The Nobodies Album by Carolyn Parkhurst – Book Review

The Nobodies Album by Carolyn Parkhurst

Octavia Frost is a very successful novelist, but she’s not entirely happy with all of her books. In fact, she would change the endings of many or most of them if she could. And, in fact, she’s reasonably certain that she can; in fact, Octavia’s latest book is not so much a story in and of itself, but a reworking of the endings of all of her previous novels. She is on her way to deliver this very work to her publisher in New York when she learns that her estranged son has been arrested for the murder of his girlfriend.

“The Nobodies Album” alternates between Octavia’s journey to find out what happened with her son Milo, a famous rock star in his own right, and her manuscript with the new endings to her old books. I was very hesitant about the idea of rewritten endings of imaginary books at first, but oh my gosh, did it ever work. Parkhurst deftly wove them together with Octavia’s story, exploring the Frost’s painful past and the reason for Milo and Octavia’s estrangement as well as the question of what happened between Milo and his girlfriend. Somehow Parkhurst managed to write and re-write endings to books that provided the reader with enlightenment as to Octavia’s own story while also making them into snippets of stories that pulled me in completely. I really, really wish that some of these were real books.

I loved “The Nobodies Album.” It just had so much going for it: family strife, murder, writing and publishing, a mother’s love and guilt, and mystery. All of these elements worked together to create book that I was able to completely lose myself in. If you liked Parkhurst’s first novel, “The Dogs of Babel,” “The Nobodies Album” is just as creative and an even better book. Highly recommended

Buy this book from:
Powells.*
A local independent bookstore via Indiebound
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Amazon
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This review was done with a book received from the publisher via Shelf Awareness.
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18 comments to The Nobodies Album by Carolyn Parkhurst – Book Review

  • I haven’t read any of her books, and now I realize I should correct that. I’ll keep her name in mind next time I go on a shopping spree.

  • That is a glowing ensorsement! It sounds clever, and I love clever. There are so many books that all start to sound the same. I doubt this one would fall into that category!

  • Jen

    Oh, I’m glad to see Carolyn Parkhurst has a new book out. I loved The Dogs of Babel, but could not get into Lost and Found. Definitely adding this one to my library list. Thanks!

  • Wow this sounds like a very unique read and I love books about books.I’ll have to find this one!Great Review Thanks!

  • Suejustbooks

    I, too, loved DOGS OF BABEL but didn’t care at all for LOST AND FOUND, so I was not rushing to read this one. However, at your recommendation I did read it and really liked it. I loved the writing, and I agree with you that I wish some of Octavia Frost’s novels could be real books. There were so many different elements to NOBODIES ALBUM!

  • I think I have her first book, which I haven’t read. But this one sounds so good. Can’t wait to read this one.

  • Jeepers, I haven’t read her first novel yet, although for some strange reasons, the descriptions of her books always appeal to me.

  • And what if you didn’t like “The Dogs of Babel?” This sounds really good and I can’t say that I didn’t like the writing in “Dogs” but so much of the plot didn’t work for me.

  • What an interesting premise – I’m glad to see it worked so well.

  • I started reading this one but had to set it aside so I could get a couple other books done by a certain time. It definitely has an intriguing premise but I wasn’t too sure how it would work… I’m just at the very beginning right now where she is showing us the original ending of her book from the baby’s point of view. I have been finding it a little weird so I’m glad to see how much you liked this! I’ll know it’s worth it to keep reading! I loved both her first two books.

  • Oooh, that does sound interesting. I love the idea of re-written endings…I’ll have to keep my eyes out for this one.

  • This sounds very intriguing. I haven’t read anything by Parkhurst yet. I just checked, and my library has a copy of this one, so I’ve put a hold on it.

  • Yay! I am so happy that you loved this book! I really enjoyed The Dogs of Babel, so I was going to give this book a try anyway. Knowing you loved it is icing to the cake.

  • I won this from PopCultureNerd’s blog and am anxiously awaiting it to arrive! I love books about books. Thanks for a great review that makes me even more excited to open this.