawing attention to himself in public, by knocking over shop displays, to assure himself of his existence.

At the same time, we follow the efforts of Alma Singer, desperate to ease her mother's loneliness, after the death of her father several years previously. Alma sets out to find the author of an old book her mother is translating into English at the request of an unknown stranger...

Beautfully written, there is plenty of earthy humour and sadness to take you on an enchanting and emotional journey, from war-time Poland to present day New York.
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Format: Paperback
Rarely have I read a book as enchanting and as superbly written as The History of Love. This is a spellbinding book about what it is to be human and what it can be to love. The stories told are as fascinating as the characters within. Be it an old man postponing death or a young girl postponing life the characters in this book weave stories that are achingly human and colossal at the same time. It’s a story within a story within a story that has inevitably become part of my own story and my own history of love. A book like no other.
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Format: Hardcover
Nicole Krauss' "History Of Love" is one of the most poignant and beautiful novels I have read in many moons - dare I say years? I do not exaggerate. Her prose is pure poetry, and her writing is a wonderful example of literature as an art form. Although this is not a Holocaust novel, per se, the Shoah casts a long shadow over the narrative. "And yet," I think the book is much more a remembrance of those who died, a memorial of sorts, than a book about death. Actually, the themes here are love, survival and loss. I shed many a tear while reading, sometimes because of the author's exquisite use of language, and others because of a character's terrible sadness, but I found myself bursting into laughter more often than not at the wonderful humor. Some of the dialogue is especially witty. Oddly, I was reminded of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's work. Perhaps the sense of wonder Ms. Krauss conveys, along with elements of fantasy which intertwine with reality, form a kind of Jewish magical realism.
"The first woman may have been Eve, but the first girl will always be Alma." So wrote young, aspiring author Leopold Gursky. He actually wrote three books before he was twenty-one, before WWII invaded his hometown of Slonim, which was located "sometimes in Poland, and others in Russia." Now, years later in Brooklyn, NY, Leo has no idea what happened to his manuscript, "The History Of Love," his most important work. He wrote the novel about the only thing he knew, his love for Alma. "Once upon a time there was a boy and a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering." He continued to write their story long after Alma's father sent her to America, where she would be safe from the Nazis. He even wrote after the Germans pushed East, toward his home.
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By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 1 Jan. 2006
Format: Paperback
"He was a great writer. He fell in love. It was his life." While those are the final words of Nicole Krauss's illuminating second novel, "The History of Love," those three short sentences only highlight what I knew all along. This a unique book, haunting and quietly funny, and which leaves you thinking about memories, about death, and about love.

Leo Gursky has a weak heart, and may die at any moment. Virtually no one knows him, and his own son never even knew of him; he drops his change and buys things, just so someone might remember him when he dies. Sixty years ago, he fled Nazi-occupied Poland to pursue a childhood sweetheart to America, but she thought he had died, and married someone else.

Before that happened, Leo wrote a exquisite ode to her, called the "History of Love," a fictional look at love's origins, its milestones, and at a mysterious girl called Alma. A copy of that book found its way into teenage Alma's household, and she was named after that mysterious woman. Now, as her grief-stricken mother translates one of the few copies into English, Alma sets out on a journey of discovery -- about the mystery author, the person who wants the translation, and the mysterious original Alma.

Nicole Krauss writes much like her husband Jonathan Safran Foer -- she also takes a look at the past and present, at immigrants, and at the journies of our elders. And the insights she shows about the nature of love, and the intersections of life and literature, are startlingly deep. Many longtime authors can only dream of such delicate sensibilities.

The writing itself is surprisingly fluid, considering that Krauss changes narrators and timeframes several times, and sometimes refers to one character by different names.
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