This is the official blog of Winna Efendi, author of several bestselling Indonesian novels.

Minggu, 25 November 2012

(book) Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick

From Brian Selznick, the creator of the Caldecott Medal winner THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET, comes another breathtaking tour de force.

Playing with the form he created in his trailblazing debut novel, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Brian Selznick once again sails into uncharted territory and takes readers on an awe-inspiring journey.

Ben and Rose secretly wish their lives were different. Ben longs for the father he has never known. Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in his mother's room and Rose reads an enticing headline in the newspaper, both children set out alone on desperate quests to find what they are missing.

Set fifty years apart, these two independent stories--Ben's told in words, Rose's in pictures--weave back and forth with mesmerizing symmetry. How they unfold and ultimately intertwine will surprise you, challenge you, and leave you breathless with wonder. Rich, complex, affecting, and beautiful--with over 460 pages of original artwork--Wonderstruck is a stunning achievement from a uniquely gifted artist and visionary.


Wonderstruck is my first Brian Selznick novel, and although I've heard rave reviews about the book and the movie Hugo, I've never really picked up the book due to its size. My initial thought was that it was all text, no illustrations, and for 500++ pages, I wasn't ready to start a long reading journey just yet.

However, I did watch the movie. It is stunning and acted brilliantly, and also tugs at your heart strings.

So when this book came along as a Bookdepository 24 hours deal, I couldn't pass it up. The book is 600++ pages, even thicker than the Invention of Hugo Cabret, and set in America instead of France. I admire Mr. Selznick for his versatility, for writing something totally different but we feel that there is a connecting thread for all his stories. Hugo and Wonderstruck are totally different, yet they feel familiar. Both characters are fascinating, and they embark on different journeys, both encountering different sets of problems, but in the end the feeling they entice in readers is the same heartwarming emotion.

I love how Rose's and Ben's stories interconnect, weaved into each other - story after illustrations, sometimes blending in. Her story is told in black and white pictures, his is in words. The illustrations are exquisite, suitable for kids as well as adults who just love picture books like I am. My only complaint is that sometimes the pictures of little Rose are different than the close-ups. From a distance, Rose looks like an old woman - the pictures are sketchy and less detailed.

I'm now a fan of Mr. Selznick. While one might say that his story is not that amazing, it's rather simple really, I will argue that even though it is, there is a level of intricacy involved that is so subtle that it makes for quite a wonderful journey to be with the characters throughout their adventures. I am just along for the ride!

Oh, the hardcover is beautiful! It is sturdy and complements the weight of the book perfectly. A paperback will just sway with the bulge.

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