Hour of the Star

Hour of the Star

By Clarice Lispector

WARNING: when reading this reviewed book, you WILL want to put it down and stop reading at any, all, and multiple points during the first forty pages or so. Heed this advice: KEEP READING! PUSH THROUGH!! It will all be worth it in the end.

If you are the sort of reader who wants to read a book in order to become lost in an adventure or some sort of thrill ride, or if you are the sort of reader who enjoys a good romance, characters who you can admire or make you laugh, if you enjoy quick pleasures and an easy read, Hour of the Star is definitely not for you.

Don’t let the size of this novella fool you, this is not the sort of book that you can pick up in one afternoon, finish, and then move on with the rest of your day with a grin on your face. Granted, a quick reader can definitely complete it in an hour or so. This book requires some real thought, emotional investment, compassion, an understanding of literary techniques, and an open mind. If you are the sort of reader who is willing to put in the time to really think about what you are reading, the sort of reader who wants to come away from a story having changed a little bit, who wants to be challenged by an unfamiliar writing style, then this might be the perfect addition to your library.

Hour of the Star is a novella that will introduce you to characters you have never experienced before, with a plot you never would have planned out, and a lesson you never saw coming. There is no use denying the fact that the beginning of the book will become increasingly frustrated as you wait for the narrator to get over himself and get down to telling the actual story. On second reading, you will appreciate the method and insight he allows into the message and Macabea, the “star” of the book. That is generally not a strength of a book, to be better the second reading than the first, but Hour of the Star gains momentum with each read.

The story is somber and bleak, but the style and theme will leave you touched and absolutely dazzled. If you are the sort of reader who marks favorite passages, be prepared to have a book marked up beyond reason.

So if you are a serious reader who is in the mood for something unexpected and unique, who is ready for a challenge, who is willing to maintain an open mind, and who truly appreciates a well-crafted piece of literature, this is your hour.

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