Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wonderstruck - Brian Selznick

Rating: 5 stars
Shelf: 2012 

Described as, "A Novel in Pictures and Words," Wonderstruck tells the story of Ben and Rose, two children living fifty years apart, yet both secretly wishing their lives were different. Ben's story is set in 1977 and is told in words. Ben journeys from Gunflint Lake, Minnesota to New York City after his mother's death in search of the father he never knew. Rose's story is set in 1927 and is interwoven with Ben's though illustration. She runs away from her home in Hoboken in search of a mysterious actress that she follows through film and magazines. How their stories eventually intertwine will definitely surprise you.

With this book and Selznick's other novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret, I found myself wondering if I was taking anything away from the illustrated parts of the text, which contain illustrations only and no text except for that which fits in with the picture - street signs, ads, etc. The reader is left to gather what they can from the motions and expressions of the characters. It's a strange experience, to look and flip and hope you're absorbing the story the author hoped to tell. And then you turn a page - the next drawing is just a face - and you find yourself so moved there are tears in your eyes...

Brian Selznick's mixture of words and pictures certainly has an effect beyond what you would imagine. It is masterful and incredibly moving.

Purchase Now from Amazon: Wonderstruck

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