21st Century Literature discussion

The History of Love
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2013 Book Discussions > The History of Love - Leopold (Leo) Gursky, Spoilers Allowed (June 2013)

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Thing Two (thingtwo) Leo is preoccupied with death and becoming invisible -- where he'll die, how he'll die, and who will find him -- and yet he has such a great sense of humor about it.


Lily | 30 comments Leo was my favorite character. My heart broke for him and his need to not be invisible and his fear of just disappearing. I think the saddest part of his invisibility was the fact that this book he had written had significantly affected people's lives but Leo the man was insignificant and unknown.


Donna (drspoon) Leo is one of my favorite literary characters ever! Quite possibly there is a very strong relatability factor for me as I am of a "certain age." Yes, he has a sense of humor and a remarkable resilency, and yet...


Thing Two (thingtwo) LOL! And yet ...


Deirdre I agree, Leo is a wonderful character. I love when he describes his friend Bruno's hair like a 'half-blown daffodil' and that he's tempted to blow on his head and make a wish. Something so endearing about that.


Karen Roman | 12 comments I can't remember a character I loved more than I love Leo Gursky. Krauss did a remarkable job of bringing him to life. He reminds me in many ways of people I've known and loved, and in many ways of people I've never known but wished I had.

His vulnerability is heart-breaking, at times. There are things he says and does that remind me of myself, and the way I felt when I lost my husband. Strangely enough, there are many things about him that remind me of my late husband, although they are not very much alike.

This character is able to creep deeply into my self, and attach itself to all the parts of me that have loved, lost, and longed. That's quite an accomplishment. Krauss' Gursky is nothing like me or anyone I've known, and yet stands as an undeniable emblem of so many of the people I have loved, and so many of the ways that I have loved and lost.

Wow.

I wouldn't have read this if the group hadn't selected it. I avoid most fiction that smacks of "romance" in any way. This was less about romance, and more about the truth of being human.

Thanks, guys. :)


Thing Two (thingtwo) I'm so happy you liked it! I'm not much of a romance reader either, AND YET I felt I needed to read something by the wife of Jonathan Safran Foer.


Lily | 30 comments Karen wrote: " This was less about romance, and more about the truth of being human.
"


YES. I think you perfectly stated what this book is really about.


Donna (drspoon) Karen wrote: "I can't remember a character I loved more than I love Leo Gursky. Krauss did a remarkable job of bringing him to life. He reminds me in many ways of people I've known and loved, and in many ways ..."

I totally agree - loved Leo!


Deirdre I love Karen's reaction above, and really think it sums up everything Leo is about. I had avoided this book until now because the title put me off, but so glad it was nominated and I got to read it.


LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 2318 comments Leo was a great character. I was stunned when I realized that Bruno was not actually alive. How lonely Leo must have been.


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