#BookReview: No Two Persons by Erica Bauermeister

A Marvel Of A Novel Novel. This tale reads a bit like The Decameron in that it is a collection of shorter stories all linked by some basic structure – in this case, *extremely* basic in that they all wind up interacting with a fictional book at some level. Be it the author, who opens and closes Baurmeister’s tale, or the publishing assistant who first “finds” the book or a random sculptor who reads it after it was recommended or or or or or. The tales themselves show the breadth of how different types of readers interact with a book, though it is far from truly conclusive and I don’t suspect that Bauermeister ever expected it to be “conclusive” or “definitive”. Instead, this is simply a sampling of different ways different readers intersect with a given tale at the differing moments of both their lives and its life, and in showing these glimpses Bauermeister executes a particular narrative structure that I had never seen done before, certainly not in this exact context. And executes it quite well indeed. So read this book, because it truly is a marvel of a novel novel. 😉 Very much recommended.

This review of No Two Persons by Erica Bauermeister was originally written on January 2, 2023.

#BlogTour: The Book Haters’ Book Club by Gretchen Antony

For this blog tour we’re looking at a novel that has some truly novel storytelling mechanisms that work well to elevate the (good in its own right) overall story. For this blog tour we’re looking at The Book Haters’ Book Club by Gretchen Anthony.

Here’s what I had to say on Goodreads:

Novel Approach To Novel Writing. I *really* like what Anthony did here with the interludes throughout the book, including opening and closing. It becomes very clear (because one of the early ones is “signed’) quite early exactly who this person is, but the way Anthony writes them and where she chooses to place them are indeed quite novel in my experience, and thus this book is recommendable for this feature alone. Then there are the (Minnesota-specific) actual book recommendations spiced throughout the tale, in the form of newsletters the bookstore/ book club sent out periodically. And again: *Actual. Books.*. As in, you can search for them on your preferred site and buy them yourself! Which, again, is novel and recommendable for this feature alone.

Actual story-wise, we spend the first half of the book with many of our characters in shock and trying to prevent what they see as a travesty… and then a bombshell is dropped when the answers they’ve been begging for are finally provided. This bombshell twists the entire book to pivot in a new direction… and gives them all much more depth. Throughout both halves there is quite a bit of humor and heart, and there are a lot of different threads and themes going on here. (So those readers that prefer a more contained/ linear / singular focused tale… I still say give this one a try, but know going in it may not be your thing.) Ultimately the story itself is strong enough here, and the novel aspects of the writing truly take this book over the top in the best ways. Very much recommended.

After the jump, an excerpt followed by the “publisher details” – book description, author bio, and social media and buy links.
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