Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2015
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara is an immensely powerful and heartbreaking novel of brotherly love and the limits of human endurance.
When four graduates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they're broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their centre of gravity. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he'll not only be unable to overcome - but that will define his life forever.
A little life
Wow, what an intense, powerful & incredibly moving book. Really enjoyed it
The fact that the author did not research key elements that affect the main characters is baffling and it shows. It reads as torture p*rn. Christ.
If the lesson is suffering happens and there is no lesson - sure. But the kind of detailed voyeuristic gaze this boo has on the WORST things a human can experience makes it seem like the author is indulging a kind of fetish and. That’s awful.
For all the hype ...
... it was just about ok. The unlikely enormous success each and every single one of the characters has in their professional lives does not make up for a lack of anything else that propels the story forward. In hindsight, I probably should have read the paper version. The narrator, however skilled he is, seems to feel the urge to “dictate” his audience their emotional journey. Maybe for that same lack of a narrative that “goes”somewhere. There is an overload of intoned conversation; stuck in the throat, on the verge of crying narration. I am not a fan of anyone telling me what to feel, that’s all. So, just ok.