Monday, March 24, 2014
I think concept books like this tend to triumph or fall flat -- there is rarely a middle ground. This one triumphs. We get snapshots of A.J.'s life, and the book is short, but the snapshots expose just enough to be illuminating. In addition, A.J. Fikry's life is bizarre enough to be interesting; normal enough to be believable.
The writing is beautiful and the book love is palpable. And you know how us bookish types love to read about other bookish types. I was actually unfamiliar with all of the short stories referenced in the book and am now going through them slowly, and slowly seeing how they further beautify the book. I know it would never happen with copyright laws, but it would be truly awesome to have a book that alternates the stories with the chapters.
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry is a short, beautiful love letter to books and a tale of an extraordinary (and also ordinary) life. If you are a book lover or literary fiction fan, I think you will enjoy it.
Warnings: Profanity, off-the-page sensuality