A Little Life

7 months later...excuse me, is this thing on? I'll blame it on comps/praxis/finishing grad school/thinking we were moving/deciding to stay here/finding a job. In all that...STILL READING.

It took a while for my name to reach the top of the request list for this one which is really no surprise. I had been seeing this book all over and it's one people will be buzzing about for a while.

“He had looked at Jude, then, and had felt that same sensation he sometimes did when he thought, really thought of Jude and what his life had been: a sadness, he might have called it, but it wasn't a pitying sadness; it was a larger sadness, one that seemed to encompass all the poor striving people, the billions he didn't know, all living their lives, a sadness that mingled with a wonder and awe at how hard humans everywhere tried to live, even when their days were so very difficult, even when their circumstances were so wretched. Life is so sad, he would think in those moments. It's so sad, and yet we all do it.” 

Let me start off by saying I'm not sure if I've ever been so deeply heartbroken after finishing a book. I loved/experienced/suffered through 700 pages of absolute tragedy. I like sad books. In fact, I gravitate toward them. Fluffy, happy books never seem real, so I'm okay with the grief factor in a book. A Little Life was a roller coaster that took it to a whole new level. I hated the explicit depth of suffering Jude endured and I just wanted to yell, "COUNSELING! COUNSELING!" the entire time. That being said, I loved the stories and lives of JB, Malcolm, Willem, and Jude. A Little Life is both beautiful and absolutely heartbreaking. I wept the last 100 pages and went through AT LEAST half a box of kleenex. I loved this book and felt thoroughly depressed both while reading and upon finishing. It's a strange combination but if you've read it, I think you'll understand. 

I wouldn't recommend this book to everybody and if you are a sensitive reader, this book is absolutely not for you. However, it's one that will stick with me in the days to come. It's a devastatingly brilliant book but not for the faint of heart. Have you read it? Let's discuss.