Evolution // Behind the Scenes at the Museum Review

Most of the books I’ve been reading this year have been new books that have recently come out or books I’ve been intending to read and have never got round to it, but thanks to the previously mentioned book haul from my best friend, I’ve been reading a lot of books that came out years ago, or even decades ago.

Behind the Scenes at the Museum is one of them, having been published in the 90s (also it was published before I was born which automatically places it in the old category, I’m clinging onto my teenage years by a thread). I’m so used to a more modern style of writing that reading older books immediately makes them different somehow, because the words used are different, language has evolved since they’ve been written and the way they deal with situations has changed because of the fact that technology now would have been unfathomed previously. Here we can see the limbo between the traditions of the past and the older generations and the beginnings of new ideas and a sense of liberation. Witnessing the breakthrough of technology in the sense of iPhones, tablets, the internet and almost everything being wireless, I can somehow relate to the blurring of the lines and the transition into a new era.

This book follows not only the life of the protagonist, Ruby, but the lives of her ancestors. Parallels are a great way to use more than one protagonist, and it adds a new sense of depth to the story. In this case we were able to understand a lot more of Ruby’s present day situation and also gave us an insight into a completely different lifestyle and culture. Everything connects, and it was so satisfying to read when everything fell into place.

It almost reads like an autobiography but at the same time you could tell it was fiction thanks to the obvious use of foreshadowing due to the perspectives given. You could compare it to The Book Thief in the sense that death was present in a non subtle way, yet even though these spoilers are given throughout the book, it was almost there to tease you and to add anticipation as you were still left surprised as the plot unravels. It’s like playing 5 Nights at Freddie’s and knowing Freddie is going to attack you and kill you but you still scream when he suddenly pops up from nowhere.

You could also compare this book to Spectacles, a book I reviewed a while ago (you can check that out here). The blunt humour and the anecdotes about life reminded me of how much I enjoyed Sue Perkins’ memoir, and here we can see how the obliviousness of Ruby as a child and her lack of knowledge can be presented as comedic rather than cringeworthy.

In other words, books that were published a long time ago are still enjoyable now, also this book is great. It’s a heartfelt humorous read. Sweet. Cool. Ace. Alright.

PS: I’m starting my new job today. IN A BOOKSTORE. Talk about living the dream, right?

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