As children and as youths, we look forward to the future with dreams and aspirations and our speculations about how we will live our life. Maybe, someday, towards the end, we’ll pause and look back at the life we lived. This short novel is that very looking-back of an old man living on the edge of his life, recollecting memories, thinking of things that he must and mustn’t have done.
“Yes, of course, we were pretentious.” He confesses “What else youth is for?”. And one night in his pretentious youth, he does something on the spur of the moment, the consequence of which remains unknown to him for a long time and whose repercussions was going to unfold over time, impacting lives around him. These events of his youth with his friends are recalled and narrated as the reader follows the narration.
But what we end up remembering isn’t always the same as what we have witnessed, is it? And history as the narrator says is that certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation. So, there is a probability that the life we say we’ve lived is more of a story we tell about to ourselves and others, rather than the true account of events we’ve been through. The author proves it with his story in the book.
The book is a simple story on the surface but between the lines are hidden themes and philosophical insights that the writer has thrown in a chaotic manner. To sum up, I would say, not a very lovable, not very soothing but it’s been a week since I finished the book and I am still not over it.