The House of Paper was a book that caught my attention after all the good comments I’ve heard about it. As I usually do, I decided that it would be better to keep it in the library and read after all the hype is gone.
The simple book cover, illustrations and the blurb kept me curious. Finally, I finished it last night in a sitting. Unfortunately, it was far below my expectations, and I felt sorry.
Okay, people who are fond of books and reading can be a little different, and they can forget about life while pursuing their passions. Some reading rituals and bookkeeping conditions in the book are very familiar to me. I can also turn into someone who infuriates and confuses other people when it comes to books. Despite this, I couldn’t go beyond just finding The House of Paper cute. Something is missing in this book, and although it is eighty-nine pages, it, unfortunately, feels longer.
So I felt as if Hemingway would write the book in fifty pages. Maybe my expectations were too high; I don’t know. Even though I have curiously examined his references, or decided to read Conrad’s book; still, I’m not too fond of it enough.
If you are not looking to read a literary book and need someone who can share your love of books, it may be a good choice. If you like a little bit of mystery, you can spend a pleasant time. But don’t expect a lot from this one. Enjoy!
The House of Paper
Bluma Lennon, distinguished professor of Latin American literature at Cambridge, is hit by a car while crossing the street, immersed in a volume of Emily Dickinson’s poems. Several months after her untimely demise, a package arrives for her from Argentina-a copy of a Conrad novel, encrusted in cement and inscribed with a mysterious dedication. Bluma’s successor in the department (and a former lover) travels to Buenos Aires to track down the sender, one Carlos Brauer, who turns out to have disappeared.
The last thing known is that he moved to a remote stretch of the Uruguayan coastline and built himself a house out of his enormous and valuable library. How he got there, and why, is the subject of this seductive novel-part mystery, part social comedy, and part examination of all the many forms of bibliomania.
Charmingly illustrated by Peter Sís, The House of Paper is a tribute to the strange and passionate relationship between people and their books.
Carlos Maria Dominguez
Carlos María Domínguez is an Argentine writer and journalist who lives in Montevideo since 1989. His career began in the Argentine magazine Crisis. Afterwards he specialized in literary criticism, joining the Uruguayan weeklies Brecha, Búsqueda, and the cultural supplement of EL PAIS
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: