Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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From School Library Journal
From the Author
- ASIN : B01GT2RCK8
- Publisher : Clarion Books; Reprint edition (March 7, 2017)
- Publication date : March 7, 2017
- Language : English
- File size : 9163 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 469 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #320,419 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I think the synopsis says it all. Salvador, called Sal by some and Sally by his best friend, has an incredible bond with his adoptive gay, Mexican-American father. But when tragedy visits him and his friends, Sal has to confront who he is and who he’s becoming.
As expected, the writing is beautiful – detailed, lyrical, heartwarming and heartbreaking all at once. There are certainly moments that could be pegged as problematic, but (and this may be me viewing the book through rose-colored lens) I think the storytelling is nuanced enough to provide different interpretations and perspectives from which to view the events of the novel. I’ll leave it at that to avoid spoilers.
What struck me was how singular the novel was in one particular way – the presence of family and the incredible father-son bond depicted. In a way, the book doesn’t feel like Sal’s story alone, so much as the story of Sal and his father through Sal’s eyes. I stayed up until 3:00 am reading about this pair and the people who fell into their orbit, and I didn’t regret a second of it.
The Inexplicable Logic of My Life is a must-read, especially if you loved Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. It’s a story about love – family, friends, and everything in between.
Recommendation: Buy it now!
Review crossposted from Rich in Color: richincolor[.]com
Top reviews from other countries
It is striking that 'Perfect' is a word that crops up quite often in the text. And there is a central theme of concern with relationships that are less than perfect - parents and children who fail each other, and the struggle to find a way of not just tolerating, but discovering the puzzle of love for the person in the failed relationship.
The challenge of realizing (literally: 'making real') the identity that is in potential for each of us is a lifetime task. But it is one that appears particularly clearly exemplified in gay literature, and in the adolescent or young adult difficulties with meeting parental and internalised parental expectations and hopes. Sexuality, with its many possible differences, presents a clear frontier to the individual, as well as to those others who surround us. 'Do I dare to reveal to others who I feel I am? Can I even acknowledge to myself who I feel myself to be? Will my difference be acceptable to others?' In these books the sexual identity is a clear and apt symbolic representation of the deeper inquiry about Selfhood. In this book, the dimension of sexuality is there, implicit in unanswered questions about Salvador's relationship with Samantha and with Fito, but it seems that the author wants to blur the edges of that particular debate by his choice of names for the characters. So Sam is a girl, and, the central charactrer, Sally, is a boy.
No. More important is the problem of the parents who are dead to their children, either from depression, drug abuse, prejudice or actual mortality. Their absence is nonetheless a presence in the life of the child that has to be dealt with. Avoidance and denial play their part, but are rather temporary solutions until the child is strong enough to face the reality. The letter that Salvador takes the whole novel to be able to read, finds its counterpart in the journal Fito keeps, in which he holds the hidden Self that would be destroyed were it to fall into the hands of his abusive family. The mulberry leaves have a similar but much more subtle and nuanced role to play for Salvador. The mulberry leaves take the story out of the merely episodic, and encompass a level of meaning that is beyond logic; they hold the axis of the story that is beyond words.
Words are so important. Their function of naming brings the uncertain into the manageable real world - brings a sense of control. Yet they also have the destructive function of limiting the symbolic to the merely rational. They need careful handling, and the characters in this story are masters of word play. I am reminded of a passage from an essay by Idris Parry (Stream and Rock, in: Speak Silence, [Pub. Carcanet, Manchester, 1988]) describing his French teacher: 'He made room for the absurd and he invited the marvellous, but his control of what he knew was as accurate as he could make it. Precision is the only sure base for fantasy.'
Both the known and the unknown need to be held in tension, neither encroaching on the other. This is a kind of love relationship. And how often is love presented as a kind of madness that defies logic. This book can be read as an exploration of what it is to love and be loved, and how love is central to becoming one's Self.
And now I'm reading about Zach's life (Last Night I Sang to the Monster). There it is again: words that live inside one, or don't; the tyranny of perfection; the ineffable logic of a trumpet tune.
Shut up, and let me read!
Defenaly raccomand this book- it will not disappoint you!