Booknerding: A Little Life

Every once in a while, human beings need a healthy dose of catharsis to get through the day. I was having one of those moments wherein I needed a good cry, and desperately wanted to read something depressing. Something akin to McEwan’s Atonement or Mccarthy’s The Road – books that have made me ugly cry like there’s no tomorrow.

A quick Google search led me to Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life, which many have described as traumatic, harrowing, and emotionally unbearable. Perfect.

A Little Life introduces us to four bright young men who strive to make their mark in their chosen fields. But soon it focuses on one of the characters, Jude, who has spent his whole life being abused in a myriad of ways that I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy. His story is way past ugly-cry level. It is more like curl-up-on-the-floor-in-a-fetal-positon-and-cry-until-you-can’t-breathe.

Okay, so maaaaybe it was a bad idea for me to read this in just three sittings.

One one hand, it is tragedy porn at its finest. It churns out shocking flashbacks and gut-wrenching revelations one after another – the next one already there before you even get the chance to get over the last one. But, on the other hand, A Little Life is more than just 700+ pages of pain and suffering. It is also a meditation on life, on love and friendship, and on resilience. It makes you wonder how many horrors a person can endure before he breaks, and to what extent a person can be broken until he is unredeemable.

In the end, I got more than my money’s worth. If you look past the melodrama and delve deeper, this book will give you a lot to think about.

Read: January 4 -8, 2017
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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