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Crossings

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  220 ratings  ·  66 reviews
LONGLISTED FOR THE INDIE BOOK AWARD FOR DEBUT FICTION 2020

I didn't write this book. I stole it...


A Parisian bookbinder stumbles across a manuscript containing three stories, each as unlikely as the other.

The first, 'The Education of a Monster', is a letter penned by the poet Charles Baudelaire to an illiterate girl. The second, 'City of Ghosts', is a noir romance set in
...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published May 28th 2019 by Picador Australia
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Kelsey I'd recommend reading it the Baronness way first and then the other way if you want to read it again.…moreI'd recommend reading it the Baronness way first and then the other way if you want to read it again. (less)
Jennifer I think the author would love this as well! It would make him very financially secure! But it has to be picked up by someone in that industry with…moreI think the author would love this as well! It would make him very financially secure! But it has to be picked up by someone in that industry with funding who wants to make it into a series or film because they believe it will be a success. (less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  220 ratings  ·  66 reviews


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Nicki Markus
May 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Crossings was an inventive and captivating read. In the end I decided to read the work in the back-and-forth approach, and I enjoyed seeing how the stories within the three distinct works intertwined. This is a book that would have taken a lot of planning, and, being a pantster myself, I applaud Landragin for that. The characters and situations are interesting, and I particularly appreciated the way historical personages and events wove through the narrative. In the future I would like to reread ...more
Athena (OneReadingNurse)
Nov 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you so much to St Martin's Press for the early copy! It is the uncorrected manuscript form so if I mention something that doesn't make sense in a later version, this could be why!

The first word that comes to my blown mind after finishing this book is "epic". I read it in the Baroness sequence, so it read as a pair of lovers' souls that are body hopping across countries and centuries trying to right the wrong they did by stealing bodies in the first place. The reviews I think will be very
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Wendy
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, read it in the “choose your adventure mode” and will now read it in the the three different manuscripts,
Ruth
Jun 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm a big fan of The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle (Stuart Turton), The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August (Claire North) and The Starless Sea (Erin Morgenstern). This feels like Australia's answer to those books and I loved it!

This book is three novellas that can be taken as completely seperate stories. However there's an alternative way of reading it where you jump from chapter to chapter across the three stories to read one cohesive novel. Don't worry, this is all explained in the
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Kelsey
4.5! Debating whether to give this a five. Brilliant concept, pretty awesome execution. Some formatting issues in the digital format, but I assume those will be fixed by publication date.
Peter Spence
Aug 31, 2019 rated it liked it
If the supernatural element can be set aside, this a good, bouncy read touching on the ethics and arrogance of French religious colonialism in the 19th century. It is also a love story about the global search for a lost lover.
Kate
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Y'all this book is pure gold.

There are two ways from which you can choose to read it, or go crazy and read it twice, once each way!
You can read it is if it were a normal book (which it is, kinda, but also isn't) cover to cover. If you choose this way the book reads as a series of loosely connected short story collections. Or, you can read it the Baroness Sequence Pagination, aka seemingly all over the place; however, this way, it reads as a novel brilliantly weaving together generations of
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The Starry Library
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
'Crossings' is a layered story about the perilous journey of souls, eyes, book binding, and poetry. It’s an inventive book that can be read two ways. The first way is called ‘The Baroness Sequence’ which beings on page 150 and at the end, prompts you to the next chapter in the book. This way, it can be read as a time travel tale, hopping from different characters and time periods, linked together with details that writes its own over-arching story within the book. The second way to read the book ...more
Neelam Babul
Jun 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Crossings is an inventive and captivating read with three distinct stories intertwined into one great story. It is confusing to keep track of all that is going on in the story but it is worth a read.
Malvina
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a tricksy book containing three stories, with two ways of reading it. Firstly, you can read it chronologically, turning the pages. Or, you can read it following the 'Baroness' sequence, and you start on page 150 and flip back and forth through the story, a bit like a read-your-own adventure as it points to different chapters next - and thus provides a different interpretation. Either way, it's an astonishing tour de force. The 'crossings' of the title refer to metempsychosis of the ...more
Magpie
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Kath bookclub 2020
Cheryl bookclub 2019
Janet
When it is snowy and cold outside (and my car is buried under 2ft of ), superspeed readers like me can read 250+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. LOL

I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review.

From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do .

Alex Landragin's Crossings is
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Marilyn
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book to be unusual and captivating. I chose to read this book in the conventional way because I had noticed many of the other readers had read it in the “choose your adventure” mode, and I wanted to see the story from another perspective. I am looking forward to rereading it in the secondary way as it will give the book an even more inventive twist as each story relates to the others from a new perspective.

I received this book as an advanced copy from the publishers in exchange for
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Blair
Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Debut novel from Australian author. It's high concept and lots of fun, with plot that involves transference of souls/identities over time and includes Charles Baudelaire and Walter Benjamin as significant characters. It has a Hopscotch-style reading path that you can follow in lieu of reading chronologically; I imagine most people will follow that. It's a little gimmicky, sure, but the 'crossings' the reader undertakes fit in thematically.
Jill
Dec 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Despite the challenges of keeping track of time periods and ever-changing characters I thought this was a fascinating read and I will definitely be re-reading it from the alternative perspective.
Eugenie
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading this book immensely. I read it in the Baroness sequence. It was fascinating to see how the stories intertwined with each other and came together at the end. If you liked David Mitchell's The Cloud Atlas, you will love this book.
Reese
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-reads
This book was a surprise. I wanted to love it as the synopsis is exactly my favorite and it totally lived up to my hopes. It’s an excellent story, well written if at times a bit too descriptive and long winded. But it was so originally done that I am blown away. I absolutely loved it. It was so inventive. Like a mix of those pick your own story books I read as a kid (of course I read it as the novel because that’s my jam over short stories - and I highly recommend doing that as well. One caveat ...more
BetweenShadesofBooks
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A very unique and ingenious novel! Alex Langradin surely hit the jackpot with my reading tastes! I loved the writing, and the plot. I felt like the story kind of spoke to me. Also, I highly recommend keeping the cover on the book, because I think that’s what draws people to read it.
The Starry Library
'Crossings' is a layered story about the perilous journey of souls, eyes, book binding, and poetry. It’s an inventive book that can be read two ways. The first way is called ‘The Baroness Sequence’ which beings on page 150 and at the end, prompts you to the next chapter in the book. This way, it can be read as a time travel tale, hopping from different characters and time periods, linked together with details that writes its own over-arching story within the book. The second way to read the book ...more
Kerry Pickens
Jan 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2020
This is an interesting book for many reasons. One is that it provides the option of what order you want to read the chapters in. The term "crossings" refers to souls changing bodies, which is the the theme of the book as the main characters cross bodies several times in order to chase immortality. I read the book by the consecutive chapter numbers, and really loved the first half of the book which takes place in Paris. The second half of the book takes place in New Orleans and deals with ...more
Sharon
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
In brief

Crossings is a novel full of wonder. It asks you to suspend disbelief and take the author's hand as you plunge into a fascinating chase across time and continents. And I loved it.

I am a huge fan of magical realism and I very much enjoyed the creative premise of Crossings. It's hard to say much without spoiling the story, but essentially the plot revolves around three souls who have moved from their own bodies into those of others, and not returned, in contravention of an ancient law. So
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Tracee
Aug 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Not sure about this book. I was originally drawn to it by the novelty of the 'baroness sequence'. I don't know if it added to the story at all - I found it confusing to keep track of the various characters and crossings, making it harder work than it needed to be. That said, I still liked the overall story, and would like to read this again in the future, in the conventional way, to see if the story feels any different
B.
Sep 20, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There are several issues with this book.

1. Reading the alternate order is virtually impossible in the format presented in the uncorrected bound manuscript. One must get page flags, flag the alternate pagination at the end of each section, and then make separate notes of what the actual starting page number is for each alternate section, though the alternate pagination is present at the conclusion of each section. While this might work for an e-book, with clickable links, the logistics required
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brettlikesbooks
Oct 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: brettlikesbooks
big thanks to @stmartinspress for sending me this advance copy of the fantastical:
CROSSINGS by alex landragin (fiction) this inventive book spanning decades, countries, and some familiar characters mashes up intrigue, history, romance, and the concept of soul-traveling + super fun and wholly unique—it has a choose-your-own-adventure quality, in that you can read it in the conventional fashion OR bouncing around through a series of connected stories, strung together in a fascinating way

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Laura
Nov 18, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
Thanks to St. Martin's Press for an uncorrected bound manuscript of Crossings. Unfortunately, I did not enjoy this book. I found it confusing and I didn't really care about the characters. I know I am in the minority here, but to each his own!
BetweenShadesofBooks
I truly loved this splendid and creative novel! A wonderful delight to devour! Glad to have won this.
Ann Hamer
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
Made the mistake of trying to read this following the baroness...
Daniella
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kiwiflora
Oct 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
There are two types of readers in the world: those who like their stories told page by page, so that you always know where you are up to, or those who like the idea of taking a risk and reading a book in a quite different way - you get to the end of a chapter, and told to go either forwards or backwards to read the next piece of the story. Of course you never then know where exactly you are up to! Once you start, it is probably difficult to go back to reading the book in the conventional way - ...more
Fred
Oct 12, 2019 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this supernatural tale of star-crossed lovers uniting and reuniting through time. I was impressed with the writer's scope of the historical eras, the glimpses into such various places as the South Pacific, France, the American Old West, etc. There are tales within tales, and it's all done very masterfully for a first novel. I read this via the Baroness sequence, and was very happy I did so, as everything pulls together nicely. The plot involving Joubert was a nice touch, adding a sense ...more
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“Character is destiny, according to Shakespeare. And yet our bodies, above all our faces, are so bound up with how others perceive us, one might say that, especially for a woman, they are just as powerful an influence over our destinies. Our faces influence the perceptions others hold of us, and those perceptions influence, in turn, our character.” 2 likes
“The Law’s greatest gift was the crossing. To look into the eyes of another, to sense the stirring of one’s soul, to be transported into the body of the other and dwell therein until the time came for the return crossing--this was the treasure the Law had bestowed upon us.” 1 likes
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