A Little Life A Little Life 8.2分

All that could have been

saudade
One thing I’m certain about is that A Little Life is nothing like anything i’ve read before.

I didn’t find the book as emotionally draining as many people said it would be. In fact, I found the beginning surprisingly light, which could also be claimed to be my favourite part of the book, where it delved into intricate details of JB’s, Malcolm’s and William’s lives and how they had come to be the way they were. But that doesn’t mean this book did not trigger a full range of emotions in me, from outright rage and horror to sheer joy, then to a heart-wrenching sadness so profound that i could not even put into words. Not only did I immensely enjoy getting to know each character personally through their own perspective, I was in utter awe of the Yanagihara’s exquisite prose writing. I had so many passages tabbed and written down in my little quote book and I read it at a speed i did not expect i would since I’d only heard about how depressing the book was. Even though t...
显示全文
One thing I’m certain about is that A Little Life is nothing like anything i’ve read before.

I didn’t find the book as emotionally draining as many people said it would be. In fact, I found the beginning surprisingly light, which could also be claimed to be my favourite part of the book, where it delved into intricate details of JB’s, Malcolm’s and William’s lives and how they had come to be the way they were. But that doesn’t mean this book did not trigger a full range of emotions in me, from outright rage and horror to sheer joy, then to a heart-wrenching sadness so profound that i could not even put into words. Not only did I immensely enjoy getting to know each character personally through their own perspective, I was in utter awe of the Yanagihara’s exquisite prose writing. I had so many passages tabbed and written down in my little quote book and I read it at a speed i did not expect i would since I’d only heard about how depressing the book was. Even though the characters’ lives are vastly different from mine, I was able to find a bit of myself in every character. Yanagihara made the universal experience of being human, of feeling belonged yet so alone in this world so raw on paper. To cling on to living in spite of ourselves.

And since the book takes place over the main characters' life spans, I’m at this point in life where I’m able to appreciate the way Yanagihara depicted the changing dynamics of relationships, especially friendships as the years went by. I absolutely adored the bonds between Jude, Willem, JB, and Malcolm. The way they looked out for one another selflessly honestly melted my heart. I suppose the unrealisticness of it allowed me feel that way. Which is also why I consider it a pity that their friendship isn’t focused on as much later, at least not with JB and Malcolm. That’s one thing I dislike about this book. In a way, i understand how Yanagihara created the backdrop to JB and Malcolm so that reader could care for them a bit when they appeared occasionally in later half the book. I loved reading their POVs in the beginning so the realisation that I didn’t care for them much towards the end saddens me.

Harold was a character that slowly grew on me and I developed a special fondness for his relationship with Jude. I love how he’s always so tender towards Jude and I squeezed a little when he and Julia adopted him.

So to sum up my favourite bits, I love that this book goes into so much detail of each main character’s life and their aspirations - it’s quite inspiring for me to read since most of them were doing what they loved for a living. I truly cared for the characters as if they were real human beings.

And on the exact note I will move onto the bits I did not like which dragged my rating down to 3 stars. It also has to do with the characters. Yes initially, or in the first half, I cared deeply for the characters but sadly not towards the end of the book. I wish wish wish i could say I loved the second part as much as the first half but unfortunately no, especially the more Jude’s tragic past was revealed, the more i actually felt indifferent towards the characters somehow. I was absolutely shaking with rage when Caleb verbally and physically abused Jude. When Luke’s part was revealed I was horrified that Jude experienced all that at such a young age. But perhaps because it was from Jude’s POV, that part was described in a sort of neutral way, almost with an affectionate tone from Jude’s part so maybe that’s why I didn’t feel as much rage as i thought I would, considering what Luke did was sooooo much more worse than Caleb’s doing. And then I thought it just went ridiculous with Dr. Trevor (might have gotten the name wrong…anyway).

As many other reviewers pointed out, my criticism has nothing to do with the character Jude himself but rather the way the author decided to let him bore all these tragic dramatic events was just a bit too much. There was so much agony and misery surrounding Jude’s life to the point of excessiveness that I stopped believing the authenticity of the character and ended up not caring for him, which made me so sad, because in early stages of the book I had constantly wanted to hug him for his insecurities and feelings of incompetence but then it just became repetitive.

I really wish it didn’t because i love the way Yanagihara writes. She creates a timeless world dyed by the intensity of feelings of its characters. I clung onto every word at the beginning because Yanagihara’s writing was simply so raw and beautiful - it would made you feel at awe of the universality of human experience, of being loved, of struggling yet advancing with vigour, of trying to find solace from others and also within ourselves. The truthfulness in her writing would simply tear your heart out. So it is a real shame that I didn’t feel as invested in the characters towards the middle end.

To conclude all my rambles, I’ll just say that I do like how Jude is portrayed as a tragic character, instead of a failure - it makes us wonder all that could have been.

And well, I also wonder what this book could have been.
3
0

查看更多豆瓣高分好书

回应(0)

添加回应

A Little Life的更多书评

推荐A Little Life的豆列

了解更多图书信息

值得一读

    豆瓣
    我们的精神角落
    免费下载 iOS / Android 版客户端
    App 内打开