Yes, yes – I FINALLY read this book. People have been talking about it for ages, I feel like I’m the last one to read it! But I just finished it this morning, and despite the risk that people will come after me with pitchforks… I didn’t love it. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it.
Okay, so here’s the basic premise – unnamed cocaine-addicted pornographer crashes and gets severely burned, but lives. In the hospital, he meets crazy-lady Marianne Engel, who claims that he and her were lovers in the 1300’s, and she tells him stories and overall helps him to heal.
In the beginning, I was really put off by the narrator’s blunt and kind of vulgar descriptions of his pre-crash life. It really seemed like the author was trying to shock me into continuing to read, and by page 50 this was really starting to get annoying and I almost quit. But then Marianne comes in and the book got a whole lot better from there.
I loved the stories that Marianne told, both of her past life and her random love tales spread throughout. I wish I could just buy a copy of the love tales, because they were great. Marianne’s story of her past life and how she met the unnamed narrator was really entrancing, and I appreciated that the narrator did research to try to confirm or deny what she told him.
Now, here’s my main issues with the book… some slight spoilers ahead….
I just wasn’t feeling the love between Marianne and our crispy narrator. And I find it hard to believe that he went from super-jerk to kind-hearted that quickly. There didn’t seem to be much transition, and there didn’t seem to be a real reason that he would’ve fallen in love with Marianne. She was pretty and told cool stories, but I don’t know… just didn’t seem believable. Also, they never really explained how she found him and knew he was her ex-lover, and didn’t explain what the hell she had been doing for 700 years if her story was true (which it seems like we’re supposed to believe it is).
Anywho, I liked Marianne and the side stories were cool – it was really the narrator that kept me from loving this book. Honestly, I don’t get what all the fuss is about.