A. J. Fikry, proprietor of Island Books — an irascible, unpleasant sort of fellow — suffers the theft of his prized copy of Tamerlane: a book so rare, it has recently sold for $400,000. Yes, he left the door unlocked. Shortly thereafter, a baby is abandoned in his bookstore, with pleas to Fikry to raise the baby surrounded by literature. Fikry suffers from epilepsy. Hmmmm, this is sounding a bit familiar, eh?
This book is a lovely nod to George Eliot's classic Silas Marner, about an unlikable epileptic who loses his money after leaving his door unlocked, and then raises a baby he finds. See?
Hilarious (and particularly fun for anyone working in the book field), this is laugh-out-loud funny. Until it isn't. Then it's sweetly sad and sort of heartbreaking. But, this quirky and smart, book-filled ride is "unputdownable" (sometimes this is the only descriptor that works, despite how much of a cliché it is), and you will love Zevin's breezy but poignant style. Fikry's own shelf-talkers are an amusing diversion throughout (and a great lesson in how not to write a shelf-talker). Recommended By Dianah H., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
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.
"Funny, tender, and moving, it reminds us all exactly why we read and why we love." Library Journal (Starred Review)
"[A]n entertaining novel, modest in its scope, engaging and funny without being cloying or sentimental....marvelously optimistic about the future of books and bookstores and the people who love both." The Washington Post
"Filled with interesting characters, a deep knowledge of bookselling, wonderful critiques of classic titles, and very funny depictions of book clubs and author events, this will prove irresistible to book lovers everywhere." Booklist
"The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry reminds us what saves us all from a life of loneliness and isolation: our sense of empathy; our ability to love and be loved; our willingness to care and be cared for. Gabrielle Zevin has written a wonderful, moving, endearing story of redemption and transformation that will sing in your heart for a very, very long time." Garth Stein, author of The Art of Racing in the Rain
About the Author
Gabrielle Zevin is a New York Times bestselling author whose books have been translated into more than thirty languages. Her eighth novel, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry, spent more than four months on the New York Times Bestseller
list, reached #1 on the National Indie Bestseller list, and has been a
bestseller all around the world. She has also written books for children
and young adults, including the award-winning Elsewhere.