Crossings by Alex Landragin

Crossings by Alex Landragin

Alex Landragin brings his debut offering to the blog – an utterly unique tale with

Crossings  

To say that this book is unique doesn’t quite go far enough, and while you can read it traditionally (from back to front), the story truly starts to fall into place when you follow the author’s instructions and read the books following the information in the preface, The Baroness Sequence.  Both ways illustrate Landragin’s massive undertaking in the plotting of this story – where many (not quite all) loose ends are tied up neatly after the second read.  And I did read it twice, with several questions that went unanswered logically until I read per the ‘suggestion’ of the author. 

This is a tale of three people, two of whom have shorter ‘stories’ within the book and the Baroness’ tale is spread over a far longer time. Essentially a story of soul transfer, and whether or not the “occupied’ body is aware of the ‘inhabitation.  As a concept, it is an amazing one, allowing the transferring soul to work through issues or problems, and moving the body forward through life with input (or not) from previous experience.  With the Baroness’ story, we get 7 incarnations managing to tie in many of the unanswered questions from the other 2 stories –but not all. Wholly atypical in telling with an ending that has many open possibilities, leaving the reader with questions or possibilities fueled by their own imaginations, both ways to read the story were enjoyable and left me with plenty of food for thought.  

I will say that I had to put this story down frequently and come back to it often, finding that the numerous characters (major and minor) introduced often left me a bit confused as to who was whom, particularly when inhabited.  But, a quick re-read of a paragraph or two and the pieces started to fall into place, and I will say that the suggested reading order allowed me to enjoy the character voices, the unique personalities that shone brighter and the cleverness of the construct of this novel.  A bit of a let-down in terms of resolution, I still found the story engaging and far more of a ‘reader’s delight’ than I expected, and the complexity of the plotting, particularly for a debut author, shows great promise for the future.  

Crossings by Alex Landragin

Title: Crossings
Author: Alex Landragin
Genre: Literary Fiction, Magical Realism
Published by: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 9781250259059
Published on: 28 July, 2020
Format:eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 384
Audio Length: 24 Hours: 24 minutes
Rated: four-stars
Get Your Copy: Amazon Barnes&Noble iTunes Kobo Downpour IndieBound GoogleAudibleDirect from Publisher
See this Title on Goodreads

Crossings is an unforgettable and explosive genre-bending debut--a novel in three parts, designed to be read in two different directions, spanning a hundred and fifty years and seven lifetimes.

On the brink of the Nazi occupation of Paris, a German-Jewish bookbinder stumbles across a manuscript called Crossings. It has three narratives, each as unlikely as the next. And the narratives can be read one of two ways: either straight through or according to an alternate chapter sequence. The first story in Crossings is a never-before-seen ghost story by the poet Charles Baudelaire, penned for an illiterate girl. Next is a noir romance about an exiled man, modeled on Walter Benjamin, whose recurring nightmares are cured when he falls in love with a storyteller who draws him into a dangerous intrigue of rare manuscripts, police corruption, and literary societies. Finally, there are the fantastical memoirs of a woman-turned-monarch whose singular life has spanned seven generations. With each new chapter, the stunning connections between these seemingly disparate people grow clearer and more extraordinary.

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

 

 

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