When the book was published back in 2009, it received a lot of buzz due to its unusual format (not only text, but also drawings, charts, notes, etc. cover the pages) and the fact that the author, a debut novelist, received a huge advance (reported to be close to $1 million). The critics, however, were not all enthusiastic. Here's a sample of some of the reviews:
The Selected Works of TS Spivet might best be read in a semi-feverish state, when you are in bed with flu, perhaps, and have time to be enchanted by looping chains of childlike thought. But any other time you might be glad the works are at least selected, rather than complete.Publishers Weekly:
For the most part, they work well, though sometimes the extra material confuses more than clarifies. Larsen is undeniably talented, though his unique vision and style make for a love-it or hate-it proposition.New York Times:
"The Selected Works of T. S. Spivet" is ultimately a novel to be appreciated rather than adored, devoured or even acutely analyzed, for it is not a narrative that brims with big ideas, and in fact, there is little narrative to speak of.Windham readers don't seem to have liked it much either--in the 4 years we've had the book, it's only been out 16 times. It was sitting on the shelf the last time I looked, but, if the 3-D movie makes a splash, there may be demand for it--in other words, read it now.
Maybe the book needed to be made into a movie before finding its audience--we'll just have to wait and see.