Review: The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker

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Rating: ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆
Date read: February, 2012
Read count: 1

This book is a perfect example of what I consider “book club bait.” A compelling blurb, major publisher’s backing, glowing reviews, eloquent prose, family drama, journey of self-discovery, troubled self-sacrificing protagonist who just wants to do “the right thing.”

Book clubs fall for these things all the time. While I’d like to think my book club is above the baiting (because we’re pretty good at weeding them out), once in a while a book like this one comes along and catches us off guard for whatever reason, and we don’t realize what we’d gotten ourselves into until we’re half way through the self-sacrificing, self-discovery journey.

That’s not to say this book is “not good.” It’s well-written, and the author has a great handle on turning phrases to make them stick with you long after you’re done reading. It’s just not right for me. The story did not and still does not sit right with me. (view spoiler) I’ve been through one too many of these eloquent, poignant, world-travelling, “deep” self-discovery journeys already, both fictional and nonfictional, and am so very tired of these tropes.

Lovely cover art, btw.

Original review to be found here.


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