Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Illusion of Separateness by Simon Van Booy

I've seen Van Booy's name around the interwebs...it's an interesting name; it lodges in one's brain.  Every time one of his books popped to the forefront, however, I pushed it away: dismissing it as one in a crowd of inordinately popular pieces of fluff.

Boy was I wrong.

Little did I know when I opened my Indiespensable box and saw the unassuming galley lying there that I was about to be exposed to utter exquisiteness.  The writing, the characters, the story—all were wonderful.  From the first words I was hooked.

I've read books before that create a novel from a mix of seemingly unrelated short stories, but none done as beautifully, delicately, and organically as this.  Each sentence urged me to read the next, as if there were a shimmer of wonder cloaking each thought.

Plus, the title is fabulous.  It really serves as a basis for the over-arching theme of the book.  So many times we read (or hear) stories from different times and different places, and we look at them as isolated, confined experiences, but this book challenges the reader to look beyond, to wonder, to strive to be a part of a bigger story - one in which we are all connected whether we realize it or not.

This title is set to be released in June, and it is worth keeping in mind until then.  I'm going to need to buy a copy to loan out, a copy to keep as back-up, etc. etc.   I'm also going to need to read everything else he's every written.  In fact, I chose a collection of his short stories for my book club to read (The Secret Lives of People in Love) and while it wasn't quite as marvelous as The Illusion of Separateness, I still had that conflicting want-to-read-it-all-right-now/don't-want-it-to-ever-end thing happening.  Have you read anything of his?  What do you think?

7 comments:

  1. I've read The Secret Lives of People in love and his novel, Everything Beautiful Began After. Both were just exquisite, and I have this one on my stacks as well. I recommend him to everyone I meet, practically. :)

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    1. I would have loved The Secret Lives of People in Love more if I'd been able to soak up the stories at my own pace...having to read them all in time for book group wasn't the best idea I've had. :) I have Everything Beautiful on its way to me right now! Can't wait. There's something about how he sees the world that is actually, physically, breathtaking. I'm glad to find another fan!

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  2. The cover is definitely beautiful, it reminds me of Pearl Harbor (2001) and the recent Kate Morton The Secret Keeper.

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    1. The cover on my copy was just plain, but this one is so beautiful I'd definitely buy another copy!

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  3. I have one of his books on my kindle... sounds like I should not put it off any longer!

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    1. Ooo, what do you have? Judging from my experience with him so far, I'd say you are in for a treat regardless. :)

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    2. Just had to check... it's Everything Beautiful Began After.

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