Anna's Reviews > Crossing Paths - the BookCrossing novel

Crossing Paths - the BookCrossing novel by Debbie Robson
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's review
Dec 23, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: 2010, bookcrossing, bookring

It took a while to finish (while my sister was visiting, I didn't have enough own time to read - I didn't realize how much that affects my mood. Don't ever try to prevent me from spending time with books or computers for that matter. After she returned to Europe it was a few nights straight just read quietly on the bed with the hubby and the cats) this big book. I was on around page 200 when I got interrupted (the visit) and it took a while to get the speed up again with the story.

Debbie's definitely done research for the book. I like the idea of the book a lot, but hmm.. what would I have done differently? Or what do I think of the book now? Hmm... (maybe I'd have contemplated with the idea of a bookcrossing murder story. Imagine your detective go thru cryptic journal entries to find out who did it)

Many of the characters seem to think very much in a same way, very absorbed in their own world in the past, not getting past the death of their relatives/friends/husbands etc. They have similar kind of internal doubting and internal dialog. Jane seems also stuck in her past and internal dialogs when she gets the idea to do this around the world trip releasing (only) eight books. Why does she feel the urge to reinvent herself as Ali and then Sarah? What did really happen for Jane's late husband and why is she so stuck in the past? Those are among the thins that keep one wondering what will happen next (or rather what happened first). When she travels she doesn't seem to get excited about the things as a tourist would. The coffee should be different, all the small things people do and how everything smells and tastes should be different. (The sky was different color, but still...)

I wonder also how do non-bookcrossers see the hobby or the bcers after reading the book? I've met a bunch of bookcrossers (and been in meetings of them) in three countries. Unless I'm with the most hardcore hobbyist many concepts (conventions etc) would go beyond what they know of or are interested in. Stalking Following people because their journal entries or release notes are weird? All books that were released get captured? I guess a book can't get open leads, unlike the real life (where a 20 % catch rate for the truly wild books is good). And why are all the books classic literature (or at least I didn't recognize anything that would have been published first in the past 10 years)? Ok - to make the release statistics more realistic would have left way too many open ends, so perhaps it can happen differently in a book.
Most journal entries were in 2004. I'm trying to think what your average joes and janes would have done back then - wouldn't most people have had if not Facebook at least Myspace or some similar online presence?
The list of real life bookcrossers and books that are in this book is impressive. But most books seem to be classic literature - what happened to the books 'most people' read?

The book is huge, and has 600 pages, too heavy to read on the idle moments out of the handbag. Overall I liked it, but it would have been even better being a bit shorter, with more (and outrageous) external (rather than internal) action, maybe more travelogue or travel observations. More drama! And something of the writing style of Maeve Binchy would work awesomely with this story. And I definitely love the idea of a bookcrossing book.
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