Waiting for Columbus

Quick Thoughts and Links   Waiting for Columbus by Thomas Trofimuk, Doubleday ARC 2009, 324 pages.

MOTIVATION for READING:   Occasionally, I read a book review — or only the FIRST line of a review and stop.   I rush to goodreads and add to my tbr and sometimes, I open bookmooch to see if I can score a copy.     In this example, I was reading Softdrink’s blog and read only a bit of her review for this novel;   I was thrilled when I was able to bookmooch it.

I’m counting this for the Twenty in Ten Challenge to fulfill a BLAME spot.    And by ‘blame’, I really mean ‘gollygee thankyousomuch Softdrink for recommending this to me and sharing your thoughts so enthusiastically because I am very glad to have read it!’

WHAT’s it ABOUT:    An unknown guy is brought into a psychiatric hospital in Spain; he thinks he is Christopher Columbus.    His nurse is charmed (to say the least) by his stories.    AND, some investigator with Interpol (who has secrets of his own) is on the hunt for him.

And that’s all I’m going to tell you…

Well, I suppose I could add that it has history, drama, tension, sex, drama, escapades, intrigue, confusion, mental illness, terrorists, history, romance, sexual tension, charm, a bit of religion but not much, the Inquisition, ships, travel, sister relationships, love, attraction, mental illness treatments, ocean stuff, poetry and drama.  And dolphins.   Not necessarily in that order.

I was charmed.    The interweaving of the stories across the centuries was brilliant.    The believability and inconceivableness could have been confusing but it was clever.   And it wasn’t the kind of cleverness where you think “well, isn’t the author being clever” but the other more impressive awe-inspiring clever:   competent and capable; not show-offy.

She’d like to shake him – get the remaining stories to fall onto the ground.  Then they could stand around and look at the bones of his stories, all haphazard and abstruse on the pebbles.   In the clear light of day, they could perhaps make sense of these bones, put them in order, find the end, and even more important, find the beginning before the beginning.

LINKS:     I have already linked to FizzyThoughts above, she will direct you to Rebecca’s – or you can go directly to her review here, and there are more:   Kim – the wonderful sophisticated dork,    Jeanne recommends reading with a glass of wine – which is a fabulous suggestion.  Oh, may I just suggest you click on Fyrefly’s book blog search engine;   I set it up for you.



THOLE (to endure, to put up with, to tolerate.  Scottish) – this word was one I discovered in the book I read immediately before this one and WOWZA!   Aint it cool when you see a word, you know it, and you know you just learned it?     Unfortunately, I can’t find my notes (and now I’m already wondering if it wasn’t in Oryx & Crake which is what I read after WFC.)    oh well.   I do love when I can link books with random connections.    It makes me ponder the grander questions in life.     “Was this supposed to happen?  What does it MEAN?!”

I was thinking of who should play the parts in the movie (no, I have no idea if such is in the works…)   Of course Penelope Cruz could be Isabella.   And I think Matthew McConaughey would be excellent as Columbus.   I’m not sure about Consuela – Natalie Portman?      Kate Beckinsale, perhaps…

Finally, the possible spoiler but I don’t think so:   I kept wondering if what Columbus was so scared of – the big horrible something that was going to happen if he got on those ships to sail the Western seas and discovered a new way to the Indies and Japan but that he would not be harmed…   I was wondering BIG PICTURE, if he was sensing the massacres of the natives, etc and all the other atrocities on the Americas that get blamed on Columbus.      Did you think that?     Just wonderin’…

RATING:     Five Pieces of Pie.     I loved it.


[THANK YOU JL for telling me that you like my reviews – that I don’t tell much of what a book is about but tell just enough that you really want to go find out what the heck I’m talking about.   I’m paraphrasing our convo here but I *think* that is what you meant and what I was going for here again.   I really think you would like this one.   And maybe JM would, too!  hee hee]



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22 thoughts on “Waiting for Columbus

  1. I also put this immediately on my wish list after the review on Fizzy Thoughts! I think a lot of us did 🙂 I’m glad that you also enjoyed it- it sounds lovely!

  2. Jenny, excellent way to put it. Yes, “the line between fiction and reality” – that’s it!

    Aarti – I was a bit surprised that I didn’t find more reviews of this. As well as thrilled that the few who have are some of my favoritest bloggers. Maybe I should keep digging.

    One more thing (totally not related to your wonderful comments but purely an act of autocommentarianism) – the copy I mooched is an ARC and it has blank pages, well ALMOST blank, except for the words ‘Map to Come’. I need to go find a ‘true’ copy and check out the maps. I love maps.

  3. Ah! I want to read this so bad, but it has been elusive. I hope I can get to it soon. Your review has made me want to read it even more 😀

    1. Tell you what, I need to loan to a few friends but if you still want when I get it back, I’ll send it to you. Feel free to remind me; you have my permission. 🙂

    1. I didn’t read your review til after I read this and agreed with everything. Enjoyed the author interview and all the #pantyworthy discussions, as well.

  4. Whew. I’m always worried when I rave about a book…what if people think I’m crazy for loving it so much after they read it?? So I’m glad you loved this one as much as the rest of us. It is awfully neglected, though…I wish it was getting more “blog time.” And more press, in general. Because I love what you said about it being clever, but not in a contrived way…that’s so true.

    1. I know, but even if I hated it – it wouldn’t be your fault. I was so looking forward to this that I’m just eversohappy that it lived up to the hype in my head. 🙂 Trofimuk is one my WATCH-FOR list and I’m already wondering which of my friends deserve to have the chance of my loaning it them. ha! (it will be KB AND GM if they want it. not like they will read this but…)

  5. This sounds like a great read. Inevitably added to my TBR.

    And did I mention that I love your reviews? They always convey such enthousiasm (well, if you liked the book).

  6. I’m not sure about Matthew McConaughey as Columbus. I picture someone with the capacity to look a bit more cerebral, if that doesn’t give away the game.

  7. Nicole – Always glad to heap more onto another readers’ tbr.

    Nat – ha! It’s a challenge, isn’t it? I wish for you much success in finding books for your Kindle.

    Jeanne – yea, I hear ya. But he would do the crazy and charming so very well. Did you ever see We Are Marshall? He was so wonderful in that. But I know not everyone likes him. I don’t really like HIM but like him in the movies…

  8. Pingback: End of Year Thoughts on 2010 Reading « Care's Online Book Club

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