alice grass

The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet by Reif Larsen- Review

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Lately I have been on the hunt for unique books.  I love them.  I remember hearing about this book a few years ago and never got around to reading it till now.  It is neat with all the illustrations on in the margins of the pages. Here is the goodreads description of the book:

When twelve-year-old genius cartographer T.S. Spivet receives an unexpected phone call from the Smithsonian announcing he has won the prestigious Baird Award, life as normal-if you consider mapping family dinner table conversation normal-is interrupted and a wild cross-country adventure begins, taking T.S. from his family ranch just north of Divide, Montana, to the museum's hallowed halls. T.S. sets out alone, leaving before dawn with a plan to hop a freight train and hobo east. Once aboard, his adventures step into high gear and he meticulously maps, charts, and illustrates his exploits, documenting mythical wormholes in the Midwest, the urban phenomenon of "rims," and the pleasures of McDonald's, among other things. We come to see the world through T.S.'s eyes and in his thorough investigation of the outside world he also reveals himself. As he travels away from the ranch and his family we learn how the journey also brings him closer to home. A secret family history found within his luggage tells the story of T.S.'s ancestors and their long-ago passage west, offering profound insight into the family he left behind and his role within it. As T.S. reads he discovers the sometimes shadowy boundary between fact and fiction and realizes that, for all his analytical rigor, the world around him is a mystery. All that he has learned is tested when he arrives at the capital to claim his prize and is welcomed into science's inner circle. For all its shine, fame seems more highly valued than ideas in this new world and friends are hard to find. T.S.'s trip begins at the Copper Top Ranch and the last known place he stands is Washington, D.C., but his journey's movement is far harder to track: How do you map the delicate lessons learned about family and self? How do you depict how it feels to first venture out on your own? Is there a definitive way to communicate the ebbs and tides of heartbreak, loss, loneliness, love? These are the questions that strike at the core of this very special debut.  

This book was book was no good. Ugh... I hate to say this.  The book starts out with a lot of promise.  I enjoyed the first half. Then I just felt it was more of a chore to read it. It's a pretty big book. The book is about a 12 year old boy (T.S.)  who maps everything.  I thought that was neat.  Plus we get to see all these maps in the book.  I mean he maps everything!!  The story goes that he was entered and won an award from the Smithsonian.  So he runs away and hops a train to DC to attend the ceremony.


So far ... it's a good book.  I am learning about his family... the mystery of what happens to T.S.'s brother.  Then we end up on the train ride to DC.  T.S. ends up sitting in a Winnebago that is being shipped somewhere.  While traveling he begins reading his mom's notebooks.  These notebooks are a side story about his grandmother and how she became a scientist herself.  While interesting I just didn't connect to this story and finally ended up giving up.  I DO NOT LIKE TO DO THIS.  I feel a story is incomplete. I also rarely DNF a book.  I only had about 100 pages to go and just didn't want to put anymore time into the novel.  

The book is just way too wordy.  I loved all the illustrations, but it has already been taking me a long time to finish this book.  When I DNF a book I always wonder... do I just not want to put the time in?  Or am I really just not into the book.  I want to know what happens to the characters but just don't want to fight through the book.  


While looking up this book (I was googling the plot so I could know what happens to the characters) I did discover that there has been a movie made of the book!  Actually... the movie looks really really good. It is only out in Canada and France and came out last year in October.   I can't wait for it to come out here in the US (it is in English).  I really think the film looks magical.  Though they did change T.S. from a cartographer to an inventor.


 

I wish I could've loved this book. It just wasn't for me.  I don't think others should avoid it though, it might just be what you are looking for in a book.  I just thought it was really really long and drawn out. 

The crystal ball says:



Thunder is booming!! Run inside and don't bother reading!
divider

18 comments:

  1. shootingstarsmagMay 20, 2014 at 12:23 PM

    Sorry you didn't like this. I do love unique books, so it's a bummer this one didn't work for you. Hopefully the movie will be better; it does happen!

    Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Bummer! Sounds like it had promise...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Aw, I'm sad to hear this was disappointing - hopefully the movie will be much better - maybe a film is a better way to tell the story anyways. If I get a chance to see the movie I might pick up the book then and see what it's all about! :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I really really wanted to finish reading this too. I can't stand DNFing books. But the film looks really promising... in fact it's not even how I imagined the book and I love it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The movie looks really fantastic actually. I was really surprised to stumble upon it. I wish this book worked for me but I just got tired of putting time into it. After a while I just was like... I have other books to read.

    ReplyDelete
  6. It did have promise. Most of the reviews I read also said they liked the beginning of the book and not the ending.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love that you, too, are reading unique books! I'm on my 3rd now (since starting my Unique Books Project), An Unsuitable Princess, and really loving this "adventure".
    BUT I'm really sorry to hear this ended up as a DNF (those maps sounded so cool...*sigh*) Hmm, I'm not sure if I want to keep this on my tbr... maybe I'll "just" watch the movie (the trailer looks promising...)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Stephanie TurnerMay 21, 2014 at 5:44 AM

    Oh no! I hate when this happens with a book. (also side note- they synopsis box is very hard to read the text looks strange -- maybe it is my computer :/ )

    ReplyDelete
  9. I saw you list that book on your blog and check my library and they didn't have it. Can't wait to see your review though because it sounds like a good book. If you do read TS Spivet I would be interested to see what you think... I always like to read what other people think about books I DNF to see why they kept going in the book.

    ReplyDelete
  10. No... the text does look strange ever since I switched to this new template and to be honest I haven't felt like fixing it or trying to fix it since I get a new template in a few weeks. It's kind of blurry for some reason.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Reading about this, I'd imagine that it would be just my kind of thing, though perhaps a little confusing with the plotline, but I had issues with it, too! Whilst it's indeed a beautiful book, and so, so detailed, I found it very... odd, and was a little terrified of what was in store, especially when I looked through it and found a very odd scene later on, once I'd decided it wasn't for me. It was a little daunting.


    Still, I think the movie looks very promising, and hopefully it'll come out here in Australia soon! I'd love to see what it was like!


    Great review, Angela! xx

    ReplyDelete
  12. I found this book on Pinterest a few months ago in my search for pretty/interesting cover designs. I loved the cover, but I never looked it up on GR. I'm glad I found this review because I think I might enjoy it. It seems so unique. I think we've all had those books that we just have to give up on. Sometimes they just seem too daunting of a task.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I read reviews where people did like it... so give it a shot if you want. I never think people shouldn't read books based off of what someone else thinks. I too read it based off the cover.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Do you have a review up on your blog?? I am going to go over there and look for one. I thought it was way too detailed. I wasn't really sure what to think of this book to be honest. Good, bad or just something I couldn't get into?? I am still confused.

    ReplyDelete
  15. This book looks so intriguing and out-of-the-ordinary. I'm really sorry to hear it didn't work for you. I may give it a try at some point; it's crossed my radar several times. We'll see!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I would love to see what you think... it was interesting just way too detailed for me I guess.

    ReplyDelete
  17. No, because I read so little of it I didn't end up doing a review- also, I first looked through it before I started blogging, I believe!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Unfortunately, given the size of my TBR list, it may be quite a while!

    ReplyDelete

Copyright © 2014 Angela's Anxious Life
Template and Design by New Chapter Designs