Friday, April 06, 2012

Everything Beautiful Began After by Simon Van Booy

I was drawn to this book because I love the title and it's set in Athens. Years ago, I visited Athens.  It was my first international trip.  I fell in love with the city, so I looked forward to reading a story set in that city.

This book is divided into sections, or rather "books."  I liked the first book and thought I was going to really enjoy the entire story.  But I didn't like the second book.  This is the section I remember most about the book.  I believe this is the point where the narrator is trying to deal with his loss.  I understand that he was grieving, but his behavior seemed so bizarre and selfish.  He cuts off the rest of the world and begins to travel from city to city with no plan at all.  It seemed so indulgent.  I think I was supposed to be struck by his profound loss, his inability to move on.  But instead I thought of how the rest of the world has to "suck it up" and move on when they lose a loved one.  How nice to be able to take a year or so off.  Maybe I was jealous because I wish I could do that when I hurt, but I can't.  I have to get up and go to work the next day.  I found it impossible to feel any sympathy for this character.  At that point, I began to lose interest in the book.

I found it difficult to like the book because I didn't like the characters very much.  I felt no connection to them.  It's been a few months since I read this book, and mostly what I remember about it is that I didn't like it as much as I thought I would.  I remember the story getting complicated and the character finding the sister of his lover and a diary.  At that point, I simply didn't care all that much about what happened to these people.  The book didn't live up to my expectations.

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