December 26, 2015

Review ~ The Poser by Jacob Rubin

the poser cover


All his life, Giovanni Bernini has possessed an uncanny gift: he can imitate anyone he meets. Honed by his mother at a young age, the talent catapults him from small-town obscurity to stardom.   As Giovanni describes it, “No one’s disguise is perfect. There is in every person, no matter how graceful, a seam, a thread curling out of them. . . . When pulled by the right hands, it will unravel the person entire.” As his fame grows, Giovanni encounters a beautiful and enigmatic stage singer, Lucy Starlight—the only person whose thread he cannot find—and becomes increasingly trapped inside his many poses. Ultimately, he must assume the one identity he has never been able to master: his own.

In the vein of Jonathan Lethem’s and Kevin Wilson’s playful surrealism, Jacob Rubin’s The Poser is the debut of a major literary voice, a masterfully written, deeply original comic novel, and the moving story of a man who must risk everything for the chance to save his life and know true love.


Some books are meant to be savored, and The Poser by Jacob Rubin is one of those. Unlike the fast-paced, exciting stories I usually read, The Poser requires a very slow reading. The words used in this book are eloquent. It might be hard for young readers to understand but it will be a great material in expanding their vocabulary.

According to Shakespeare, 'All the world’s a stage', and Giovanni is everyone's understudy. He can mimic anyone down to the tiniest details. He can play any of the characters in the play of life. In doing so, however, he seems lost on what his part is in the play. I sympathize on how he seems to be lost when facing another being unless he mimics someone else. Like a disguise, he is quiet and unsure who he really is or how to be himself. This book raised intriguing questions about me, and my own 'thread'.

I love the magic of the words in this book; in Giovanni's view on life. How he describes an experience, a person, a feeling, or a place. Jacob Rubin created a perfect character for an impressionist: observant to the tiniest details and able to describe even the most mundane things.

I was not hooked on the first chapter or the second. I was hooked because of the magic of Giovanni's words. How he tells his story is fascinating. Like getting to know a complete stranger, this book requires patience and time, and it will be worth it.

~ Djan

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