Review: A Novel Bookstore, by Laurence Cossè
"For as long as literature has existed, suffering, joy, horror, grace, and everything that is great in humankind has produced great novels. These exceptional books are often not very well-known, and are in constant danger of being forgotten, and in today’s world, where the number of books being published is considerable, the power of marketing and the cynicism of business have joined forces to keep those extraordinary books indistinguishable from millions of insignificant, not to say pointless books.
But those masterful novels are life-giving. They enchant us. They help us to live. They teach us. It has become necessary to come to their defense and promote them relentlessly, because it is an illusion to think that they have the power to radiate all by themselves. …
We want necessary books, books we can read the day after a funeral, when we have no tears left from all our crying, when we can hardly stand for the pain; books that will be there like loved ones when we have tidied a dead child’s room and copied out her secret notes to have them with us, always, and breathed in her clothes hanging in the wardrobe a thousand times, and there is nothing left to do; books for those nights when no matter how exhausted we are we cannot sleep, and all we want is to tear ourselves away from obsessive visions; books that have heft and do not let us down …
We have no time to waste on insignificant books, hollow books, books that are here to please.
We want books that are written for those of us who doubt everything, who cry over the least little thing, who are startled by the slightest noise.
We want books that cost their authors a great deal, books where you can feel the years of work, the backache, the writer’s block, the author’s panic at the thought that he might be lost; his discouragement, his courage, his anguish, his stubbornness, the risk of failure that he has taken.
We want splendid books, books that immerse us in the splendor of reality and keep us there; books that prove to us that love is at work in the world next to evil, right up against it, at times indistinctly, and that it always will be, just the way that suffering will always ravage hearts. We want good novels.
We want books that leave nothing out; neither human tragedy nor everyday wonders, books that bring fresh air to our lungs
And even if there is only one such book per decade, even if there is only one … every ten years, that would be enough. We want nothing else."
crafted editions of good books - they're most welcome.
Like most good books, this one has a little bit of everything - romance, heartache (those two, however, And it aspires to be only what it is - un bon roman, rich in character and poise.
It's the story of some idyllic owners of an idyllic bookstore - one that aspires to only sell good books. journalists, bibliophiles. Hell, I would shop there. But it also attracts a lot of negative energy.
Like Jane Eyre or Harry Potter, the book store is the titular hero of its story - it embodies goodness. In with an endless supply of vitriol and ill-humor, driven by jealousy, pride and conceit.
There is a thriller at the core, but it's so much more than that. To borrow a bias from the novel, this is not lyrics, the kind of fairytale that can only exist in reality.
It is purely, simply, without inhibition, without being violent or explicit, a good novel... a pleasurable