1.26.2010

Another book review? So soon?

Monsieur Ibrahim and the Flowers of the Koran & Oscar and the Lady in Pink Monsieur Ibrahim and the Flowers of the Koran & Oscar and the Lady in Pink by Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars (Goodreads only allows whole-number ratings, but I really give this 4.5 stars.)

I recorded the most recent season of Curb Your Enthusiasm onto DVD and mailed it to a friend who lives in France, and as a thank you, she sent me this lovely book. She wanted to send me some "Frenchy-cana" in return for my sending her a bit of Americana. I'm so glad she did. Plus, it was perfect timing--I had *just* finished my previous book, Kindred.

There are two short stories included in this little book. (Or are they novellas? How do you know the difference?) The first story, Monsieur Ibrahim and the Flowers of the Koran, is about the friendship between a young Jewish boy and a Muslim shopkeeper. The other Oscar and the Lady in Pink is about a young boy dying of leukemia and his friendship with a elderly volunteer at his hospital. Both stories are wonderful, touching, charming, funny and sad, all at the same time. I liked Oscar just ever-so-slightly more than Monsieur Ibrahim. (I give 4 stars to Monsieur Ibrahim and 5 to Oscar--hence my 4.5 overall rating. Oscar is so eloquent and beautiful. I sent a note to my friend as soon as I ws done, saying, "Please excuse me while I grab a tissue." I'll definitely be reading and cherishing these stories over and over again in the future.

I kinda think I got the better end of the deal in this exchange. Curb had it's moments this past season (Seinfeld reunion!), but it wasn't as good as this little book.

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