I knew nothing of the hype surrounding this book until I had already gotten through a nice-sized chunk of it. I picked it up on a whim out of interest...moreI knew nothing of the hype surrounding this book until I had already gotten through a nice-sized chunk of it. I picked it up on a whim out of interest in the elements of 1) reincarnation, and 2) medieval Germany, coming together in a modern setting with reunited lovers separated by centuries. It is an engaging read, swiftly paced, contrasting between cynical narration and sentimental heartstring-twanging.
I would have enjoyed reading the same story much more, however, if the main characters weren't conveniently wealthy, despite their questionable pasts. The narrator begins life with nothing, but makes good for himself with a lucrative career in pornography, which provides him with enough funds to cover his medical care after a devastating accident. His porno company goes bankrupt as his hospital bills pile up, but a millionairess who just happens to be staying in the same hospital shows up right on time, and is willing to lend her fortune to his care, and feeds him ridiculously posh feasts, and lets him live in her castle. You know, since they were lovers a few hundred years ago. That, I can buy. It is more difficult for me to believe that both characters, he with his troubled childhood, and she with her mysterious, blank past, are able to pull highly successful businesses out of their bottoms, thus the issue of money is non-existent to their survival and plot development. They have all the filthy lucre they need at their disposal, and are free to pursue Tearjerker Storyteller Hour without hindrance.
Call me sadistic, but I would have cared more for the characters as people, and would have found their love story and life story more compelling and vital, if they had been just slightly more economically challenged, like most people in their situation would have been, pornographers and sculptresses alike. But oh well - practicality and epic love wink at each other with opposite eyes, eh?(less)