Well, I loved it. So let’s just get that out of the way right up front. He’s a hell of a writer.
The Illusion of Separateness tells the story of how a chance meeting between an American soldier and a German soldier during WWII crisscrosses throughout time and distance to connect people in the present day. The connections are made through short vignettes of six or so characters in many different decades. The language is concise, straightforward, lyrical, and stunning. Van Booy’s words are essentially narrative poetry. The man can destroy you in six words and rebuild whole worlds in just six more. Talent oozes from every single sentence.
What most impressed me was how fleshed out and fully developed the story and its characters are despite the book’s 200-ish pages. You can tell he’s a master short story writer, and I fully intend to read everything the man has ever written. Please feel free to join me. This is the kind of book I’ll be gifting come holiday season. Because it’s perfect for even non-readers.
I don’t want to say anymore. This quiet little story is best read knowing as close to nothing as possible. I truly do hope y’all decide to give The Illusion of Separateness a chance. It’ll more than likely end up on my best of 2013 list and will be something I read for years to come. The absolute best way to spend a couple of hours.
Thanks to TLC Book Tours and the publisher for a free copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. Check out more tour stops here.
About the Author
Simon Van Booy is the author of two novels and two collections of short stories, including The Secret Lives of People in Love and Love Begins in Winter, which won the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. He is the editor of three philosophy books and has written for The New York Times, The Guardian, NPR, and the BBC. His work has been translated into fourteen languages. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and daughter.
18 thoughts on “The Illusion of Separateness by Simon Van Booy”
I think every review I’ve read has said the same thing – this is one outstanding book. I can’t wait to read it!
I’m jealous you get to read it for the first time!
I just won a copy of this and I cannot wait to read it!!! EXCITEMENT! 😀
I hope you love it as much as I did!
Your review is wonderful. Quiet stories are often so powerful. I’m totally hooked and this book is going on my “to buy” list right now. Thanks, Brooke!
You won’t regret this purchase, Beth! Oh, and I’m getting my hands on a copy of your newest book this week if it’s the last thing I do!
Love your review! Love it all!
Thanks! The book did most of the work…haha!
I really need to get my hands on a copy of this book!
Everyone needs to get their hands on a copy of this book!
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I do love reading a book without knowing anything about it, especially when it comes so highly recommended!
Thanks for being on the tour. I’m featuring your review on TLC’s Facebook page today.
Thanks for having me on tour and featuring my review!
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Have you read his other novel, or his short story collections? I’m looking forward to reading one of the latter sometime..
I haven’t read anything else by him yet but want to!! I have Everything Beautiful Began After on the shelf.
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