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John Boyne: The Absolutist

June 26, 2012 10:40PM
This book. Oh my god, people. This book. I wasn't sure whether I'd like it because I was rather 'meh' about The Thief of Time but. This book.

Ford Maddox Ford has his narrator say in The Good Soldier, 'this is the saddest tale I ever heard.'

Well this book may be one of the saddest tales I've ever read.

Yes, it's heartbreaking and utterly gut-wrenching and just rips you apart from within. It's tragic and depressive and I don't even have words for it.

I mean, with any tale set in the Great War, you know it's not going to be happy, but this one? Heart-rending.

Seriously. Read it.

It's wonderfully crafted. Just the right amount of subtlety in the foreshadowing, plot seen through well throughout, everything just fitting. I don't want to say it's a beautiful love story, because it's not really a love story, and it definitely isn't beautiful. It's ugly and horrible and just utterly depressing. But it's beautifully written, it gets the heartbreak and the hopelessness of the trenches and of the narrator's situation across without ever engaging in pitying itself or exaggerating for the sake of it. Not the slightest bit of pathos, or unnecessary indulging in wallowing in feelings. This story doesn't need that, it can speak for itself.

I would say more but I don't want to spoil the book for you in case you want to read it. Which you should. Let me know if you want to know any more.

"I want you to know that you matter. I want you to know that your lives matter, that your dreams matter." (Barack Obama, 03 June 2020)

John Boyne: The Absolutist

Mari A.June 26, 2012 10:40PM


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