Excerpt from The World To Come by Dara Horn, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The World To Come

by Dara Horn

The World To Come by Dara Horn
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jan 2006, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2006, 320 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


Ben stared more closely at the painting. It had been over fifteen years since he had last seen it. There was no way it was the same one. Artists often paint the same picture over and over again, he told himself, thinking of Sara in her paint-splattered apartment. Even the idea that it might be theirs was just a momentary deception, like the people on the street or at the cocktail hour, dead ringers for his parents only because he wanted them to be.

Ben breathed out slowly and took one last look before turning again to leave, this time for good. But then he noticed, in the painting's lower right-hand corner, a tiny glossy area that gleamed white under the gallery lights—the same place where Sara, at the age of seven, had once tried to coat the painting with clear nail polish until their parents caught her. And then Ben's entire body started shaking with rage.

He read the label again, still stunned. On loan, it read, from a Russian museum. He stretched his arms toward the painting without even noticing that he was doing so, reaching for it, ready to grip the bottom of the frame like the rung of a ladder. In his mind he saw his feet walking up the wall until he could step into it, sliding through the frame and out and up and away. Instead he caught a glimpse of his own hands out of the corner of his eye and stopped himself, lowering his arms and turning his head to see if anyone was still around.

No one was there, not even a lingering guard.

Strange things happen to paintings that no one looks at. They start to sing. In the absence of people, the empty room reverberated with the colors humming on its walls. Ben stood alone and listened as each wide flash of color vibrated at a different pitch: wistful wavering high notes for the airborne woman, deep resonating low tones for the Lovers in Blue. The dark little picture rattled the air with the banging of piano keys like the ones that once lay below it in his parents' living room, a minor chord struck by accident in the middle of a song.

He stepped closer.

With all his strength, he grabbed the painting's thin frame and yanked the whole thing off the wall. It was so light that he nearly flew backward. And then he left.

Reprinted from The World To Come by Dara Horn (the full text of chapter 1).  Copyright (c) 2006 by Dara Horn.  Reproduced with the permission of the publisher, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The End of Eddy
    The End of Eddy
    by Edouard Louis
    The End of Eddy has been a publishing phenomenon in Édouard Louis' native France, where it...
  • Book Jacket: If We Were Villains
    If We Were Villains
    by M L. Rio
    22 out of 28 of our reviewers rated If We Were Villains four or five stars, giving it an overall ...
  • Book Jacket: The Islamic Enlightenment
    The Islamic Enlightenment
    by Christopher de Bellaigue
    In this comprehensive and well-researched history, de Bellaigue examines the evolution of Islamic ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood

A richly layered novel of hearts broken seemingly beyond repair and then bound by a stunning act of human devotion.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Scribe of Siena
    by Melodie Winawer

    Equal parts transporting love story, meticulously researched historical fiction, and compelling time-travel narrative.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Chalk Pit

The Chalk Pit:
A Ruth Galloway Mystery

A string of murders takes Ruth underground in the newest book in the series.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T W Don't M A R

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
Modal popup -