Friday, November 8, 2013

49. A Guide For the Perplexed - Dara Horn

2013, W. W. Norton & Co.
336 pgs.(I stopped at pg. 168)
Adult CRF
Stopped reading on 11/8/2013
GoodreadsRating: 3.69
My Rating:  Didn’t like it (1)
Setting: Massachusetts and Egypt (Cairo & Alexandria)
1st paragraph:  "What happens to days that disappear?  The light fades, the gates begin to close, and all that a day once held -- a glance, a fight, a taste of bread, a handful of braided hair, thousands of worires and triumphs and regrets -- all of it slips between those closing gates, vanishing into a dark and silent room.  When Josephine Ashkenazi first invented Genizah, all she wanted to do was open those gates."

My comments:  I've been wading through this book for over a week and am only half way through.  Last night, at my usual "reading time" I didn't want to read it, realizing I didn't like it at all.  I don't like the characters, I don't "get" the second time period that it keeps switching back to (it's boring) and I have absolutely no desire to discover what's going to happen. So why waste my time?  So sorry, Ms. Horn.....

Goodreads Review:  Software prodigy Josie Ashkenazi has invented an application that records everything its users do. When an Egyptian library invites her to visit as a consultant, her jealous sister Judith persuades her to go. But in Egypt’s postrevolutionary chaos, Josie is abducted—leaving Judith free to take over Josie’s life at home, including her husband and daughter, while Josie’s talent for preserving memories becomes a surprising test of her empathy and her only means of escape.

A century earlier, another traveler arrives in Egypt: Solomon Schechter, a Cambridge professor hunting for a medieval archive hidden in a Cairo synagogue. Both he and Josie are haunted by the work of the medieval philosopher Moses Maimonides, a doctor and rationalist who sought to reconcile faith and science, destiny and free will. But what Schechter finds, as he tracks down the remnants of a thousand-year-old community’s once-vibrant life, will reveal the power and perils of what Josie’s ingenious work brings into being: a world where nothing is ever forgotten.

An engrossing adventure that intertwines stories from Genesis, medieval philosophy, and the digital frontier, A Guide for the Perplexed is a novel of profound inner meaning and astonishing imagination.

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