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How to Behave in a Crowd: A Novel by Camille…

How to Behave in a Crowd: A Novel

by Camille Bordas

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
How to Behave in a Crowd was such an enjoyable book for me! Beautifully written and quietly brilliant. The author has shaped Dory in such a way that readers instantly develop a soft spot for him; he is relatable and darling, the heart of his family and this story. As other reviewers have mentioned, you may want to wait a bit after finishing this book before starting another!
  jennparm | Jun 22, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This novel focuses on Izzie, the underachiever among his precocious siblings, who possesses more emotional intelligence than the sum of his collective clan. The way Izzie thoughtfully navigates day-to-day life after the loss of his father, the eccentricity of its characters, and the author’s unique blend of quirky humor and sensitivity make How to Behave in a Crowd a terrific book. I’ve never read anything like it; its uniqueness is refreshing. ( )
  MsNick | Jun 13, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Isidore watches and observed everyone else's life and at some point after his father's death decided to have a couple adventures of his own. Growing up in a family of genius knowledge seems to be the last thing he is able to impart on his family however as is life Dory's observations and thoughtfulness seems to be the glue to his family even if he hadn't figured it out yet. ( )
  mootzymom | Jun 13, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I so enjoyed this book! Isidore and his family was such an entertaining cast of characters. Isidore (12 years old) is the youngest in his family of six children. All of his older brothers and sisters are geniuses who have skipped grades, some of them are working on PHD's. Isidore has not skipped grades and therefore thinks he is stupid. Do not be mistaken, he has nothing lacking in his cognitive abilities. How he manages his life and family is inspiring. ( )
  mel927 | Jun 12, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Isidore Mazal is the youngest of six children. He’s eleven and unlike his five older siblings, he is not going to be skipping four or five years of high school or getting his doctorate before he’s twenty-four. He is a moth in a family of intellectual butterflies.In a family that is all about intelligence, Izzy feels maladept. His siblings are even better at watching television than he, predicting the endings and analyzing them through the framework of Aristotle’s Poetics.

He does not have a plan for his future and so he decides he wants to be a German teacher, not for love of teaching or of German, but because the father loves German. Then the father dies. (Everyone, including his mother, call his father, “the father” all the time.) The family seems to handle their grief extraordinarily well, retreat back into their books and research, except Izzy who has no intellectual escape from life. Instead he pursues life, he sees and pays attention to people and their lives.

Izzy is a kind boy. He wonders why his siblings are often unkind since he thinks it’s so much easier to be kind. He’s not quite sure his best friend Denise is his best friend because he’s too kind to not be her friend. She is, he admits, a downer. He runs away frequently, but not so anyone notices. He is earnest with no irony. He is just a wonderful person who has no idea how special he is.

How to Behave in a Crowd is not just a good book. It is extraordinary. When I finished it, I was hesitant to start a new novel because it will suffer by comparison. Someone needs to invent a book palate cleanser so books this special don’t cast a shadow over the several books that follow in its wake. I started a huge nonfiction book so I won’t be looking for the kind of writing that raises goose bumps. From Simone’s funnel of life choices to Izzie translating bad news into German so that it seems more distant, there’s just so many wonderful ideas in this book.

Frequently quietly comical and infinitely kind, How to Behave in a Crowd is rich in characters and ideas. His siblings may intellectualize nearly every single thing, but you can feel their love for Izzy, even if he sometimes misses it. It’s hard to describe what this book is about. It just is. And it is loving, kind, humorous, and thoughtful book that I want everyone to read.

How to Behave in a Crowd will be released August 15th. I received an ARC from the publisher through a drawing at LibraryThing.

https://tonstantweaderreviews.wordpress.com/2017/06/10/9780451497543/ ( )
  Tonstant.Weader | Jun 10, 2017 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451497546, Hardcover)

An absorbing, darkly comedic novel that brilliantly evokes the confusions of adolescence and marks the arrival of an extraordinary young talent.

Isidore Mazal is eleven years old, the youngest of six siblings living in a small French town. He doesn't quite fit in. Berenice, Aurore, and Leonard are on track to have doctorates by age twenty-four. Jeremie performs with a symphony, and Simone, older than Isidore by eighteen months, expects a great career as a novelist--she's already put Isidore to work on her biography. The only time they leave their rooms is to gather on the old, stained couch and dissect prime-time television dramas in light of Aristotle's Poetics.

Isidore has never skipped a grade or written a dissertation. But he notices things the others don't, and asks questions they fear to ask. So when tragedy strikes the Mazal family, Isidore is the only one to recognize how everyone is struggling with their grief, and perhaps the only one who can help them—if he doesn't run away from home first.

Isidore’s unstinting empathy, combined with his simmering anger, makes for a complex character study, in which the elegiac and comedic build toward a heartbreaking conclusion. With How to Behave in a Crowd, Camille Bordas immerses readers in the interior life of a boy puzzled by adulthood and beginning to realize that the adults around him are just as lost.

(retrieved from Amazon Fri, 17 Mar 2017 16:26:37 -0400)

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