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The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion
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The Rise & Fall of Great Powers: A Novel

The Rise & Fall of Great Powers: A Novel - Tom Rachman I think maybe I didn't get it, as far as this book goes. Anyone who loved this book, who happens to read this review and sees that I didn't get it, might think - well, that's because you are an idiot. Maybe so. But anyway.
The book centers around Tooly Zylberberg, the 30-ish owner of a tiny bookshop in a tiny village. The narrative moves between her childhood (some mysteries of which are the driving force of the story), her early twenties, and the current day. I liked the shifting focus, which made the story seem more twisty than it might have otherwise. I liked the way that it allowed events to unfold slowly. I liked the writing, which was fairly straightforward but also quite detailed. I didn't so much like any of the characters - Tooly herself was all right, but sometimes I wanted to get one of her heavy old books and bash her over the head with it.
One of my problems with this story was that about halfway through, I realized I was only halfway through and thought, come on, read faster, get this done. Then, when I did get it done, I found the ending to be not so satisfying. That is also perhaps because I am an idiot, but I want endings to be a certain way and when they're not, it kind of ruins things. Ah well. I received a free advance copy of this book from the Goodreads First Reads program.