Monday, December 22, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: "The Blue Box" by Jurgen Olschewski

Late one night, Thomas Ruder receives a strange package: a small blue box. Another such item is delivered to Liselotte Hauptmann. These ‘gifts’ will change their lives forever. 
The Blue Box is a story about identity, about fulfilling your dreams, and becoming the person you always were, at whatever cost. It is a story of journeys, both external and internal. 
In the far-off border town of Grenze, a play is to be performed at the Sheol Theatre. Reynard the impresario expects a very special audience. Thomas, Liselotte, and their friend Johann, are drawn into Reynard’s seductive web, as Daumen, the box-maker, must decide who his master really is.

The Blue Box is...something else. I can't truly describe how I felt as I found myself immersed in this fantasy world in Germany, where danger lurks around every corner and what you see isn't always what you get. Where dreams that are lost have a way if coming back to haunt you.
I didn't know if I was reading a book similar to Tolstoy, Poe or Dostoyevsky. This was so similar in style to all the if those writers, but it has its own life, its own style and its own message, though what that message is is to be determined by the individual reader, not by yours truly. In my mind, it has a "follow your dreams" message intermingled with a "be careful what you wish for".
But its not just a literal story, oh no. You have living, beating hearts in small boxes, fingers inside cakes, lifelike dolls, geriatric children and an overall sense of the unreal, the likes of which I've only read in Poe's or, to mention a more modern novelist, Stephen King's books.
The characters are all chess pieces in an elaborate play set by the author, as he deftly moves them about his board for the readers' pleasure. It's like a dance with death in a way: you know the end has a fifty percent chance of being horrible, but you must read's a compulsion. I couldn't tear my eyes away.
If you haven't read The Blue Box, go read it. Really. I can't recommend it enough. It's rare to find a book with this style of writing, this sense of intelligence and deep meanings embedded in the story.

5/5--put this at the top of your TBR list!

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