Julian Gallo

A New York City writer's thoughts on the books he reads. 



'Presence: Collected Stories' by Arthur Miller

Of course I’d been familiar with Arthur Miller’s plays for years, as well as his brilliant novel ‘Focus’ (which I’m sure will be rediscovered considering today’s political climate). However, I wasn’t aware of how many short stories the playwright had written over the course of his long career, so finding this book was a treat.


Many of the stories cover the same themes Miller covers in his plays: the plight of the everyman, the perils of fame, ruminations on ethnic and religious identity but there are also some surprises here (i.e. ‘The Performance’, whose premise I won’t give away. You have to read it). Another surprise was ‘The Misfits’, the story in which the 1961 film is based (the film is highly expanded from the short story version). Some of the stories didn’t resonate with me as much as some others but overall it’s a fantastic collection of short fiction, harkening back to a time when short fiction actually told a story.


Well, Miller is a master storyteller and a fine prose writer. It was interesting to see him expand on his ideas, beyond the constructs of his usual dialogue driven pieces, and witness how he approaches the two different mediums so differently. If you are an admirer of his plays then I highly recommend this collection. You won’t be disappointed.

Source: http://www.juliangallo66.blogspot.com

'Mr. Kafka and Other Tales in The Time of The Cult' by Bohumil Hrabal

My first foray into the fictional world of Czech author Bohumil Hrabal. A contemporary of fellow Czech author Milan Kundera, Hrabal’s approach is quite different although the satirical elements and surrealist influence are present in Hrabal’s work as much as it’s in Kundera’s. However, the two authors couldn’t be more different stylistically.


Most of the seven stories in this collection revolve around the quirky characters in and around post-war Prague, a good number of them taking place with in the steel mills in which Hrabal ‘volunteered’ his labor. The people he encountered obviously affected his creative output at this stage of his career and he approaches each story with a mixture of humor, whimsy, and a healthy dose of the absurd, all of which is commentary on this new ‘revolutionary society’ which he finds himself a part of.


There is evidence of a Rimbaud/Baudelaire influence on his prose and there are times when the more surrealist elements rears its head to craft these often bizarre but thoroughly enjoyable stories. For those not familiar with Hrabal’s work, this is the perfect place to start. Recommended.


Translated by Paul Wilson

Source: http://www.juliangallo66.blogspot.com

'Piano Stories' by Felisberto Hernandez

A writer from Uruguay who had more influence on later major writers (Julio Cortazar, Italo Calvino, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, to name a few) than his own commercial success, which is a shame because Filisberto Hernandez was a brilliant writer.


Off center, surreal, it’s hard to classify Hernandez though the influence of Proust is clearly evident. Bizarre stories where the everyday takes a turn towards the fantastic. The stories within are fable-like with their just off-kilter sensibility. There are moments where the reader is reminded of the ‘automatic writing’ experiments of the Surrealists, silent film comedy or just outright head scratching imagery where every day objects can often have a consciousness of their own.


Fans of Cortazar in particular will enjoy these strange tales and their inherent surrealism (a man who believes he’s a horse; a woman who never leaves her balcony;  a theater usher whose eyes glow in the dark; a house full of life sized dolls that act out bizarre scenes, etc) appealed to me greatly. One of the lesser known Latin American writers for English readers but one English readers (and over all admirers of Latin American literature) must explore.


Highly recommended.



Translated by Luis Harss

Source: http://www.juliangallo66.blogspot.com

'Down The Rabbit Hole' by Juan Pablo Villalobos

Tochtli is the son of a Mexican drug lord living in a mansion in rural Mexico. To the young Tochtli, it is not a mansion but a ‘palace’, where he spends his days being home schooled and playing with his X-box and watching television on his free time. So cut off from the rest of the world, he, like many children his age, retreats into the world of fantasy.


His father — and his army of servants (who are in reality thugs and criminals of the cartel) — do whatever they can to make the boy’s dreams, wishes and desires come true, including a private zoo which includes birds and a caged tiger. Seen through the boy’s eyes, he doesn’t fully understand what it is that his father actually does and whatever acts of horrific violence he does experience is filtered through the nightly news broadcasts on television. What the boy wants, more than anything else, is a Liberian Pygmy hippopotamus to add to his ever growing collection of animals, toys and especially hats.


One day he gets to travel to Libera with a group of his father’s henchmen, thinking it’s to obtain one of his beloved pygmy hippos. He does not understand what the trip is actually for. He gets his pygmy hippos but something happens that forces the boy to confront horrific violence face to face for the first time in his life.


A very — very — short novel, it packs a hell of a punch. Viewing the events through the eyes of a child only reenforces the horror and dysfunction taking place around him. What lies under the surface throughout the story is what the adult reader will find so disturbing. Brilliantly executed and highly recommended.

Source: http://www.juliangallo66.blogspot.com

'The Last Interview and Other Conversations' by Roberto Bolaño

A collection of interviews with the celebrated Latin American author.


For fans of Bolaño’s work, it is a must read, not only for the insight it reveals about his own work but that of many other writers as well, both those who have influenced him and those he detested. (There are plenty — many of whom I’ve read; many others I will now explore).


His thoughts on literature and culture aside, this book may also prove to be inspirational to both writers and aspiring writers out there who want to seek out an author who was unquestionably his own man.


‘The Last Interview‘ — literally his last; he died three weeks later — is the more lighthearted, playful exchange whereas the others have a much more serious tone. Overall, for it’s insight into his work and the work of many other (mostly) Latin American authors (complete with footnotes explaining who they are and works available) this is a highly inspirational read which will make any writer serious about their work to be more disciplined and focused about their own work. Highly Recommended.

Source: http://www.juliangallo66.blogspot.com

'Colonel Lagrimas' by Carlos Fonseca

Loosely based on the life of mathematician Alexander Grothendieck, Carlos Fonesca weaves a Bolaño/Borges/Calvino-esque tale which is both dense and surreal. This is not to say Fonseca doesn’t have his own voice. He clearly does and it’s quite unique.


The writing is superb — lyrical, highly literary. Part political allegory, the narrative is told from a ‘birds-eye view’ allowing the reader to hover unseen above a day in the life of an eccentric mathematician hidden away in the Pyrenees as he races against death to complete his mysterious final project. You hover above the novel’s overlapping narratives nestled in ‘The Colonel’s’ imagination: a woman who paints the same volcano over and over again as well as a Mexican student with whom he exchanges postcards.


There is a lot going on in this work, a lot to explore, to think about and some knowledge of Latin American history may be in order but not essential. It’s the kind of novel that makes you want to delve further into the history it touches upon.


The narratives overlap, and little by little, as we peel away the layers, the true story of ‘The Colonel‘ begins to reveal itself. A highly ambitious novel from a young author destined to go on to do great things. Highly recommended. 



'33 Revolutions' by Canek Sanchez Guevara

A very short novel, in 33 chapters, written by the grandson of Che Guevara, who tragically died at the age of 40. This is a highly critical look at Cuban society, following the life of a Cuban bureaucrat as he takes life one day at a time with a sense of hopeless repetitiveness.


To him, the nation is akin to a scratched record, each day a repetition, day in, day out, month after month, year after year. Lack of food, recurring blackouts, suspicious neighbors, aging true believers of the revolution, the nameless protagonist spends his free time photographing spontaneous demonstrations and young people trying to escape the island on makeshift rafts. With each day he grows more and more disillusioned with life until one day he refuses to take part in informing on those desperately trying to escape. He is one of many who has become disillusioned with the ideals of Castro’s revolution.


The writing is lean, sparse, each chapter at times mirroring a short track of an album that has an all encompassing theme. One feels the dread, the repetition, the boredom and disillusion as he tries to get by each day trying to reconcile all that he had once believed with what he actually sees around him. There’s an existential streak running through the narrative, the feeling that life has no meaning, no purpose; that each of his fellow countrymen are ‘scratched records’, endlessly repeating their day to day existence.


The novel is an indictment of the Cuban Revolution as a whole, it’s failure known to nearly everyone but never uttered aloud except those brave enough to say they’ve had enough, those willing to risk their lives by trying to escape. Reading it is like a sharp jab to the jaw and a testament to how powerful novels can say so much with so few words. Highly recommended.



Translated by Howard Curtis

Source: http://www.juliangallo66.blogspot.com

'The Oblivion Seekers' by Isabelle Eberhardt

The life of Isabelle Eberhardt is one to delve into. The illegitimate daughter of a Russian nihilist who dressed her as a man and forbade her contact with society, she eventually traveled to North Africa in 1897 at the age of twenty. There she got involved with a sufi sect, converted to Islam and wrote. The short stories in this collection are only a small sampling of what she had to offer the world.


The stories are very short, almost impressionistic, detailing life in North Africa (mostly Algeria). Desert lives sit along side their colonizers, these often sad tales offer a glimpse into the ‘invisible’ lives of those living under the colonial yoke of France. Vagabonds, unrequited love, familial rifts, beautiful and lyrical portraits of the desert landscape, they all combine for concise, almost dreamlike explorations not only into these lives but the interior journey which Isabelle Eberhardt had taken.


At only 88 pages, this book is a quick read (I read it in two sittings) and the excellent introduction by Paul Bowles (author of the brilliant ‘The Sheltering Sky’) is also a wonderful edition. Definitely recommended, especially for those who are interested in the history and culture of North Africa at the turn of the century.



Source: http://www.juliangallo66.blogspot.com

'Caterva' by Juan Filloy

How this Argentine writer escaped the English speaking world for so long is a mystery to me. ‘Caterva’ (meaning ‘Horde’ or Rabble’) is a highly dense, playful, comedic novel which follows a rag tag group of would-be revolutionaries throughout the Argentine countryside looking to spark a worker’s revolution.


There’s hardly a ‘plot’ to speak of but the novel is full of linguistic games, philosophical ruminations, comedic episodes, political insights and a tremendous amount of word play which will have some readers running off to the dictionary.


From 1937, the novel is a creature of it’s time and in a lot of ways way ahead of it. While reading it, one thinks of novelists such as Thomas Pynchon, whose equally dense and playful novels wouldn’t appear until over 20 years later. Fans of Pynchon’s work should read this. They’ll find a kindred spirit in a lot of ways.


Dense, sometimes surreal, mysterious, funny, ‘Caterva’ is one of those novels (like Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’) that one will come back to again and again and always find something new and interesting to contemplate. It may take some time to read this — and one may not digest all it has to offer — but it’s well worth the read.

Source: http://www.juliangallo66.blogspot.com

'Save Twilight' by Julio Cortazar

This is a second edition of an older publication. The first edition came out a number of years ago via City Lights. The older edition, inexplicably, was a highly truncated version of Cortazar’s 1984 original, the last of his publications in his lifetime. It is a collection of his poems, written throughout the course of his life, along with some prose pieces.


I’m glad that this edition finally emerged, giving the reader the experience of how Cortazar intended the book to be. The poems within are highly influenced by the symbolist poets — lyrical, sometimes surreal. There are hints in many of them for the work to come, namely ‘Rayuela’ (‘Hopscotch’). Otherwise these poems are very different from the kind of writing he’s known for, the more ‘fantastical’ style he employed in his numerous short stories.


There are many wonderful poems in this collection and having a chance to read the previously unpublished (in English) poems was a real treat. We travel along with the author in the cafés of Paris, the streets of Buenos Aires, the airports of his numerous travels, the sidewalks of Nairobi, the steamship from Europe to South America. The poems are intimate, playful, experimental, formal, with a whole range of emotions which give the reader a glimpse into the author’s day to day life. 


It had always been a mystery to me why the original edition was such a truncated version but after reading the new introduction it was clear that City Lights publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti had ‘very clear ideas about the nature, size and scope’ of that edition. I’m happy to see that the full version finally emerged. It is much better, more ‘playful’, including some prose pieces which describe Cortazar’s process of putting the book together.


For fans of Cortazar, this is a must. For those who have read only the first edition, do yourself a favor and pick this one up as well. It’s vastly improved now that it’s restored to it’s original version.

Source: http://www.juliangallo66.blogspot.com

'Blitz' by David Trueba

I was thrilled to receive an advance review copy of this novel because Spanish author David Trueba is one of my favorite contemporary storytellers. I had been patiently awaiting another novel from Trueba since his brilliant ‘Learning To Lose’ (the only other novel available in English translation via Other Press) so when word came that his latest novel ‘Blitz’ would soon be published in English translation, I couldn’t wait to read it. Thanks to the kind folks at Other Press, I didn’t have to wait long.


Trueba has a natural gift for storytelling. Not only through his novels but through his films. He is also a well respected screenwriter and director in his native Spain and his gift for storytelling is clearly evident in the amazing ‘Madrid 1987’ and the more recent ‘Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed’. He brings the same gifts to his fiction and with ‘Blitz’ he again hits the bullseye.


The story is set in the recent past, during Spain’s near crippling economic crisis. Thirty year old landscape architect Beto is in Munich with his girlfriend to attend a landscape planning competition when he receives a text message that wasn’t meant for him from his girlfriend. It’s meant for her ex-boyfriend, who she planned on going back to and suddenly breaks off her relationship with the stunned Beto. Stunned by the announcement, Beto is left bewildered, lost and naturally it puts a crimp in his plans and a damper on the entire trip, leading to an unfortunate event which may or may not have effected the judge’s decision about his work. When it comes time to leave Munich for Madrid, he decides not to return with his now ex-girlfriend and spends time alone, wandering around the snowy German city without plans or direction.


When the competition’s translator Helga discovers him alone and weeping on the street, she invites him to stay with her at her apartment until he can rebook his flight home. Helga is a much older woman, thirty-two years his senior. When the two return to her apartment and converse over drinks, Beto finds himself curiously attracted to her. One thing leads to another and soon the two have a sexual encounter which only opens the door to more problems for the depressed and confused Beto.


The bulk of this short novel is the dynamic between Beto and the much older Helga and how they learn to come to grips with their encounter. Helga had been divorced for fifteen years and is not looking for anything ‘serious’. Beto, meanwhile, struggles with a whole range of emotions — guilt, lust, disgust, and confusion. While he does not immediately bolt after the encounter, he certainly doesn’t want to stick around for the encounter’s awkward aftermath. However, despite him obsessing on his ex, he can’t stop thinking about Helga either.


It’s a cross generational encounter which lays naked the mind of a young man with his first sexual encounter with a much older woman. The reader is privy to his every thought, every feeling as the sexual encounter takes place. Beto’s thoughts are a study of the sometimes narcissistic tendencies men have and the assumptions they make regarding women in general but with older women in particular. Whatever occurred between them that night, a certain intimacy is developed, one which the young Beto can’t shake despite his bitterness towards his ex leaving him.


Two days later, Beto returns to Spain and tries to get his life in order and throughout all his efforts to forget his ex, his jealousy over her new lover, Helga lingers, is always present in some way.


Simultaneously tragic and comical, Trueba crafts a wonderful story about intimacy — or lack thereof — in contemporary times and how people are unwilling to let their guard down, to expose themselves fully and surrender to it, no matter who it’s with. The other characters who appear throughout the story echo Beto’s unwillingness to embrace intimacy and coupled with the uncertain times in contemporary Spain, it only enhances the disillusion of this younger generation trying to come to grips with trying times.


At it’s heart, ‘Blitz’ is a story about intimacy the mysteries of sexual desire. An offbeat ‘love story’ if there ever was one and Trueba is a writer that can easily craft one, all the while aiming for the heart.



Translated by John Cullen

Source: http://www.juliangallo66.blogspot.com

'The Perception of Meaning' by Hisham Bustani

A series of 78 ‘flash fiction’ pieces but they can also read like highly lyrical prose poetry. It’s hard to pin down whether it’s either/or but this is an irrelevant detail. The writing here is simply amazing and that’s all that matters. What matters more is what these pieces have to say to the reader.


They are a testament to how much can be said with such few words. Bustani is one of those rare authors who are possessed with this talent. Those who write know this is not an easy feat. There is something about his style which reminds me a lot of Eduardo Galeano, who had the same amazing ability, only Bustani’s pieces are far more lyrical, poetic, with a touch of surrealism for good measure. They do cover some of the same ground, though, which is what immediately allowed me to immerse myself into this collection.


Each piece is different yet there is a coherent theme throughout which makes it hang together as a whole. There are no titles to each piece, they are only numbered, divided into sections which ruminates on a particular theme — perceptions of meaning, as the title indicates; history, love, hate, war, the tumultuous changes taking place across the Arab world, self-exploration, the changing nature in which we communicate with one another since the advent of the internet and social media; there is a hell of a lot to digest and to contemplate.


This is a book you will not be able to put down. This is a collection of writing that will make you think. It takes a hell of a lot of talent to say so much in so few words. Bustani does so brilliantly.


Translated by Thoraya El-Rayyes

Source: http://www.juliangallo66.blogspot.com

'This Blinding Absence of Light' by Tahar Ben Jelloun

Based on an actual account of a survivor of a Moroccan desert concentration camp in the 1970s where King Hasan II held his political enemies. Tahar Ben Jelloun presents a harrowing story of survival in the worst possible conditions. This is not an easy read. In fact, it’s quite disturbing, but that’s the whole point. Not only is the novel an attempt to shine a light on what happened then but to also illustrate the depraved depths man is willing to delve in order to punish his fellow human beings.


The narrator is a former soldier, taken prisoner after an attempted coup against the king. He, along with dozens of others, are shipped off to a dungeon in the Moroccan desert and kept prisoner in a cell with no light and are only given enough food and water to keep them alive. As they battle scorpions and roaches, declining physical and mental health, we live this nightmare along with him and his fellow prisoners as they fight to survive. Jelloun pulls no punches here and that’s what makes it disturbing. In crystal clear, poetic prose, the reader sits along side them, feels their suffering.


However dark this novel may be it is also a testament of the human will to survive even in the most wretched conditions imaginable. The narrator finds solace in religion, recalling verses in the Qur’an for comfort and for guidance. As they destroy his body he fights tooth and nail to maintain his soul and his dignity.


A highly recommended read though prepare yourself for a very dark experience.


Translated by Linda Coverdale

Source: http://www.juliangallo66.blogspot.com

"The Meursault Investigation" by Kamel Daoud

This is a novel with an ingenious premise. Those of you who have read Albert Camus’ classic novel ‘The Stranger’ will know the story revolves around a man named Meursault who one day murders an Arab man on the beach in Algiers. The reader never knows the name of the victim, doesn’t know anything about him at all, in fact. He is a nameless, faceless victim of unspeakable violence.


Algerian author Kamel Daoud sets out to correct this. He gives ‘The Arab’ a name, a past, a history, a family, and most importantly, an identity. The story told in “The Meursault Investigation” a look from the other point of view. The younger brother of ‘The Arab’ — Harun — sits in a bar in Oran night after night conversing with a student studying the story of what happened on that beach back in the early 1940s and he finally gives us a name — Musa. No longer a ‘faceless Arab’ in Camus’ story, we learn of Musa’s life and how his death affected his family, something Camus’ novel never addresses and by addressing it, it begs the reader to return to Camus’ novel and reread it, this time keeping in mind the story told here. To me, it’s an amazing idea.


As the story unfolds, we not only learn about Musa and how much Harun looked up to him in his younger years, we also learn how his death and how the fact that his body was never recovered lays the groundwork for the family dysfunction to follow. It helps to know something of colonial and post-colonial Algerian history since there are many questions about ‘Arab identity’, existential questions in which Camus himself addresses in his novel, only from ‘Meursault’s’ point of view. After the killing, “the Arab” is removed from the scene; a mere ‘plot point’ to move the story of “The Stranger” forward. Giving ‘The Arab’ a name and a history, fleshes out these existential questions, which reach well beyond Meursault’s inquiry. An interesting plot device is to use Camus’ novel as if it were written by Merusault himself; having told “his” story to the whole world, it was now time for Harun to come forth and tell the story of the actual victim — the victim who is killed and then removed from the scene almost as an afterthought. Who was this man Meursault killed? Did he have a name? A family? A life? All these questions are ultimately answered as Harun struggles with his own issues of guilt and existential terror. As the story unfolds, we learn that Harun’s story begins to eerily parallel that of ‘Mersault’ himself.


The novel both praises and critiques “The Stranger”, offering us a different take on the classic novel. There are also interesting deconstructions of ‘Meursault’s’ name, which have revealing and quite interesting connotations. Having read this, I now want to go back and reexamine Camus’ work, keeping this novel in mind. This is an extraordinary work that is destined to be read along side Camus’ novel in the coming years. You almost have to now since you get the feeling that “The Stranger” is no longer complete, that a gaping hole is left that the reader will ask questions about. “The Meursault Investigation” fills in this hole and does it brilliantly.

Source: http://www.juliangallo66.blogspot.com

'Like Family' by Paolo Giordano

This was a tough novel to read. My father had passed away from cancer over twenty years ago yet the loss remains with me as if it happened yesterday. An exploration into mortality and grief, Paolo Giordano has again written a very thought provoking novel. 


The author’s third in English translation, ‘Like Family’ differs from his previous two as they differed from one another. Giordano is an author you can’t peg down as to what he will do next and I think this is a great thing. Nevertheless, this short novel packs a serious punch and anyone whose family had been touched by this dreaded disease will be able to relate, though it may be tough to get through because of it. I almost gave up half way, not because it was badly written or the story didn’t grab my attention, but because it hit just a little too close to home. 


The story revolves around a marriage between a physicist and his wife and their three year old son. “Mrs A.”, the nanny they hired to look after the boy, is the focal point of the story. An older woman who imbeds herself into their life as if she were one of the family and they come to treat her as such, especially the three year old Emmanuel, who looks upon Mrs. A as his ‘grandmother’. Mrs A is feisty, opinionated, set in her ways but she loves the family dearly and they love her. When she is diagnosed with cancer, the fabric of this seemingly perfect middle class family begins to unravel. 


As the unnamed narrator explores themes such as mortality and grief, Mrs. A’s illness seems to mirror what his happening in his marriage, as if somehow a ‘cancer’ has invaded it, slowly eating it away. Without Mrs. A being the foundation on which his family seems to rest, it slowly begins to wither away, dying along with her. The narrative switches back and forth between the narrator’s frustrations with his family life with Mrs. A’s past, where she was married to a man named Renato, and how she herself had to deal with his rapidly deteriorating health issues. 


The theme here is sickness and decay, the fleeting nature of time, yet it’s not at all depressing in the way you’d think. There is light here which can only be described as touching. If you’ve had a family member going through such an illness, this book may be tough to take but it’s handled beautifully, with all its conflicting, roller coaster ride of emotions. Yes, it’s a very sad book but there is hope, a light at the end of a long dark tunnel. Giordano is one of the better novelists out there today (one of my contemporary favorites, at least) and I highly recommend this book — as well as his two previous novels, “The Solitude of Prime Numbers” and “The Human Body”, both of which were extraordinary. 


Translated by Anne Milano Appel 


Source: http://www.juliangallo66.blogspot.com

"Distant Light" by Antonio Moresco

A short novel full of rich prose and symbolism and yet another example of the fantastic literature being produced by Italian authors over the past decade or so. “Distant Light” is a hard novel to describe — surreal, dense, probing — it’s the kind of novel that will keep you thinking about it long after you read it.


The unnamed narrator is living in an abandoned village, presumably somewhere in Italy although this isn’t specifically mentioned. Judging from the references to the Balkans and Albania as the narrator encounters some people on his excursions away from the village, it could be somewhere in Calabria but this is only a guess. The protagonist is living along in an old stone house, long since abandoned, for reasons we’re not sure why, exactly, though there is a very brief reference of him of once being in the military. Had his experiences there make him want to ‘disappear’, as he says was his reason for making his home in this village? There is no one around except the animals and insects he sees and sometimes converses with as he sits outside gazing out across the gorge towards what he notices to be a single light that appears at the same time every evening. His curiosity gets the better of him and he begins to investigate the source of the light.


As he begins to ask questions — to the locals who live in the next town down the road from his old abandoned one — there is a sense that something is a little off. The town folk are a little off kilter, strange, as if from another world, one of whom claims the source of the light was probably from UFOs. Not actually buying this explanation, he takes it upon himself to investigate the source. He discovers another abandoned home, directly opposite his own on the other side of the gorge. In it lives a young boy, all alone. Shocked by this discovery he wants to know more about the boy. Who is he? Where are his parents? Why is he living alone in this abandoned home in the middle of nowhere? The more he gets to know the child, the more is slowly revealed and to give it away here would spoil this wonderful story. 


Rich full of symbolism and probing questions, coupled with the almost dream-like world Moresco paints with his use of language, we encounter a man who questions his place in the universal scheme and coming to recognize how small and insignificant he is with in it. There is a mystery surrounding the entire novel, a mystery as perplexing as the questions the narrator is constantly asking the natural world around him (which naturally doesn’t respond). His encounter with the child only entices more questions than answers, answers mankind has been asking itself since time immemorial, the answers always elusive and just out of one’s grasp. Reading it, you feel as if you’re peering inside someone’s dream, this seemingly ‘lost world’ where everything is vivid and real but at the same time elusive and vague. Ultimately we learn that one can never truly ‘disappear’ or be ‘utterly alone’ since the drive for human contact is too strong to ever let go of. This is a truly thought provoking novel and I can’t recommend it highly enough. It will get you thinking about your own place in the scheme of things, keep you asking what it all means, if anything at all. I promise you that this novel will deeply touch you and this, if anything else, is what great literature is all about. Highly recommended.

Source: http://www.juliangallo66.blogspot.com