Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Book Review: The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

 Book: The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Genre: Magic realism

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ 

As with all magic realism books, sometimes I have a hard time wrapping my head around what's going on, because it can all be very confusing. This book is no exception to this, but the thing is.. I didn't care! Because everything is just so beautiful and poetic and romantic and... just... cool. Pretty sure I'm not going to be able to find words to describe this one!

We have our guy Zachary, who is a book nerd type minding his own business at college, when one day he finds a book in the library. The first weird thing happens when he tries to check it out and they have no record of the book, so that's weird. But they let him take it and then the second weird thing happens when he's reading and he realizes he is in the book. It talks about a time when he was a kid and he saw a door painted on the side of a wall, and he didn't take hold of the knob and open it. 

And then the story ends with the words "not yet." 

And that "not yet" haunts him and he becomes obsessed trying to figure out where this book came from and why he is in the story. If he needs to find and open that door. This leads him to attend a literary costume party where he meets a girl dressed up like Max from Where the Wild Things Are... and he meets a dude who tells him a story in the dark... and afterwards he is entrusted to the task of trying to reclaim yet another book for this dude... and then he finds himself totally mixed up in a fantastical magical world that all takes place deep deep in the Earth.

Which is where the Starless Sea can be found of course.

And it's down there in this world that he discovers all sorts of interesting and crazy stories, and stories within stories, and layers upon layers. It's really quite a beautiful word, full of books, and cats, and food, and art and very romantic beautiful people. 

I'm still not sure if there was supposed to be a point to this book. If all these things were a symbolism for something. If so, it went over my head, but like I said...it didn't matter. I totally enjoyed this journey.

I will add that the structure of the book is fun. There are five or six parts, each one features a different book that Zachary happens upon, so we get that book's story, told in between Zachary's story. And in the end we see how they all come together. Very fun.

I think if you are a fan of her previous book, The Night Circus, you really must read this one too. 

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