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Cover art forThe Absolute Book

The Absolute Book

Elizabeth Knox

Started Reading
Jun 07, 2021
Finished Reading
Jun 14, 2021

Or, as my daughter calls it, The Book-iest Book.

This was a lot of fun. I borrowed it from the library on a lark—the excerpt from Slate’s review name-dropped Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, His Dark Materials, and Life after Life, so I said sure I’ll read a 600-page novel.

It’s a story about books, archives, and libraries, and how we remember the things that make us who we are. It’s got portals to other worlds, smushes together myth, theology, and technology, and yet is also quite intimate in scale, character-wise. I appreciated the deep conservationist streak running through it, not just about words and information but about nature and our world.

I heard a lot of echoes to similar themes in Susanna Clarke’s Piranesi, which I’m just going to have to add to my rereading pile for this year.