Ampersand News > The Countdown

The Countdown

July 09, 2015 | by

Hello friends!

I have been wanting to read Erika Swyler’s The Book of Speculation:


About a month ago I went on a beach vacation and had asked a coworker if this would be a good

beach read. She said something very wise to me, “Uh, well it’s about women drowning in the sea.

So…no.” I took my wise coworker’s advice and waited until now to read it – with my feet firmly

planted on the concrete of the city.

Strangely, I ended up reading it on the countdown to my birthday, which is even creepier than

reading it by the ocean as the story follows a countdown to the protagonist’s sister’s birthday –

a birthday that is suspected to lead to her death. So that was kind of weird.

Other than that creepiness, I loved it! I remember a drama teacher telling me once that if something

leaves you wanting more, it’s a good thing. I wanted more. I didn’t want to leave the crumbling world

of the young librarian Simon Watson or his tarot card reading sister. I wanted to keep delving deeper

into their traveling circus past and see what other mysterious things would be revealed. I put the book

down and felt that I wasn’t ready to say good bye. That’s a good thing.

Check out some more opinions from other Ampersander’s here!

– Tamara


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