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Naomi B. (Tucson, AZ)
Four Brothers Search for a Father
Jordi Punti's Lost Luggage, translated from the Spanish by Julie Wark, reminds me of those nested Russian dolls; open a layer of the story and inside is another layer, couching another, and so on, until you get to the tale's vibrant, pulsing heart. Lost Luggage is storytelling at its best. On the surface, it is the quest of four brothers--each named some variable form of Christopher--for a father they have each barely known. Although he has always been missing from their lives, he has now gone officially missing, and the brothers believe that by piecing together the story of his life from their disparate points of view, the completed puzzle may lead to the discovery of the man. What is interesting to me is that even though the story is told in sections from each of the four Christophers' points of view, there is very little variation in voice between them. The decision is clearly deliberate, as if each brother is a piece of clay cleaved from the same block. The result is a novel that unfurls slowly, quietly, and gracefully toward that golden moment of denouement. As if we sit with Jordi Punti at a crackling fire, listening to hims spin his tale, we wait for that moment spellbound. We know it is coming, but we know, too, that it will surprise us, a sleight of hand delivered by a master magician.
Terrie J. (Eagan, MN)
Interesting story line...
This book kept my interest, but was slow at times. I liked the concept of the story line and the fact that the brothers joined together to find out what happened to their father. I felt that jumping between past and present got confusing at times. I would recommend this book to others.
Diane D. (Blairstown, NJ)
Well Written, but...
...too drawn out.
Nancy F. (Carmel, IN)
Too many threads....
I think the backgrounds of Gabriel and the other characters was very well written, and you got a sense of the people and areas at that time in history. That being said, the book could have been about 1/3 the size without losing anything.
The story kept me reading, since I wanted to find out if the 4 half-brothers would find the answers they were seeking. I was hoping to find out more about the "boys", but most of the book was about their father & mothers as well as all the other characters.
There were many surprises at the end, which made for a good story, but they confused me.
All in all, I think there will be a lot of people who will enjoy the book. It would make a good Reading Group book, since it has many areas for discussion. I will recommend it to my group.
Unfortunately this book was difficult to read based on my preference for a more straight forward plot line. Also the amount of detailed description and dialogue was too much to digest. While I found the plot potential original, I did not enjoy the reading experience.
Sherrie R. (Fort Worth, TX)
Pack your bags, take a trip in this engrossing and absorbing story!
This is a wonderful story about 4 brothers with the same father and four mothers. Their father was only in their lives briefly when they were young. Travel with them as they find each other and begin their search for their father in an intriguing journey through Europe, full of mysteries and childhood memories. Who was their father? Where was he? Why did he leave? What happened to him? Will they find him? How do they feel?
Nancy O. (Hobe Sound, FL)
a short review is impossible!
I loved it- reminded me of Shadow of the Wind, Cutting for Stone, Stone's Fall. It's themes of identity, broken families, value and influence of work, friends, and loss wrapped up in the framework of a grand mystery is perfect for book club discussions.
I absolutely love the very original premise in this novel, in which 4 men discover quite through accident that they have the same father, who it seems, has disappeared. This intriguing story takes the reader through a whirlwind tour of European history, cities and cultures in this story which is funny and poignant, dark in spots, and intriguing. It does so without ever disconnecting the reader from the themes of loss and of being lost that come shining through in this novel, as well as the concepts of home, family and freedom. While I may have found it to be tangential and meandering in spots, I had no trouble at all NOT putting this book down -- although I think that for more casual readers, the tangents in the narrative complete with flashbacks might be a little challenging. I liked this one and would certainly recommend it, especially to readers like myself who enjoy translated fiction.
Mary J. (La Quinta, CA)
Lost Luggage is a good story but is difficult to read and somewhat confusing. 4 characters with basically the same name is a little much for me. It's told from many different people, not just the 4 brothers. Jordi Punti can tell a good story but needs to cut back on the characters.
Adelia S. (Livingston, MT)
I really liked this book. The stories of the four Christophers kept me wanting more. I found it helpful to make a list of each Christopher's birth and city. The relationship between Gabriel and the house movers was special. Lost Luggage was a very different, great book. I will read it again soon.