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20 Paperback – December 18, 2016
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Through Surti's ethereal, gorgeous writing, it seems as if we are observing more than a love affair; we are hearing a generation fearing the unknown future and asking: Why am I alive, where am I going? Surti's protagonist tells her lover: "We are so young. We are completely immature. It all seems like the beginning and it’s so scary. I used to think ends are scary, beginnings must be beautiful. But it feels so strange to think. We won’t be the same forever.”
While reading "20," I heard faint whispers of early Ingmar Bergman films, and the poems of the beat poets. Vatsal Surti is a young author, and while his writing is not perfect, it is amazing and beautiful.
(In return for an honest review, I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.)
Vatsal’s prose remains poetic in this novel – “Sometimes I was so filled with loneliness,” she told him, lowering her eyes as if to think. “You were with me and then you disappeared. And all this time I thought: if that’s what love is, I hope I never experience it again. I try to please everyone, and then I distance myself. I always wonder where I am. Nothing seems real sometimes. The world doesn’t make any sense. My teenage years were so difficult. I search for meaning in mundane events to discover something real. I seek identity in empty relationships. All my life I tried to find a place in this world...”
Vatsal invites us to soar with this brief novel. He offers a synopsis to allow entry into his space – ‘A troubled young model, an introspective writer, 20 is about loneliness, love, hopes and dreams. One night as she is driving back home from a show, she almost runs over someone. She holds her breath, and through the fog they see each other for the first time. Love begins to form in the space between them, in precognitions and thoughts, lights and intimacies. Seasons change. They come to know more things about themselves and each other. Life wraps them in its embrace like a haze, in a vacant space bigger than their eyes can see.’
A love story, yes, but it is more than a romance: this is a palpable experience that enters our psyches for a while and leaves marks of beauty and memory. Vatsal Surti is a remarkably talented young writer, on who bears observing and following. Grady Harp, December 16
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
Thousands of dreams, so many people to meet, yet pills, drunk friends, and cautious baby steps in intimacy fill this book. Short sentences to which you may add your own feelings. "She glanced at him once and smiled. There was a strange depth in her skin. It brought on a feeling of vastness, almost like in a dream where you don't have control." Amazing what's left out: details, precise locations, and names, yet the picture of this troubled girl gets clearer and clearer. "If one believes in love, one believes in hope. If one believes in time, one believes in distance. If one believes in height, one believes in depth. If one believes in purity, one believes in sin. The things that exist together, exist together till the end. But within truth neither exists." Will she reach 21 or step out just before?
Most recent customer reviews
Surti blends the life and love of humans with the mysteries of nature and shows it all as interconnecting in a lovely way.Read more
“20” is a story about a young model and an introspective writer.Read more
This is a story of a young girl who struggles with hopes and dreams just like all of us do.Read more