Impossible Views of the World
Tbh, I judged a book by its cover. Lucy Ives' Impossible Views of the World reminded me - visually - of Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel, and therefore, I wanted to read it. And *of course* I was disappointed as hell.
The story focuses on one week in the life of Stella Krakus, who works at the fiction CeMArt (real-world counterpart is definitely the Metropolitan Museum of Art). When Stella's co-worker Paul mysteriously dies, she discovers a map in his office. Museums! Mystery! Female protagonist! Historical Maps! The premise of the story was interesting but that's about where my praise of this book ends.
Stella is unlikable and unreliable, and while that is not a bad thing, the lack of plot makes it hard to invest in simply anything that is happening in the story. I struggled to finish; the writing style was dense and annoying. One goodreads commentor SUMS it up: "I wanted to like this book given its stunning cover and intriguing summary, but found it to be a challenging slog despite the brief length. Ives' writing is far too pretentious to be enjoyable; I constantly had to reread sentences to fully comprehend what was happening. None of the characters are particularly compelling and a mere wisp of plot is present, which led me to wonder about the overall point of the story." Publisher's Weekly is a bit nicer: "Ives’s prose and storytelling feel deliberately obtuse at times, requiring readers to slow down to fully immerse themselves in the narrative’s nuances, but the result is an odd and thoroughly satisfying novel."