When I first saw the title of this story and compared it to the book’s synopsis, I wondered what the significance of the title could be. Initially thinking it a modern day retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac
, the title could be viewed from a potential loved one’s perspective...think of that final scene between Roxane and Cyrano. However when you finish the book and really look at its cover, you can see that the title becomes self-reflective. Whoever paired the title with the cover art was rather clever.
Ultimately, Dying to Know You
is not really a modern retelling of Rostand’s play. If you wanted to compare it to another work, I think it is more reminiscent of Zuzak’s Getting the Girl
. Karl shares a number of similarities with Zusak’s Cameron Wolfe. Like Cameron, Karl is one of those scruffy types...nothing much to really look at, yet there is something about him that you can’t help but like. Karl is a good kid, trying to get his girl. Yet that is not really the essence of this story. It is a tale about trying to find yourself and learning how to express yourself in a way that suits you. Chambers does this well.
I also liked the pairing of Karl and the author. Some will say that it is an odd pairing—an old man with an eighteen year old—yet it works. They complement each other. Thus, it’s not a father-son-mentor situation. Karl and the author have a reciprocal relationship...both in effect help each other with the various obstacles they happen to face over the course of the novel. It’s well done.
Overall, Chambers penned a very good story—one that I am very glad to have read.