A Vicious Circle of Reading


By: Alex Landragin

At times I was absolutely going to DNF this book on account of it feeling like it was never going to end, among other things. But then I got to thinking if I didn’t finish I would never know if it ended or not or just kept running on and on.

And I felt like I had to finish. It was a vicious circle.

Crossings is three stories in one. Mainly concerning an unpublished story by Charles Baudelaire and a young woman who came from an island in which people can make crossings- basically switch souls with other people.

All the characters are generally unlikable and hence forth live way, way too long. Why can’t interesting people switch souls with each other?

There’s a lot of stuff going on -I give points for scope- but man it was frustrating and hard to follow. Plus will the writing on base is good there is a shit ton of telling, literally repeating a story that was getting repetitious in itself until a somewhat, very somewhat, redeeming ending.

And I think part of the problem was the conceit because when I saw this on Netgalley (who provided the copy in exchange for an honest review!) one of the reasons I jumped at it was because the book can be read straight through or in something called the Baroness cycle. Basically on a Kindle it has a Go Here Next link at the end of each chapter which I would say worked about 60% of the time and then frustratingly repeatedly started taking you to chapters you had already read or simply landing you in the middle of a chapter.

Which made the whole experience even more frustrating.

Although I must admit the story does come together at the end and make sense I think it took way too long to get there. I think too it really helps me to know how much of a book is left to read.

I would definitely suggest reading it straight through and skipping the baroness cycle. But honestly while I’ll keep an eye out for the author’s future work I’d pass this one by in them meantime.

Recommend: Pass.

One thought on “A Vicious Circle of Reading

  1. That sounds really frustrating because the premise is amazing and I hope it’s explored more in books. It’d be interesting to see a book where characters have to delve into another’s memory or lived experience and see how it affects their thoughts about that character.

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