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Literature Review:

Foreign Author

Submitted by:
Julianne Christia A. Estorco

Submitted to:
Mr. James Aurelle S. Bondoc

MAGALLANES NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL


Title: The King in the Window

Name of Author: Adam Gopnik

Background: Adam Gopnik was born on August 24, 1956. He is an American writer and
essayist. He is best known as staff writer for The New Yorker – to which he has contributed non-
fiction, fiction, memoir and criticism since 1986. And as the author of the essay collection Paris
to the Moon, an account of five years that Gopnik and his wife Martha, and son Luke spent in the
French capital.

Synopsis: Oliver, an American boy living in Paris, is accidentally taken for the new King in
the Window, the leader of the Window Wraiths, who live only in windows, are in a centuries-
long struggle with the evil Master of the Mirrors. At Versailles, Oliver meets the Wraiths, among
them Moliere, Racine, and others from the court of Louis XIV.
Aided by his skateboarding American friend Charlie, Mrs. Pearson, a snippy but wise
(well, actually witty) old British woman, and Neige, a French girl who is a crystalomancer,
Oliver enters the Way, the reverse world of the mirrors. There he meets Nostradamus, and
discovers that the Master steals souls and intend to control all of the multiverse revealed by
quantum physics. He commands an army of soul stealers, while Charlie has only his friends, his
brains, the Wraiths, a group of terrified children, and a pack of skating teens.

Reaction: The King in the Window is a whimsical and an entertaining story. As it says at the
back cover of the book, it is truly an unforgettable adventure for readers of all ages. It was slow
at first but it got interesting as the story goes on. It has a weird mix of Alice in Wonderland,
multiverse (parallel universe, alternate universe, another dimension), some talks about computer
and traditional fantasy elements (soul eaters like at the movie ‘Harry Potter’. The ghost like
things that suck out the souls of the wizards, king of the window wraiths, queen of crystals) with
a hint of suspense. I have read the bad reviews of this book but that didn’t stop me from reading
it. It really amazed me and I was fascinated how the author came up with this book. The mix up
of the elements was very clever for me and the humor.
The story introduced historical figures like the King Louis XIV and Duc de Richelieu
who invented the mayonnaise, it also introduced the remarkable places in Paris like the Palace of
Versailles at Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, and the obsession of the 17th Century France with plate
glass. The character development was shown throughout the story. Oliver, the main character,
saves the world from the Master of the Mirrors with the help of his friends. And it was really
ironic because he was chosen as the King in the Window just because wore the gold paper crown
that came with his Epiphany cake.
It was also funny because his weapons consisted of a glass sword and a bubble wand. It
came to my mind, what can you do with a bubble wand and a glass sword that can easily be
broken. But to my surprise, it was useful throughout his battles with the soul eaters and the One
with None or otherwise known as the Master of the Mirrors. The Way (the world behind
Mirrors), so captivating. The world where the One with None. And I was creeped out to because
the One with None don’t have a face. It’s all blank. When I read the description of him in the
book, it was mind-tingling. And what excited me the most was when I learned that Mrs. Lucy
Pearson just happened to be the granddaughter of Alice who visited Wonderland through the
looking glass. And what a nasty person the Master of the Mirrors was. He takes souls of people
who look at the mirrors. And the climax of the story was very intense.
What a smart move Oliver made by trapping the Master of the Mirrors inside a spoon
saving the actual world and the reversed worlds. And I too pity the Master of the Mirrors because
he did all of that just to get home to his own realm where he emerged from. A nice read. This is
really an imaginative book. There was more action. All I can say is this story is really SUPERB!

Recommendation: I recommend all of you to read this book. It may be boring to you and the
others out there but I’ll tell you, you’ll be amazed. It will be a nice adventure full of surprises
with a hint of suspense. Just use your imagination. Believe me, it will be a very wonderful
experience.