The World to Come
This book amazed me. I borrowed it from a friend...more
I already hated this novel when the absurdity was suddenly amplifie...more
My english teacher in high school taught me that everything is a copy of a previous work- you learn and expand on ideas and theories from the past. Horn does exactly this. She takes previous ideas, already written stories, and historical events and makes them her own. Once I thought about it and it's significance t...more
Other than that, I don’t really know what to say. I am still reflecting and absorbing the things Horn writes about, and the way in which she writes about them. This is the newest member of my “best books ever” li...more
Horn takes a real art world heist as a starting point, but moves on...more
At first blush, The Word To Come is about an eccentric Jewish family (originally from Russia) dealing the thefts (historical and contemporary) of a Chagall painting. That part of the story is well crafted and tender. But embedded in that nar...more
Dara Horn revels in jumping from era to era, which often leads to a dizzy comingling of narratives, but also reinforces the theme of eternal return. So e...more
This is a book that requires contemplation. There are so many different threads woven throughout the book. Stories within stories within stories. My only complaint is that the book was unevenly written. Certain parts are so beautifully written and engaging... at times I felt like I had picked up a different book entirely. But towards the middle, it began to drag... slowly. My attention wavered. The focus of the book shifted and suddenly I wasn't as interested. Unfortunately the "modern" day stor...more
At the center of the story is Benjamin Ziskind, a former child prodigy who now spends his days writing questions for a television trivia show. After Ben’s twin sister Sara forces him to attend a singles cocktail part...more
Some of the folklore was captivating-- the story of th...more
The stories and the characters w...more
This was like that, except a lot of the imagery wasn't particularly heart-breaking, the writing wasn't particularly good, and there were a lot of loose ties left at the end of the novel.
More than anything, I didn't end up caring about any of these characters.
However, while I enjoyed the long Vietnam section, as well as some portions of Benjamin's growing-up, I wasn't there on some other parts. The Der Nister sections were weirdly overwrought, and the long afterlife/pre-life block at the end was a combination of hippie-tastic, faux-mystical, and overly precious that just didn't work for me.
I think that,...more
It starts out with Benjamin Ziskind. He's at a singles cocktail party at the New York Hebraic Museum when he happens upon a study painting by Marc Chag...more
I read one of my favourite lines in the book today, that gave me a chill.
"Every pregnant woman was carrying the dead" pg 178. It might sound like a morbid notion, but in the context of the nove...more
Inspired by a true story of a Chagall painting that was stolen from the Jewish Museum in New York in 2001 (which later turned up), The World to Come is at once a mystery, Jewish history and folklore, biography, philosophical treatise, love story, and fantastical adventure. Horn, a scholar of Hebrew and Jewish literature, has produced a surfeit of riches. With elegance and sympathy, she interweaves multiple stories about Yiddish literature, Stalinist Russia, Ben's father's Vietnam service, and th...more
All of thi...more