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A Little Life (2015)
by Hanya Yanagihara
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I still can't assign a rating to this novel, but I have assigned it to the shelf what-i-loved-2016. is it that I've been so long in the country of nonfiction that I am so deeply suspicious of imaginative literature? like a caveman startled by reflective glass, I cannot help but be wary of this [maybe dark?] art. looking back, I am certain that this novel is manipulative, exploitative, somehow unfair. there is witchcraft here!
...but all the same, it was absorbing, and I loved the immersion.
A most wonderful and difficult to read book. I never give a book a five star rating, but I couldn't give this one any less. This is a story that is so haunting and painful, it will be with me for a long time to come.
Beautiful beautiful book.
Also, incredibly annoying and unrelatable Jude. And I say unrelatable because his experiences in life are something so far off from what most people know that it was very hard to gauge whether his pain and his actions were realistic.
What I learned from this book:
- Friends are important;
- GO TO THERAPY;
- Listen to the advice of your loved ones;
- You are not an inherently bad person because of what happens to you, your actions shape you into what you are.
Also, a bit of a positive note would have been nice.
I don't know how to feel. Still, 4 stars.
I'm still talking about A Little Life. It's deeply upsetting, but I think it's a wonderfull story in the end.
Hanya Yanagihara schrijft in Een klein leven duidelijk voor haar lezer, ze manipuleert je met perfect getimede overgangen: van feel good naar feel bad en terug. Alle personages hebben maar één eigenschap, het zijn sjablonen. Ergerlijk. En toch weet het boek iets te raken.
In the end, her novel is little more than a machine designed to produce negative emotions for the reader to wallow in—unsurprisingly, the very emotions that, in her Kirkus Reviews interview, she listed as the ones she was interested in, the ones she felt men were incapable of expressing: fear, shame, vulnerability. Both the tediousness of A Little Life and, you imagine, the guilty pleasures it holds for some readers are those of a teenaged rap session, that adolescent social ritual par excellence, in which the same crises and hurts are constantly rehearsed.
Je kunt je afvragen waarom de mensen rond Jude St. Francis zoveel kunnen houden van iemand die hen steeds weer door de vingers glipt, die zijn geschiedenis verborgen houdt en die een bron is van zorgen en frustraties. Tot je merkt dat je zelf die liefde bent gaan voelen, inclusief de angst die erbij hoort. Het verraadt dat in A Little Life iets wezenlijks wordt aangeraakt.
Yanagihara’s success in creating a deeply afflicted protagonist is offset by placing him in a world so unrealized it almost seems allegorical, with characters so flatly drawn they seem more representative of people than the actual thing. This leaves the reader, at the end, wondering if she has been foolish for taking seriously something that was merely a contrivance all along.
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Keltainen kirjasto (479)
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Wikipedia in English (1)
"When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they're broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition ... Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is [their center of gravity] Jude, ... by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he'll not only be unable to overcome--but that will define his life forever"--Amazon.com.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)813.6Literature English (North America) American fiction 21st Century
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EVERY SINGLE CONTENT WARNING FOR EVERY SINGLE THING IMAGINABLE AND UNIMAGINABLE. This was the most difficult book I've ever ever read in terms of sensitive(???) material, particularly excruciatingly graphic self-harm, but also literally everything else. There was a lot of really brutal and imo excessive content to push through to get to the powerful depictions of grappling with the impacts of trauma and the beautiful friend-love... Ultimately a powerful story that gets at beautiful things I've never seen articulated so well before, with characters that will stick with me for a long time, but also holy hell it was hard to read sometimes... proceed at your own risk!