Crossings - book cover
  • Publisher : Griffin
  • Published : 26 Oct 2021
  • Pages : 384
  • ISBN-10 : 1250796725
  • ISBN-13 : 9781250796721
  • Language : English


Indie Next Pick!
Jenny Lawson Book Club Pick!
Barnes & Noble Book of the Month Pick!

"A sparkling debut. Landragin's seductive literary romp shines as a celebration of the act of storytelling."
Publishers Weekly

"Romance, mystery, history, and magical invention dance across centuries in an impressive debut novel."
Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

"Deft writing seduces the reader in a complex tale of pursuit, denial, and retribution moving from past to future. Highly recommended."
Library Journal (Starred Review)

Alex Landragin's Crossings is an unforgettable and explosive genre-bending debut―a novel in three parts, designed to be read in two different directions, spanning a hundred and fifty years and seven lifetimes.

On the brink of the Nazi occupation of Paris, a German-Jewish bookbinder stumbles across a manuscript called Crossings. It has three narratives, each as unlikely as the next. And the narratives can be read one of two ways: either straight through or according to an alternate chapter sequence.

The first story in Crossings is a never-before-seen ghost story by the poet Charles Baudelaire, penned for an illiterate girl. Next is a noir romance about an exiled man, modeled on Walter Benjamin, whose recurring nightmares are cured when he falls in love with a storyteller who draws him into a dangerous intrigue of rare manuscripts, police corruption, and literary societies. Finally, there are the fantastical memoirs of a woman-turned-monarch whose singular life has spanned seven generations.

With each new chapter, the stunning connections between these seemingly disparate people grow clearer and more extraordinary. Crossings is an unforgettable adventure full of love, longing and empathy.

Readers Top Reviews

From CTRoyK. Wilkins
I read the alternative order version. While I thoroughly enjoyed this well written work, I, too, found it a bit difficult to follow, i.e., remembering where each character was last left. However, it became easier but I plan to read the traditional version after a short break. I know there are many, possible missed, connections and subtle nuances that I'd like to pick up on in my second reading.
I have spent the last two days reading The Baroness sequence of the book. Nineteenth century France is a particularly interesting time for the arts and the write’s descriptions are rich with information on the time. The concept of the plot was interesting and a challenge. An original that I hope will result in some sequels. This would make a good movie.
Good story (stories). I was intrigued when I read that you could read this book in 2 ways, so I bought it. Wow. It’s very interesting and enjoyable. Plus - a BIG plus for me, is the high quality of this book. The paper used is nice, book feels good in my hands.
James Wallace, St
This would not exist but for David Mitchell, who should probably get half the royalties. It's Cloud Atlas revisited, right down to a physical mark that follows the migrations throughout.
Tracey Olson
Wow! This book was astonishing! I just finished reading in the Baroness sequence and am rereading it immediately in the conventional manner. I was entranced by the characters, the subject matter, the history, the inclusion of real-life people, the travel, Paris and the story. What a brilliant mind to come up with such a great novel. I found that starting the book in the middle gave me such anticipation as I kept reading because I never knew when it would end. And I didn’t want it to end. I am a huge fan of Cloud Atlas and anything written by David Mitchell, and am now a huge fan of Alex Landragin. I look forward to more from this fabulous author. Well done, Sir!