Thursday, July 12, 2012


Wonderstruck Brian Selznick

Two stories, one in words, one in pictures. Two children, both deaf, both run away to New York, but decades apart.

In 1977, Ben dreams of wolves and mourns the death of his mother. One stormy night, he's in her room and finds a clue to the father he never knew. He tries to call, but the house is struck by lightning, and he's hit through the phone, rendering him deaf in the one ear he could hear out of. He escapes the hospital and makes his way to New York, determined to find his father.

In 1927, Rose escapes her sheltered life, her horrible speaking and lip reading lessons, intent on tracking down her favorite actress.

Eventually, of course, both storylines must eventually collide.

This is Selznick's follow up to The Invention of Hugo Cabret and it's told in much the same fashion, part prose novel, part wordless picture book. It worked for Hugo because of the cinema plot. It works in Wonderstruck because of the deafness. I think I like this better than Hugo. Hugo was inventive and beautiful and lovely, but Wonderstuck is more powerful. It's about searching and finding different answers than the ones you wanted, the ones you thought you'd find. It spoke to me on a different level, maybe because there was that bit of fantasy to Hugo that I didn't find here.

It's very good and I hope Selznick has more stories that lend themselves to this format of storytelling.

Book Provided by... my local library

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