10.01.2013

What I Read - October Edition

Every time I start to write one of these posts I sit in shock staring at the blank screen wondering how another month has passed so quickly. I mean, really? November already? It's going to be March before I know it, isn't it? Holy crap!


This month I plowed through this 897 page Wally Lamb novel that has been sitting on my bookshelf for a few years. I adored She's Come Undone and was saving this novel for a time I knew I could really get lost in it. So I did. Sort of. Quick synopsis: this book is about identical twin brothers, Dominick and Thomas, one who happens to develop schizophrenia. It revolves around adult Dominick and how screwed up he is due to his childhood. Flashbacks are frequent and the tone is harsh. The story itself is harsh. 

I really hate to say this but I spent most of the book disliking everyone except Dessa, Dominick's ex-wife. I kept waiting for Lamb to write in some redemption for someone, anyone. A good portion of the middle of the book is the auto-biography of Dominick's grandfather, who is also a man who you love to hate. It was distracting once I finished the book and seemed a but unnecessary. I think it was supposed to be a part that kept you guessing but it didn't pan out that way.

Redemption did come in the last few pages of the book. Many loose ends were quickly and neatly tied up, which felt forced.  It ended on a positive more though with a relevant message: "Renovate your life, the old myths say, and the universe is yours." So many of is, like Dominick, choose to let the baggage we carry from our past dictate the lives we currently lead. He chose to face it all head on, in his own time and way, and was able to reclaim a fulfilling life. That part of the book, though very short, was great. 

Which leads me to this conclusion: I am conflicted about how I feel about the book as a whole. In some ways it seemed like too much but in ither ways it was just truly the human experience. Everyone can relate to feeling tethered to their past in one way or another. Some people spend most of their lives stuck and some manage to muck ether way through without wasting too much time. Either way it hit home that life is a journey where we all learn at our own pace and in our own ways. But we're all on a journey with no destination. Stay stuck when you need to. Move forward when you need to. You'll learn new things the entire way, so don't beat yourself up. You're exactly where you're supposed to be, just as is everyone else.

[Disclaimer: If you click on the above Amazon links and purchase anything I receive a small commission from Amazon. Like a few cents. Buying from Amazon is awesome, but your local library is pretty cool too.]

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