Reader reviews and comments on The Book of Air and Shadows, plus links to write your own review.

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The Book of Air and Shadows

A Novel

by Michael Gruber

The Book of Air and Shadows
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  • First Published:
    Mar 2007, 480 pages
    Mar 2008, 496 pages

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There are currently 6 reader reviews for The Book of Air and Shadows
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Nancy Philbrick (10/29/14)

too many loose ends
I was disappointed that this book didn't really tie the stories together at the end, but left ample holes and unanswerable plot questions. I enjoyed the writing style, and liked the letters especially.
mike (09/01/11)

Just finished?
I just finished and had to surf for a synopsis since I don't think I understand the end. Was it real or not? Part of me wants to use a short line by Crosetti (describing the movie life) - "keep 'em guessing at the end" or something like that - to explain that we will never know. I agree with others that the inordinate sex life of Jake was too much (even though sex addiction is a popular theme). The ridiculously successful outcome of his dysfunctional siblings - as well as Jake being a former Olympian - was over the top at first, but as I pressed on, I really liked the characters. Especially Paul and later on his evil but sage father. The sex addiction of Jake was mirrored by the greed addiction of his father. Smart book. Really liked it but limited audience with whom to recommend. Will keep Gruber on my radar.
Julia Murphy (08/26/10)

Loved it til I got to the end
I really enjoyed the idea of the lost Shakespeare play and the clever way in which it was discovered. I tend to be a fan of literary mysteries, but they are often a little ridiculous (The DaVinci Code) and/or written to an elementary audience (again, The DaVinci Code), but this one was not. I agree with one of the above reviews that Jake's sex life plays a stronger part than necessary to the action and could have been greatly reduced, but overall I really liked everything about it until the end. It fell apart there for me as it became murky as to whether the manuscript was authentic or an elaborate hoax by Mishkin's long-time friend. If indeed it was a hoax, it seems to reflect a disproportionate amount of hate toward Jake, and the expenditure of a great deal more time, energy and cash toward revenge than any sane person would choose to allocate. Oh well, it still kept my attention to the end, which is beginning to be difficult for a book to do these days!
Power Reviewer JaneN (02/18/10)

Keeps You Guessing
This book manages to take itself seriously while the author is making fun of the very stuff he is writing about. I loved it !The story is full of double crosses, and red herrings, both in the present and in the past. Characters from the past are mirrored in those in the present day story and the women in the book are great. Michael Gruber has written a good whodunit thriller. I'm looking froward to reading more by him.
MsSueK (09/05/08)

Book of Air and Shadow
This book didn't necessarily "grab" my attention when I started it. The first half of the book goes into too much detail of the lawyer's extensive sex life which really doesn't have that much direct bearing on the story line.

At any rate, about half way through the story, my interest did pick up (as did the action). I found that I wanted to discover whether my notions about one or two items would be confirmed.

This is a very dense book. The current time story-line cannot be skipped, while I did skim over the olde Englishe because it was slower reading.
Poet1051 (10/20/07)

This book is both a murder mystery and a treasure hunt. It is told from three points-of-view, two of which converge at the end.

Basically, it is about the discovery of a letter that suggests the existence of an unknown Shakespeare play. The three POV's are: the 17th-century letter-writer, the discoverer of this letter, and an intellectual property attorney who comes into possession of this letter.

As the two contemporary story lines begin to converge at the end, it gets very confusing as to who knows who did what (does that make sense?), particularly so at the denouement. Otherwise, I would have given it five stars.

It is both hard work and great fun. While it lacks the straightforward plotting of the DaVinci Code or the sympathetic characters of the Rule of Four, it compares favorably to both of these books. It also reminds me a bit of The Shadow of the Wind and The Nautical Chart. If you enjoyed the books I just mentioned, you'll probably enjoy this one.
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