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A book for our times: a crass, superficial and empty life
on February 3, 2013
This is at least a very intriguing book, and at best a book that will be regarded in the future as a portrait of our culture. I see that some readers didn't get the whole point of the work: this is not a book to entertain you with an intricate plot or deep psychological descriptions of characters. Dostoievsky it is not, but this is not the XIX century.
The strength of the book is the way it reflects and depicts the emptiness and lack of direction of our times. The main character is empty because our time is superficial. In the whole story,, we basically follow him through two relationships, first with a marriage obsessed girl, Casey, and later with a "cool" girlfriend, Alyna, who ends up just as another version of Casey and all other women.
Our anti-hero is so detached and passionless that we don't even know what his work is. He doesn't care. He has no goals, no career, no talent, no need for personal development. No plan-B. He just goes with the flow. He spends all his time playing video games and masturbating. It seems that the lack of passion for life left his mind so void that he needs to fill it with sexual imagery and fantasies about having sex with any girl he sees on the street. We never see any mention of his family, like he was born of nothing, with no traditions. I cant even remember if the author gives us his name, but it really doesn't matter much, because he has no distinct personality.
I liked the plot, not because it is engaging, but because it fits perfectly the message of the book. The hero dates Casey because this way he can get easy sex. Casey takes the reigns of the relationship. He only follows her: to the mall, to the restaurant he doesn't like, etc. Eventually, she traps him into a promise of a marriage he doesn't want but can't find the strength to reject. He only reacts when he is about to explode. He finds another girlfriend based on the fact that her bottom is smaller than Casey's. Time goes by and the cool girlfriend stops being a sexual novelty and becomes boring as any women is, in his mind. The hero tragically fails, because sexual attraction can't be used as the only philosophy to guide a person in life. He is bound to a boring and directionless life. Many men today live with this kind of passive-agressive mentality, having lost the understanding of their own desires and the control of their plans and dreams for life. The story should be a warning for us, because hiding in a psychological cave is indeed a masculine temptation and weakness. Real men take control of life and pursue their dreams. Sex follows, it is a side dish.
You will get a bitter feeling in your gut after reading the book, because you will recognize much of it around yourself.