Wonderful Wednesday: The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

Posted 7 May, 2014 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in Reviews

Wonderful Wednesday: The Storied Life of A.J. FikryThe Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
Published by Algonquin Books on April 1st 2014
Genres: Fiction, General
Pages: 272

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange honest review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. He lives alone, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. But when a mysterious package appears at the bookstore, its unexpected arrival gives Fikry the chance to make his life over--and see everything anew.

No kidding, this book kept me up until 4 A.M. reading it. It’s a book that will most be enjoyed by ‘book people’, but I think that it has a wider audience than just those of us that read ‘seriously’. I found the bookish-ness to be more of a gimmick (albeit a really good gimmick that I really super enjoyed) to pull the reader into underlying truths about the human condition.

I loved AJ’s character he was grumpy, but lovable. A bit snobby, but not bitchy. He starts out as a little bit broken, due to the death of his wife, he’s absolutely horrid to poor Amelia – but honestly I kind of related to his rant. He’s a total book snob!

This book is immensely quotable, the prose is easy and light but that doesn’t detract from the loveliness of the narrative. This book has been criticized for excessive brand name dropping. (A topic which Chapter Break.net has a whole discussion on.) It didn’t bother me while reading it, but when I read the reviews it does seem like here are a lot of brand names in this book. (Forever 21, Jamba Juice) Maybe I’m not forward thinking enough, but I just don’t feel like it was that big of a deal for me. I think the context clues are sufficient for people to recognize that we’re talking about a clothing store and a juice bar.

I’m not crazy about the title, but I don’t think that’s going to deter from the story or from people buying it (though honestly, I keep wanting to call it The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, which of course is a poem by T.S. Eliot). My other issues are rather spoiler-y so I’ll just suffice to say that there are legal holes in the framework of this story that are big enough to drive a truck through.

Still, great little read. Pack it for the plane.

Other thoughts from trusted bloggers on The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
Andi from Estella’s Revenge
Katie at Doing Dewey
Jennifer at The Relentless Reader (she quotes A.J.’s rant – come back and tell me that you love it!)

Do you like bookish books about books, Readers? Any recommendations? 


April @ The Steadfast Reader


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