Bry's Reviews > The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet

The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet by Reif Larsen
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's review
Aug 02, 2009

it was ok
bookshelves: 2009, adventure
Read in August, 2009

** spoiler alert ** Not really sure how to classify this book. It's not a mystery, not really young adult, it has so many facts in it that it could almost pass in some parts as non-fiction. It is definitely a work that walks the lines between the genres and does it quite well.

I do find it hard to sit down and start reading it but once I do I will get through quite a few pages. The only problem is that if I let the book sit, which I have done quite a number of times, I don't have much of a desire to return to it.

I will finish it though! I am determined. TS is quite the character and the illustrations are beyond amazing. They help add so much to the back stories and the characters that otherwise the reader never know or else the book would be a 10 volume set.


Finally finished after forcing myself to sit down and be done with it. And frankly the more I think back on this book the more annoyed I get with it. The first half was so wonderful with all these back stories, complex relationships, explanations...but then you are this train ride and the story somewhat deteriorates into minute tidbits without much of a connecting plot. Then he gets to D.C. and the plot becomes crazy far fetched with the secret society and the revelation that every one knew about this trip all along. (Maybe someone should have kept a closer eye on him in Chicago.)

Maye I just didn't get enough closure in the end I guess. I was just left wanting. Don't get me wrong, you get to know a ton about the parents in the last few pages, but it just seemed too little too late to me in the end. Did the mom really write all that about Emma? Was any of it even true? Does T.S.'s relationships with his parents change after this trip? Does he continue on with his maps, or did the bureaucracy of it all drain it from him? Does he end up like Emma herself and retreat back to the country side and give up his intellectual pursuits? Not to mention all the far reaching coincidences in the last few chapters with the 'secret society'. Where did they even come from?

I mean seriously. You don't even get a reunion between T.S. and his mom or Gracie.

All in all I was so excited when I found this book, even paid cover price because I couldn't wait to get home and start reading it. It's reviews were awesome, and the hype seemed well deserved. But in the end I'm disappointed. The only saving grace were the incredible illustrations and maps which were out of this world. Although in the middle of the book when it was at its most boring I was even skimming these to move through the story more quickly.

It was an incredibly unique format with T.S.'s perspective which was totally awesome (although a bit annoying at times), but in the end with the plot just ending as it did so abruptly with so many unanswered questions it fell short of my expectations.

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