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10 thoughts on “Crossings

  1. karen karen says:

    once upon a time, i read Hopscotch, cortazar s fan favoritiest novel, and i did it aaaaalllll wrong i misunderstood the rules and thought i was supposed to read the whole novel like a regular book and then go back and reread it using the page order laid out in the Table of Instructions to hopscotch back through the story, and i don t know what i thought would be revealed by this double dip method, but it s what i did and BOY, was i pissed to discover it was meant to be an either or situatio once upon a time, i read Hopscotch, cortazar s fan favoritiest novel, and i did it aaaaalllll wrong i misunderstood the rules and thought i was supposed to read the whole novel like a regular book and then go back and reread it using the page order laid out in the Table of Instructions to hopscotch back through the story, and i don t know what i thought would be revealed by this double dip method, but it s what i did and BOY, was i pissed to discover it was meant to be an either or situation, not a read this 600 page book twice, sucka so, if any of YOU are dum dums the way i was am a dum dum, let me clarify that THIS book offers the same reading options you can either read it from page 1 472 that s the ARC page count if it s longer in the finished book, don t stop at page 472 , OR you can follow the Baroness sequence, which will usher you back and forth through the guts of the book, alternating between the three separate but connected storylines which is what i did i haven t read it the other way the conventional way, and that may also be a perfectly satisfying read, but you can read plenty of other books that way, most of them, in fact very few books can be read as a backy forthy journey, so when those opportunities arise, i say take em this one reminded me of Cloud Atlas and The Mirror Thief, all of them time jumping, multiple POV having, samefolk appearing fantasy adventures with a little of this and a little of that, genre wise romance and mystery and true historical events and personages wrapped in an intriguing puzzle box guiding the reader through discrete storylines peppered with recurring motifs, but this is the only one of the three that you can read without knowing how many pages you have left before it s over it s like chutes and ladders the book sometimes it ll make you look like the fastest reader ever, sometimes it ll look like you ve been reading for hours and are only fifty pages in it s exercise and an adventure you can take without leaving your house this is a wonderful chonk of a book, and even though it is primarily a love story with other stuff stuck to it, and i do not give a fig about love stories, i liked this one i wanted to write a better review for this book but then the world got terrible and now my brain is bad read the book and then write a better review than this which is true of this one and The Mirror Thief, but maybe not Cloud Atlas i m leaning towards no, but it s been a long time since i read it, so no yelling if i am mistaken come to my blog


  2. Fran Fran says:

    Rare books can bring out the worst in people.The Baroness had an impressive private library of material pertaining to Charles Baudelaire She asked an acclaimed bookbinder to bind a looseleaf manuscript no constraints of time or money a priceless manuscriptone conditionI was not to read its contents The Baroness was later found murdered, her eyes gouged out Could the murder of the Baroness be connected somehow with the manuscript now lying in my safety deposit box I was now free t Rare books can bring out the worst in people.The Baroness had an impressive private library of material pertaining to Charles Baudelaire She asked an acclaimed bookbinder to bind a looseleaf manuscript no constraints of time or money a priceless manuscriptone conditionI was not to read its contents The Baroness was later found murdered, her eyes gouged out Could the murder of the Baroness be connected somehow with the manuscript now lying in my safety deposit box I was now free to devour the time worn, rabbit eared document containing three stories, handwritten in French The Education of a Monster , City of Ghosts , and Tales of the Albatross How does one read this document The manuscript can be read in order, from beginning to end, or, the Baroness Sequence could be followed, zigzagging by way of a jumble of numbers scribbled on the first page This reader chose the adventurous Baroness sequence On a Pacific Island in the late 18th Century, the populace obeyed The Law It was their prized possession The Law s greatest gift was the crossing To look into the eyes of another, to sense the stirring of one s soul, to be transported into the body of the other and dwell therein until the time came for the return crossingA crossing is a perilous venturesome crossings fare better than othersThe Law says there can be no crossing without a return crossing.A French trading ship, The Solide, visited the island The Islanders invited the strangers to a feast we drank in their presence, we studied their strangeness Koahu, a student of the crossing, performed the Islanders Sacred Dance The Dance of the Albatross Koahu, brazen and bold, locked eyes with Roblet, the ship s surgeon, a look with such intensity that a crossing took place A mistake occurred Koahu, inhabiting Roblet s body returned to the ship.Koahu was Alula s beloved so began the years of searchingmy pursuit of you became my regimen, my raison d etreI am Alula, and I will never abandon youUpon crossing into a new body, one takes up the course of a new life,I never stopped seeking out a way to speak with you Sacrifices for love, attempts to right a grievous wrong, with unintended consequences, unfold over a period of 150 years eyes are the window to the soulI ask only that you look into my eyes and stay still Do not look away Do not speakI need only look into your eyes for three or four minutes, and then all will be revealed Travelling through time, the reader will meet Charles Baudelaire, experience the occupation of Paris in 1940, witness the crime of eye gouging, and the disappearance and resurfacing of a precious manuscript Crossings by Alex Landragin is a unique and ambitious foray into speculative fiction It is a well written, complex literary puzzle, a grand adventure Thank you St Martin s Press and Net Galley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review


  3. Marialyce Marialyce says:

    I tried as I got myself up to 30% and when you push aside a book ten times in an hour to check your phone, you know that this one is just not for you


  4. Nicki Markus Nicki Markus says:

    Crossings was an inventive and captivating read In the end I decided to read the work in the back and forth approach, and I enjoyed seeing how the stories within the three distinct works intertwined This is a book that would have taken a lot of planning, and, being a pantster myself, I applaud Landragin for that The characters and situations are interesting, and I particularly appreciated the way historical personages and events wove through the narrative In the future I would like to reread Crossings was an inventive and captivating read In the end I decided to read the work in the back and forth approach, and I enjoyed seeing how the stories within the three distinct works intertwined This is a book that would have taken a lot of planning, and, being a pantster myself, I applaud Landragin for that The characters and situations are interesting, and I particularly appreciated the way historical personages and events wove through the narrative In the future I would like to reread this work in the traditional manner, to see how that compares Overall, though, this is a work of great imagination that always keeps you guessing I would certainly pick up future books by this author.I received this book as a free ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review


  5. Athena (OneReadingNurse) Athena (OneReadingNurse) says:

    Thank you so much to St Martin s Press for the early copy It is the uncorrected manuscript form so if I mention something that doesn t make sense in a later version, this could be why The first word that comes to my blown mind after finishing this book is epic I read it in the Baroness sequence, so it read as a pair of lovers souls that are body hopping across countries and centuries trying to right the wrong they did by stealing bodies in the first place The reviews I think will be very Thank you so much to St Martin s Press for the early copy It is the uncorrected manuscript form so if I mention something that doesn t make sense in a later version, this could be why The first word that comes to my blown mind after finishing this book is epic I read it in the Baroness sequence, so it read as a pair of lovers souls that are body hopping across countries and centuries trying to right the wrong they did by stealing bodies in the first place The reviews I think will be very different depending on if the book is read in the published order, as three stories where the final one kind of ties everything together, or as a sweeping epic like I did In Oaeetee, a Pacific island full of native magic, a crossing is a form of communication where two people can essentially swap souls in order to ascertain each other s motivations and story One part of The Law that governs this is that once a crossing is made, a return crossing must happen After a freak accident where one young man, Koahu, is caught mid crossing when his body is injured, his lover Alula completes a full crossing and follows him on to the trader ship The story starts here, with Alula and Koahu in various bodies across the centuries Koahu s messed up crossing ensures that he never remembers without writing it down, and even then he is a natural skeptic Alula remembers and considers herself his guardian The first two stories are ones told by bodies of Koahu, and the third is Alula and all of her lifetimes There is a third soul that is eventually brought in as the I don t want to say antagonist, but he kind of becomes Alula s nemesis and the driving point in her story In either sequence I think the respective endings will blow a reader s mind I can t imagine the amount of planning it took to write an alternate chapter sequence that actually makes semse It was hard to follow at first as there were a lot of characters and it wasn t connected at all, but once I learned what was going on and got the hang of Landragin s style, it was sn absolutely incredible journey From French colonization to literary society conspiracies in Paris and the nazi invasion, this book literally has EVERYTHING in it Puzzles, murders, multiple love stories, much love for literature, and even Coco Chanel is found in these pages I personally love anything set in Paris as well and a considerable portion of this book is set there, at least in the second story Lastly I just want to mention the prologue the story is framed by the author of the manuscript publishing something that came into his possession, aka this book It is written by the second to last known body of Koahu and tied into the present, so if you re read the prologue after reading the book you start to spot a ton of easter eggs contained in it I just can t imagine that this is a debut novel, I am going to need to read anything he publishes in the future as well Other than the unavoidable initial confusion by reading the baroness sequence, I have nothing bad to say about the book Some parts of Alula s story didn t seem to have a lot to do with the main storyline, like Feuille, although it showed the darker,depressed side of her personality I wasn t bored at any point reading it, and had fun ticking off the chapters I had read as it skipped around I would fully recommend the book to anyone who thinks it sounds up their alley It will release in July of 2020


  6. Wendy Wendy says:

    I loved this book, read it in the choose your adventure mode and will now read it in the the three different manuscripts,


  7. Chrissie Chrissie says:

    With a fascinating concept and execution, the structure is either entertainingly crosshatched or straightforward depending on the method you choose With all the feel of an adult Choose Your Own Adventure story, without having to actually go through the tedium of choosing The Baroness Sequence Pagination is one of the two methods of reading through the story, and those sections end with a simple Go here link that takes you to the next appropriate sectionI did have some technical difficulti With a fascinating concept and execution, the structure is either entertainingly crosshatched or straightforward depending on the method you choose With all the feel of an adult Choose Your Own Adventure story, without having to actually go through the tedium of choosing The Baroness Sequence Pagination is one of the two methods of reading through the story, and those sections end with a simple Go here link that takes you to the next appropriate sectionI did have some technical difficulties with the Kindle linking and even the naming of the upcoming section but I methodically broke down both attack strategies by their chapter names and the Kindle locations they span, and came up with what I believe is the correct order from the Baroness s instructions Rest assured, I will be rereading this soon with the other method simply turning the pages in the given order.Regardless, the entire escapade is worth the effort Following souls through time in an overlapping method that allows each individual story to develop alongside the others, and waiting for the pieces to finally fit together in one larger picture was completely and utterly engrossing I did not want to put this book down or to end Landragin has created characters for Crossings that have so much depth they feel every bit as ancient and well traveled as they are in their own stories That includes the real life characters who make an appearance of sorts in the book Charles Baudelaire, Jeanne Duval, and Gabrielle Coco Chanel Crossings is an appropriate name calling to mind a journey over the seas, but Landragin uses it as the name of another kind of journey here Nonetheless, this novel is a veritable basketweave of three narratives With reading it as the Baroness intended, I believe she s allowed most of the work to be done by the stories themselves Whereas, it s up to the reader to tie everything in completely when reading it straight through Either way, both ways, create a supremely masterful novel.With hints of Orlando, a drop of The Song of Hiawatha, and a fragmental resemblance to Cloud Atlas, Crossings stands among some greats and holds up to the label of genre bending.I will definitely be purchasing my own physical copy for the reread coming up I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review This affected neither my opinion of the book, nor the content of my review.


  8. Blair Blair says:

    The preface frames Crossings as a three part manuscript in the possession of a Parisian bookbinder The narrator explains that he came to possess it by way of a collector nicknamed the Baroness, who died or was murdered days after delivering it to him It consists of The Education of a Monster , a horror story ostensibly written by Charles Baudelaire City of Ghosts , a noirish tale narrated by Walter Benjamin and Tales of the Albatross , the account of woman named Alula, a deathless en The preface frames Crossings as a three part manuscript in the possession of a Parisian bookbinder The narrator explains that he came to possess it by way of a collector nicknamed the Baroness, who died or was murdered days after delivering it to him It consists of The Education of a Monster , a horror story ostensibly written by Charles Baudelaire City of Ghosts , a noirish tale narrated by Walter Benjamin and Tales of the Albatross , the account of woman named Alula, a deathless enchantress who has the ability to migrate her soul from one body to another.There are, the bookbinder tells us, two ways to read these stories Obviously, they can be read in chronological order Alternatively, there is the Baroness sequence , which jumps from one narrative to another in order to stitch the three stories into a patchwork novel At the end of each chapter, a page number or, in the ebook, a link tells you where to go next This is how I chose to read it.Possible spoilers ahead read this way, Crossings emerges as the epic, fantastical love story of Alula and Koahu from the island of Oaeetee The elders of their community have learned the art of crossing , which allows a person s spirit to enter another s body When the lovers are separated, Alula dedicates the rest of her life to searching for Koahu and because she crosses again and again, her quest spans two centuries The Baudelaire and Benjamin stories are secondary to this emotionally powerful narrative, but Landragin weaves them all together ingeniously.I certainly won t be the first to say it, but this wonderfully absorbing piece of speculative literary fiction is highly evocative of David Mitchell s work Coincidentally, I read this shortly after Mitchell s forthcoming novel Utopia Avenue, which isn t vintage or typical Mitchell Crossings turns out to be afitting recommendation for fans of, say, Cloud Atlas than the new book by its actual author It s a really impressive debut.I received an advance review copy of Crossings from the publisher through Edelweiss.TinyLetter


  9. Ruth Ruth says:

    I m a big fan of The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle Stuart Turton , The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August Claire North and The Starless Sea Erin Morgenstern This feels like Australia s answer to those books and I loved it This book is three novellas that can be taken as completely seperate stories However there s an alternative way of reading it where you jump from chapter to chapter across the three stories to read one cohesive novel Don t worry, this is all explained in the prolog I m a big fan of The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle Stuart Turton , The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August Claire North and The Starless Sea Erin Morgenstern This feels like Australia s answer to those books and I loved it This book is three novellas that can be taken as completely seperate stories However there s an alternative way of reading it where you jump from chapter to chapter across the three stories to read one cohesive novel Don t worry, this is all explained in the prologue and you can choose which way you would prefer to read it I read it as a one novel bouncing from chapter to chapter I can guess what it would be like as three seperate novellas but I didn t read it that way so this review only covers the single novel option.This is a hard one to describe without giving too much away It s an epic story of three characters across time and continents It certainly has a paranormal element when read as a novel so you definitely need to be open to the fantastical to embrace that telling, however in a similar way to The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle I would argue that the paranormal aspect isn t the central theme of the tale you could almost just believe that everyone is delusional and still thoroughly enjoy the novel I love concept fiction like this when it s done delicately and thoroughly the way it is here.I would highly recommend this book


  10. Michelle Michelle says:

    A brilliantly complex, beautifully written narrative about shifting identities, spanning decades and continents It was especially interesting in my current state of lockdown in Paris to read about Paris on the eve of occupation We have been on lockdown for 26 days Each morning, I run down the middle of Boulevard Hoche en route to the Arc de Triomphe, the end of the 1km I am allowed to travel from my apartment for exercise At one point in the book, one of the characters remarks on the strange A brilliantly complex, beautifully written narrative about shifting identities, spanning decades and continents It was especially interesting in my current state of lockdown in Paris to read about Paris on the eve of occupation We have been on lockdown for 26 days Each morning, I run down the middle of Boulevard Hoche en route to the Arc de Triomphe, the end of the 1km I am allowed to travel from my apartment for exercise At one point in the book, one of the characters remarks on the strangeness of running down one of Paris s wide boulevards without cars The book draws one into the lives of characters who are astonished by their inexplicable connections with others, by the memories that come to them from distant times and places Reading this book on my tiny Paris balcony above the silent, abandoned streets, I have a sense of crossing into the lives of the Landragin s characters, who wander Paris in a state of altered consciousness that is not so different from my own


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Crossings ❰Reading❯ ➾ Crossings Author Alex Landragin – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk LONGLISTED FOR THE INDIE BOOK AWARD FOR DEBUT FICTION I didn t write this book I stole itA Parisian bookbinder stumbles across a manuscript containing three stories, each as unlikely as the otherThe LONGLISTED FOR THE INDIE BOOK AWARD FOR DEBUT FICTIONI didn t write this book I stole itA Parisian bookbinder stumbles across a manuscript containing three stories, each as unlikely as the otherThe first, The Education of a Monster , is a letter penned by the poet Charles Baudelaire to an illiterate girl The second, City of Ghosts , is a noir romance set in Paris inas the Germans are invading The third, Tales of the Albatross , is the strangest of the three the autobiography of a deathless enchantress Together, they tell the tale of two lost souls peregrinating through timeAn unforgettable tour de force with echoes of Roberto Bola o, David Mitchell and Umberto Eco, Crossings is a novel in three parts, designed to be read in two different directions, spanning a hundred and fifty years and seven lifetimesAISE FOR Crossings The style is in the tradition of storytelling of old, where tales are told rather than shown, and somewhat like Scheherazade who is referenced in the book the reader is seduced by the telling Readings An elegant and unusual d but Australian Book Review Just as the dolls fit into one another, Crossings all makes sense at the end, neatly and satisfactorily resolving its multiple narrative threads and possibilities with grace, attention to detail and emotional acuity No matter which narrative path a reader takes, there is no sense of confusion or dissatisfaction, just a little sadness at having to farewell such a fine book Sydney Morning Herald Romance, mystery, history, and magical invention dance across centuries in an impressive debut novel Landragin layers historical fiction, metafiction, mystery, fantasy, myth, and romance in a way that might remind readers of such books as Cloud Atlas, Life After Life, The Time Traveler s Wife or even Dan Brown s conspiracy based adventures, albeit with elegant prose Landragin carries off the whole handsomely written enterprise with panache This novel intrigues and delights with an assured orchestration of historical research and imaginative flights Kirkus Reviews This novel is outstanding for its sheer inventiveness The alternative ordering of chapters creates a tension that heightens the awareness of the interlocking aspects of time and space, while deft writing seduces the reader in a complex tale of pursuit, denial, and retribution moving from past to future Highly recommended Library Journal.