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The Rise & Fall of Great Powers by Tom…
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The Rise & Fall of Great Powers

by Tom Rachman

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I really enjoyed this despite having read a couple of negative reviews. It is not a fast-paced book but it is meant to be read more leisurely. Tooley, the main character is likeable but not perfect and has lead an interesting life, but not one that she understands. She moved around a lot as a child with unorthodox caregivers. Now she wants to know what it all meant and we follow her on her journey. Added bonus: lots of literary references, Tooley is a big reader. I would recommend this book. ( )
  bookmagic | Apr 9, 2014 |
I received an Advance Reader's Copy of this book.

The tone of this book was epic. I was halfway through the book before I finally became engaged and cared about the characters. It took that long partly because I didn't relate to any of them. Thirtysome-year-old Tooly Zylberberg owns a bookstore in a small village in Wales. While this sounds idyllic, Tooly's life prior to this has been far from typical. The story is told in different time periods during Tooly's life, in alternating chapters. The reader, along with Tooly, is led to decipher what led Tooly to the present day. There are many characters, each likeable and not-so-likeable (but forgivable) in their own way. Rachman's writing is intelligent, witty, and rich. I need to read his debut, The Imperfectionists. ( )
  ravensfan | Mar 29, 2014 |
The Rise and Fall of Great Powers by Tom Rachman is one of those intricately crafted novels, short of genius, which are rather difficult to review for fear of giving too much away. Even the synopsis was too much, in my opinion. The story revolves around various time periods in Tooley’s life, and is a book that is better savored than devoured, much easier said than done. I truly enjoyed The Rise and Fall of Great Powers and recommend it to readers who are looking for a deep work of literary fiction and highly recommend it to book discussion groups. ( )
  knittingmomof3 | Mar 19, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385676956, Hardcover)

The New York Times and Globe & Mail-bestselling author of The Imperfectionists returns with an intricately woven novel about a bookseller who travels the world to make sense of her puzzling past.
     Tooly Zylberberg tells a story: as a child, she was stolen from home, stashed at a den of thieves, then adopted by crooks there, who ended up raising her and even using the little girl in capers around the globe. But Tooly understands only fragments of what happened in Thailand, Italy, New York and beyond. Then, a desperate message reaches her musty bookshop in Wales, and she is lured into a journey that will reveal the secret of her childhood. Celebrated for his ingenious plotting, humanity and humor, Tom Rachman has written a novel that will amplify his reputation as one of the most exciting young writers today.

(retrieved from Amazon Fri, 10 Jan 2014 17:56:13 -0500)

For fans of Jennifer Egan, Dave Eggers, and Donna Tartt--the brilliant, intricately woven new novel by Tom Rachman, author of "The Imperfectionists, "one of the most critically acclaimed fiction debuts in years Following one of the most critically acclaimed fiction debuts in years, "New York Times" bestselling author Tom Rachman returns with a brilliant, intricately woven novel about a young woman trying to piece together the puzzle of her mysterious childhood. Tooly Zylberberg, the American owner of an isolated bookshop in the Welsh countryside, conducts a life full of reading, but with few human beings. Books are safer than people, who might ask awkward questions about her life. She prefers never to mention the strange events of her youth, which mystify and worry her still. Taken from home as a girl, Tooly found herself spirited away by a group of seductive outsiders, implicated in capers from Asia to Europe to the United States.… (more)

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