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nathandrake1997

nathandrake1997

Joined March 2019

Bookworm poring through an endless bookshelf. Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/80017757-nathan-drake Instagram: nomadliterary
review
nathandrake1997
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Sara has lost her grandmother. As a coping mechanism, she is practicing archery. The single minded focus required to fire an arrow that hits a target helps her cohere the clutter of her headspace to a single point. The targets are probably torn into splinters/fragments once the arrow strikes. These targets turned into fragments is something that Jana Bodnárová mirrors in form in her exquisite novel NECKLACE/CHOKER...(continued in comments)

nathandrake1997 .....As the subtitle indicates, this is "a small novel in fragments". The fragments are divided into three subsets ("Then- sometime way back in the past", "Meanwhile- somewhere between the 50s and 60s although at times even further", "Now- present"). 1d
nathandrake1997 .....This led me to think, in most books, "fragments" sounds more resonant than "chapters". Because, a "chapter" sounds a lot more definitive, as in, something that begins and ends in its span. On the other hand, a "fragment" is a part of a larger whole, something that doesn't need to be self contained by definition..... 1d
nathandrake1997 .....So, maybe classifying each segment of most books as "fragments" instead of "chapters" makes more sense from a theoretical standpoint, but maybe, I am a bit scared about "fragments" becoming ubiquitous in the fear that it would lose its essence for me ? 1d
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nathandrake1997 ....Partly because some of my favourite books (THE BOOK OF DISQUIET by Fernando Pessoa, FLIGHTS by Olga Tokarczuk, SCENES FROM A CHILDHOOD by Jon Fosse) are divided into fragments and Jana Bodnárová's exquisite NECKLACE/CHOKER joins that league as well..... 1d
nathandrake1997 .....This is a book where the past mirrors the present which in turn deflects it to a far reaching prism through which it is refracted back to the mirror and the resultant intensity shatters the mirror into fragments and we get to witness both the individual fragments themselves and the glorious shattering of the mirror in a space and time bending literary marvel that in my opinion defies classification. 1d
batsy I haven't heard of this. Your review is fascinating! 1d
nathandrake1997 @batsy Thank you so much ❤️❤️❤️❤️ Prose written in fragments is slowly becoming my favourite writing style ❤️ 1d
Suet624 I just took a snapshot of your favorite books that you‘ve mentioned. I‘ll have to track them down. 12h
12 likes8 comments
review
nathandrake1997
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If the first volume (MY BRILLIANT FRIEND) was about childhood and the second volume (THE STORY OF A NEW NAME) was about growing up, then this volume (THOSE WHO LEAVE AND THOSE WHO STAY) is about one particular facet of growing up, letting go.....(continued in comments)

nathandrake1997 ....How it almost always sounds easy on paper and how the act of letting go from an existential standpoint is akin to walking on a carpet woven using shards of glass with every edge with every edge leaving its own subjective bruise. When viewed from a panoramic perspective, this carpet might be visible as one single coherent frame. 3d
nathandrake1997 ....But look a bit closer, and one can spot that this carpet is a mosaic with each shard varying in size and sharpness.... 3d
nathandrake1997 ....Each chapter can be viewed as its own shard. Each shard varies in size. Some are barely a page long while some span more than five pages. The chapters are bite sized because that's how shards are, but the edges nevertheless leave bruises in their wake. 3d
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nathandrake1997 ....Bruises that one barely has the time to nurse before the next one is inflicted. The bruises are raw wounds, the kind on which the prose then acts as salt being mercilessly sprinkled upon. That too precisely at the moment when the bruise is on the cusp of healing, but a sliver of it is still bare..... 3d
nathandrake1997 ....Ferrante's prose is at times salt, at times pincer, at times a deceptive balm that actually turns out to be something acidic masquerading as one. 3d
nathandrake1997 ....While a lot could be said about each character, it is the picture that all of them end up cohering into that turns out to be the most interesting. And the picture might as well be the author masquerading under the pseudonym "Elena Ferrante"..... 3d
nathandrake1997 ....Each character might as well represent a facet of Ferrante herself. Now, this is pure speculation, but judging by the often attributed autobiographical roots of this quartet, I won't be surprised if this eventually ends up being the case.... 3d
nathandrake1997 ....The guessing game that almost the entire literary world is engaged in might as well draw its most potent clues from Ferrante's prose itself. This volume in particular has subtle yet profound probable allusions to why Ferrante chooses to write under a pseudonym..... 3d
nathandrake1997 .....Maybe revealing her identity might result in her parting ways with the life she is currently leading, an act of letting go she probably doesn't want to indulge in. Because, what gets left behind ultimately gets neglected in memory of what leaves. THOSE WHO LEAVE playing a bigger part in one's life than THOSE WHO STAY. 3d
Suet624 What a review!!! 12h
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review
nathandrake1997
American Psycho | Bret Easton Ellis
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Content warning: NSFW
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Trigger warning: Drugs, sex, violence
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We have read a lot about despicable people being eventually redeemed in the end. You know, the whole "good always trumps evil" shenanigan. We are so caught up with the "good" that the "evil" naturally gets left behind. But, does it always stay stranded?....(continued in comments)

nathandrake1997 .....Well, in Patrick Bateman's case, it not only catches up, but also beats "good" to an extent so unrecognisable that it is almost invisible..... 2w
nathandrake1997 .....Patrick Bateman, a Donald Trump idolising investment banker moonlighting as a serial killer, is probably the most despicable I have ever seen a fictional character be. He snorts coke to the point where his American Express card stops working in certain machines, has sex of the pornographic kind (with the halogen lamps intact), murders his victims in an unfathomably grisly manner,....... 2w
nathandrake1997 .....murders his victims in an unfathomably grisly manner, engages in vomit inducing acts of necrophilia, in one instance....he makes burger patties and sausages out of the flesh and blood of his victims. Bateman is so depraved that I am honestly shocked that a film adaptation exists, because I'm not sure how some of the passages of this book would translate to screen..... 2w
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nathandrake1997 .....Ellis' prose feels both maximalist and detached at the same time. While he gets into excruciating detail not just about Bateman's serial killing shenanigans, but also about other facets of his life, like his obsession with brands,.... 2w
nathandrake1997 ....for example: He never checks his watch....he always checks his "Rolex", his prose also feels so calculated and emotionally detached that one feels the temperature of their surroundings drop immediately and a torrent of shivers streaming down one's spine..... 2w
nathandrake1997 ....With that being said, I am not really sure about what I feel about the last third of the book. On the one hand, the whole thing being a blurring between reality and nightmare sounds conceptually interesting, but for the kind of themes this book tries to tackle, it feels like a bit of a copout..... 2w
nathandrake1997 ....Compared to the batshit crazy nature of the rest of the book, the last third ends up feeling puzzlingly generic. Maybe because the whole "blurring of reality and fiction" conundrum feels like an overused plot device at this point, I won't be surprised if back when it was published it felt fresh, but I'm also not sure if it has aged that well. 2w
batsy This was a pick for me too, but you make a good point about the ending. I felt like as a window into a really grotesque kind of capitalist white male personality and the privilege that is granted to them, it makes some good & bleakly funny observations. 2w
nathandrake1997 @batsy In most instances the bleak humor worked for me as well. My favourite was when Ellis rhymed "Murders and Accusations" with "Mergers and Acquisitions"! 1w
Suet624 Jeepers. Really glad I skipped this one! 🤪😂 12h
16 likes10 comments
review
nathandrake1997
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Beginning. This felt like a book about beginnings. But, more about the act of finding a "beginning" than actually beginning something. The search of a beginning being one pertaining to the process of beginning to process grief. How does one after all deal with the sudden absence of someone near and dear to oneself?......(continued in comments)

nathandrake1997 .....How does one try to process the fact that they have to now set two dinner plates instead of three? That they have to book two tickets instead of three? That they have to tick the "widow" checkbox in the "marital status" section of a form? 2w
nathandrake1997 .....Joan Didion writes about loss in a manner that feels achingly personal and clinically detached at the same time. She writes heartbreakingly intimate details about various anecdotes in which Didion has to acknowledge the fact that her husband, John, is no more. 2w
nathandrake1997 ....One of them being the fact that she hasn't given away John's pair of shoes after his passing because she thinks John might need them when he returns home. This "not giving away his pair of shoes" extends to other facets of the life Didion and John shared as well..... 2w
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nathandrake1997 .....An especially heartbreaking fact being that the year after John passed away is the year when Joan started recognising that she had aged, since the 40 years she spent with John passed in such a blur that the psychological association of physical tenets of time and space felt secondary..... 2w
nathandrake1997 ....This first year in particular, when John's passing is so unfathomable for Joan that she keeps anticipating his return, forms Didion's "Year of Magical Thinking", a year when, relying on a theory by Stephen Hawking, Didion attempts to reconstruct the exact moment when nothing was the same anymore..... 2w
nathandrake1997 ....As Didion says, and this is not verbatim, "You sit down for dinner and in the next instant, life changes completely". That's exactly what happened in Didion's case as well. She and John sat down for dinner, and that's when John slumped in his seat and immediately slipped into a cardiac arrest, following which he was taken to the hospital and was then pronounced dead.... 2w
nathandrake1997 ....Along with giving us heartbreaking personal anecdotes, Didion also gives us the clinical side of the ordeal. At multiple occasions, Didion lists the bevy of medical tests and their excruciatingly minute detail down to a T! Maybe that's where one starts processing grief? 2w
nathandrake1997 ....Or is it at the literature they read? Or the films they watched? Or the music they listened to? I remember dad randomly crooning the "Maut aayegi, aayegi ek din" line from "Zindagi, ek safar hai suhana" whenever I think about him. Another music related anecdote being him randomly showing me the music video of "Jeena Yahan, Marna Yahaan" from MERA NAAM JOKER a few months prior to his death..... 2w
nathandrake1997 ....Like Didion interpreting her husband's response to art as clues leading to his imminent demise, maybe dad was leaving similar clues as well, clues that I completely missed and now can only sit back, reflect and regret.... 2w
nathandrake1997 ....A reason I could interpret as to why Didion's writing feels so achingly raw is probably because of the fact because of just like a person recently bereaved, Didion is probably seeking healing but probably isn't aware where to start.... 2w
nathandrake1997 ....Along with the reader, Didion tries multiple avenues, whether it is memories, medical records, art, food, Didion takes her questions to each aforementioned avenue and probably just like most of us, walks out with a bigger plate of questions and seldom and answer..... 2w
nathandrake1997 ....Maybe the answer to dealing with a predicament as intimately personal as grief is probably making peace with the fact that finding an answer is an inherently futile pursuit..... 2w
nathandrake1997 ....Didion closes the book with the fact that she is afraid of the fact of the passing of time. She is afraid because with each passing moment, the rawness of what occured might gradually fade and the remnant memory would a hazy, unrecognisable husk of what it once was. 2w
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review
nathandrake1997
The Buried Giant: A novel | Kazuo Ishiguro
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Sadness. An emotion most of us probably find unsettled, at times even repulsed by. We search in the increasingly bleak nooks and crannies of our increasingly bleak world for pockets of light that will probably mask the radiance of this engulfing fog, even if temporarily so, even if the means of masking is a flickering spark that is barely a sliver that lasts for a bit more than merely a moment....(continued in comments)

nathandrake1997 ....But what if the cracks keep on growing behind our back and eventually, the tunnel caves in and this time, it is the light itself that is instead masked out. Do we then still seek light or embrace our new companion, the omnipresent darkness and its cousin, sadness? 4w
nathandrake1997 ....Do we still burrow through the soil in our hopes of finding a way out into the light or are our hands way too tired for the digging to even commence? What if while digging, instead of light, we find a fossil, which according to a quote I recently read is "a stone's memory of a bygone being".... 4w
nathandrake1997 ....A startling reminder that the tunnel has caved in and all that remains is this engulfing darkness, so we might as well settle in and bare our scars to it hoping it will nurse our wounds instead.... 4w
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nathandrake1997 ....Beatrice and Axl are an aged couple who embark on a quest to meet their son. They have forgotten where exactly their son lives. And have forgotten a great deal more as well. This forgetting is all thanks to a mysterious fog that is spreading and vanishing memories in its wake.... 4w
nathandrake1997 ....Before long, there is a boy who needs to be ferried to safety, a duty bound soldier on a quest to slay a dragon and a mythical figure or two making a prominent appearance. Sounds like an outline of a fantasy novel, right? Well, Ishiguro indeed is writing a fantasy, but one that doesn't feel as divorced from the reality we inhabit as one might initially imagine.... 4w
nathandrake1997 ....While the aforementioned synopsis might paint a picture of this novel being a "point A to point B fantastical adventure", in reality, this novel is an achingly exquisite rendition of grief.... 4w
nathandrake1997 ....The melancholic implausibility of its initial occurence, rationality being shrouded by a suffocatingly engulfing mist, nothing about it making sense at first, the first thought rather being "point A to point B be damned!".... 4w
nathandrake1997 ....Sifting through the fog in turn leads one to dead end after dead end, tributary after tributary, nook after nook, cranny after cranny. But seldom to a defined destination, because what could be the destination of a journey whose inception itself feels both implausible and unfathomable.... 4w
nathandrake1997 ....This is not a novel about seeking answers, but is instead about down what lane does a question lead someone. And usually, the lane itself comes to an end, but what one is seeking still remains elusive. 4w
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review
nathandrake1997
Eileen: A Novel | Ottessa Moshfegh
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An unflinching character study, a twisted family story, a noir thriller about escaping one's roots, reading Otessa Moshfegh's magnificent EILEEN could be summed up using the aforementioned phrases.....(continued in comments)

nathandrake1997 ....An unflinching character study: I grew up loathing myself. I remember instances when I used to look in the mirror and berate myself for the incompetent mess I turned out to be. There were days when I used to think literally every other person on this planet is better than me. I know it is not factually correct, but what does one tell oneself whilst dealing with the existential conundrum of "growing up".... 1mo
nathandrake1997 ....I was, and still am, underconfident about the way I look. The aforementioned instances about berating myself in front of a mirror included more than a few barbs about my looks as well. I have always considered myself to be really ugly looking and to an extent I still do.... 1mo
nathandrake1997 ....Over the years, I have fallen so deep down a pit of self-loathing that I feel like its impossible to climb out of it now, since I have been swimming in this abyss for way too long and my head will probably stay above the water only for so long, hence all I could muster was submerge into this murky sludge.... 1mo
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nathandrake1997 ....The 24 year old self-loathing self of Eileen Dunlop felt like a soul sister to me. There were instances when I felt like I was reading snippets from my own diary. This reading experience felt immensely personal for the most part, until a certain point in the novel's last act, when the book morphs from a character study to..... 1mo
nathandrake1997 .........A twisted family story: This is the part that would probably prove to be the most divisive. It all starts with a patricide and gradually delves into topics and themes nobody would probably be comfortable discussing, but that's the point, these aren't themes that are meant to be discussed in a "comfortable" manner..... 1mo
nathandrake1997 ....The rug pulling of Moshfegh is akin to one slipping and hitting one's head on a hypothetical floor. By this, I mean that, for the first two thirds of the book, Moshfegh familiarises us with Eileen, her self loathing, her relationship with her father, her infatuation for her colleague Rebecca and Lee who has killed his father and has been incarcerated in the prison Eileen works at.... 1mo
nathandrake1997 ....These are pieces of a murky puzzle which Moshfegh masterfully maneuvers with the precision of a veteran. She moves these pieces around until it frames a picture of Eileen and Rebecca spending christmas together and from here on....what lies ahead is best discovered by the reader themselves.... 1mo
nathandrake1997 ....Although what's interesting is, inspite of all that happens, the novel in a way is about riding into the sunset, but not in a manner one is usually accustomed to. In a way, one could ride into the sunset in a situation like this only in.... 1mo
nathandrake1997 .....A noir thriller about escaping one's roots: A recurring theme in the book is how Eileen want's to escape where she is or rather who she is! But, the escape of both the "where" and the "who" is done in a manner so astoundingly literal that one can't help but sweep their jaw from the floor! 1mo
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nathandrake1997
The Sun Also Rises | Ernest Hemingway
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Hemingway for me is the undisputed king of succint prose. So, following suit, I'll try to keep my thoughts about THE SUN ALSO RISES as concise as possible.

What does one get if they mix Richard Linklater-esque meandering conversations with the visual poetry of Wong Kar Wai with almost Kurosawa-esque staging and choreography of key set pieces? (Continued in comments)

nathandrake1997 .....What if Jesse and Celine, instead of having meandering conversations with each other, had said conversations and relationships with other people, but still ended up sharing the final frame, but not in a way one might usually imagine? 1mo
nathandrake1997 ....What if Zula and Viktor, inspite of having feelings for each other, instead ended up having relationships with other people, but still ended up sharing the final frame, again not in a way one might usually imagine? 1mo
nathandrake1997 ....I'm probably using so many film references because one of the main facets of Hemingway's magnificent novel that jumped out on me almost immediately is how cinematic everything feels. Usually while reading books, the reader has to do the imagining of the scene taking place using the words as a crutch..... 1mo
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nathandrake1997 ....But, in Hemingway's case, it feels as if he takes over the "imagining" duties along with the already assigned "writing" duties. His writing is miraculously both concise and vivid, which brings every scene gloriously alive..... 1mo
nathandrake1997 .....And, boy does the writing feel alive! It is bursting with so much life that one feels like they have been sucked into a spiraling vortex of prose that ends up transporting them to the world Hemingway has conjured, and he does this only using a page and a typewriter, it is a miracle indeed! 1mo
Leftcoastzen 👏 1mo
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review
nathandrake1997
Elena Knows | Claudia Pieiro
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We have heard about literature healing wounds, but what about the kind that instead reopens said wounds and splashes boiling water on them instead? Reading Claudia Piñeiro's magnificent ELENA KNOWS felt like that. A book that hits so close to home that it ends up bruising one's soul leaving indelible marks in its wake....(continued in comments)

nathandrake1997 ....This is a book where, no matter how hard I try, I could never be objective about. And that's probably a reliable parameter for one's preference of literature, the kind of literature that shows objectivity the door.... 1mo
nathandrake1997 ....All I will say is, this book drained me to the extent that three measly paragraphs are all I could eke out about a novel that deserves a lot more. Will probably write a longer write-up at a later point, but for now, I'll wrap up by saying, this magnificent novel deserves all the hype and accolades it has been garnering. 1mo
Simona I liked it very much too. Simple, powerful and strong story. 1mo
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batsy Great review. I feel it left marks behind, as well. I'm living with and caring for my elderly mum now and I've not read a book that explored this theme from such an uncomprising position. 1mo
BarbaraBB Excellent review again. This is my favorite for the International Booker Prize. 1mo
BookwormM Loved this one as well and really hope it wins the Booker 1mo
nathandrake1997 @Simona @batsy @BarbaraBB @BookwormM Thank you so much ❤️❤️❤️❤️ And I'm really sorry for replying so late 😓 Been feeling a bit low lately 4w
BarbaraBB Take care of yourself 🤍 4w
batsy No worries at all, you don't have to apologise! Take care ♥️ 4w
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nathandrake1997
In Memory of Memory | Maria Stepanova
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So, I wrote about this book last night. But, I still haven't stopped thinking about it since. A book that lives rent free in my headspace since the last page was flipped, this is a book about whom merely one post won't suffice.....(continued in comments)

nathandrake1997 .....Memory is a subject I find endlessly fascinating. Blurring the line between fact and fiction in a literal manner, memory is literature on an existential plane. One of my favourite authors, Kazuo Ishiguro, built an entire career by writing about the fragility and unreliability of memory.... 1mo
nathandrake1997 ....In a lot of instances, his characters narrate events by saying "I think this happened" rather than a much more definitive "This happened at so and so date at so and so time".... 1mo
nathandrake1997 ....The reliability of Stepanova's narrators are left ambiguous in an interesting manner. A considerable amount of the book is written in an epistolary format, but the letters after all are written by human beings, so subjectivity is par for the course. Subjectivity that while makes for an engaging read, probably doesn't cement fact. 1mo
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nathandrake1997 ....The letters themselves are real. An objective existence of a subjective entity, where else is this juxtaposition possible other than art! 1mo
nathandrake1997 ....Stepanova makes an interesting observation about the art of photography in the book as to how in a way it captures a gradual erosion of life than merely a moment. According to her, what a photograph captures is not life itself but rather a sliver in its perpetual state of loss.... 1mo
nathandrake1997 ....IN MEMORY OF MEMORY is accompanied by a subtitle titled "A Romance". Now, this subtitle is open to a myriad of interpretations. It could be an allusion to the fact that the very act of recalling a memory, no matter how unflinching, is an act of romanticization since atleast one detail, no matter how inconsequential, gets glossed over.... 1mo
nathandrake1997 ....Another interpretation could comparatively be more literal, wherein there is an actual romance that is chronicled in an epistolary format, the existence of those letters being rooted in fact makes it all the more poignant.... 1mo
nathandrake1997 ....Another prominent facet of Stepanova's prose is literary criticism and said literary criticism is especially prominent about the art of autofiction (the retelling of factual events in a fictitious framework). From Proust to Sebald, Stepanova traces the epoch of landmark works of autofiction.... 1mo
nathandrake1997 ....This literary criticism gradually segways into a peak behind the curtains of Stepanova's own act of autofiction. In an interesting anecdote, Stepanova narrates how the letters almost didn't make it to the book because of her father's disapproval, this is one of those rare instances of literature where the writing and reading occurs in tandem.... 1mo
nathandrake1997 ....I spent last night's post talking predominantly about the book being shortlisted for a fiction prize inspite of it being classified as a work of nonfiction by its publisher, but in retrospect, this feels like a book that blurs the border between fiction and nonfiction, fiction due to subjectivity, non fiction due to factual existence of said accounts of subjectivity. And this blurring of boundaries is something worth celebrating. 1mo
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nathandrake1997
In Memory of Memory | Maria Stepanova
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Can any form encapsulate in an objective manner a phenomenon as subjective as memory? Can anything about memory be classified as "non-fiction"? The aforementioned questions are what probably led the Booker jury to include IN MEMORY OF MEMORY, a book classified as "nonfiction" by its publisher Fitzcarraldo Editions, in its International 2021 shortlist....(continued in comments)

nathandrake1997 .....A similar predicament occured when Annie Ernaux's THE YEARS was included in the 2018 shortlist. Which leads me to think, both are books are about memory and both are about chronicling the zeitgeist of a bygone era.... 1mo
nathandrake1997 ....While Stepanova's lens is more personal, viewing the past century of Russia through the lens of her family history, Ernaux's lens is comparatively more panoramic, where the gaze is on everything but the personal.... 1mo
nathandrake1997 ....But what is the connective tissue between these two works of non-fiction being shortlisted for prizes celebrating works of fiction is the fact that these are human accounts of events and what could be a more subjective lens than that of a human? 1mo
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nathandrake1997 ....Curiously subtitled as "A Romance", Stepanova's IN MEMORY OF MEMORY begins as an account of the life of her aunt Galya, an account framed in a shape shifting form that at one moment is epistolary which then morphs into an anecdote which then morphs into an exposition about the phenomenon of memory which in turn morphs into literary criticism about the art of autofiction.... 1mo
nathandrake1997 ....(a fictitious retelling of real events, a paradox in existence that is possible only in art).... 1mo
nathandrake1997 ....the subtitle is a hint about the whole fiction/nonfiction debate surrounding the shortlisting of this book for a prize otherwise meant for fiction, a subtitle that tells us that memory even in its most unflinching is probably romantic in nature,... 1mo
nathandrake1997 ....probably due to the fact that an accurate to the last pixel recreation of a memory is probably something that isn't possible by the human brain yet, one can claim that they have crystal clear memory of a particular event,.... 1mo
nathandrake1997 ....but.....what about the leaf that was probably fluttering about? Was it just one leaf? Was there even a leaf? A leaf could be a bottle thrown in a dustbin, the splash of water from a puddle, or any trivial detail akin to the aforementioned.... 1mo
nathandrake1997 ....So, romanticization is probably what one indulges in while recalling a memory. 1mo
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review
nathandrake1997
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Moving on. A lot has been written about it. A lot of useful stuff, but also a lot of misnomers! One of the biggest being "time heals everything". "Time" has been dubiously lifted to this pedestal of eternal healing in a manner that is honestly baffling! When in reality, time is akin to lead being forcibly dumped on our souls' shoulders and said lead weighing more and more as time passes by....(continued in comments)

nathandrake1997 ....Weighing one's soul down to such a degree that it is eventually crushed to an unrecognisable pulp! Maybe that's what "moving on" is, bearing the aforementioned lead like a cross until the curtains are pulled down and one's time in the spotlight is finally up!... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....This lead weighing on one's shoulders is what Pedro Carmona-Alvarez's stunning novel THE WEATHER CHANGED, SUMMER CAME AND SO ON is all about. For a change, instead of "moving on", we have a novel about giving up on moving on after it has weighed one down to an excruciating degree, the manner that makes one's former self completely unrecognisable!... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....Johnny and Kari, a married couple, are grieving the tragic loss of their two daughters in an accident. The novel charts this loss starts weighing on them in a manner that towards the end of the novel, they are almost literally a husk of their former selves!... 2mo
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nathandrake1997 ....Alvarez writes in short, Hemingway-esqe sentences. Hemingway-esque in a way where Alvarez conveys volumes in the span of a few words.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....But there is the occasional Knausgaard-ian paragraph or two, where Alvarez either walks us through the chores performed by his characters in microscopic detail or talks about the weather in a lyrical manner, the kind that feels transportive in a manner where the reader either wants to reach for a glass of iced coffee or a blanket, depending on the weather Alvarez is talking about!.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....Now, coming back to time and the dubious pedestal it occupies! "Time will heal everything", "all in good time", "let time heal one's wounds" are a few snippets of the "time" related advice I have recieved in recent years.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....Well, through experience, all I'll say is time doesn't do squat when it comes to healing! All it does is makes the aforementioned lead heavier! And while making it heavier, it stands by our side, not to give us a hand, but instead to laugh at us while one is crumbling under the baggage it has dumped on our shoulders!.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....In one of the most heartbreaking sequences of the book, Johnny's mother tells Johnny to keep the truth about the death of his two daughters under the wraps from his youngest daughter because she is "too young to make sense of it". To which, Johnny answers "I am unable to make sense of it either!".... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....This book is a gossamer of such heartbreaking instances which eventually forms a mosaic depicting the failure to process grief. 2mo
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review
nathandrake1997
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Ever read something that feels like a soliloquy of one's own bruised soul? Ever related to a work of literature in such a painfully profound manner that it almost feels like one's own thoughts are being mirrored back from the pages instead of words framed in a deliberate manner by an author?....(continued in comments)

nathandrake1997 ....There are good books, there are great books and then there are books where a quantifiable or definitive verdict feels pointless because one emotionally resonates with it in a manner that transcends quantifiable tenets?.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 .....Good, great, brilliant, masterpiece, adjectives of this ilk feel reductive because what this work means to one can only be defined by oneself! Just like how Yeong-hye's sudden impulse to give up on eating meat is something which she isn't sure is definable in a "universal" manner because the reason for that particular abstinence stems from an impulse so personal that it only feels plausible to her since she is the one who has experienced it? 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....I am not even sure if "definable" is a word, but in a way, that is the point! It is a book that will resonate with each reader in a manner that will be definable and said definition will probably be plausible only to the reader themselves.... 2mo
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nathandrake1997 ....Published initially as three novelettes (THE VEGETARIAN, MONGOLIAN MARK and FLAMING TREES) and then compiled into a single novella as THE VEGETARIAN, Han Kang writes about a lot, and by a lot, I mean "a lot".... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....But she does it with such exquisite command over the economy of her prose that the writing might appear deceptively simple at first. But, hidden beneath the pared-to-the-bone prose is a heart wrenching exploration of how excruciating it is to be human and how sometimes one wishes they were anything but human.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....While the novella starts as a critique of meat consumption, it gradually morphs into how existence itself can feel like a gruelling act one has to bear like a cross on their shoulders or akin to a boulder Sisyphus is condemned to push up a steep hill for eternity. 2mo
batsy Great review of a brilliant book. 2mo
nathandrake1997 @batsy Thank you so much ❤️❤️❤️❤️ 2mo
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nathandrake1997
Tomb of Sand | SHREE
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How does one even begin to write about a work of literature as monumental as Geetanjali Shree's magnificent TOMB OF SAND. Whether at the form, which is magnificent, or the function, which is glorious! A compilation of words arranged in a manner so unfathomably stunning that words fall short....(continued in comments)

nathandrake1997 ....No matter how many adjectives I cram into this write up, it will still fall short for conveying the brilliance of both Geetanjali Shree's stunning prose and Daisy Rockwell's unfathomably seamless translation.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....In order to render a semblance of coherence to this word vomit, I'll try my best to focus on one particular aspect that knocked my socks off. That being, narrative perspective. Narrated from the perspective of a myriad of perspectives, both living and non living, it is an eloquent evocation of the transcendent nature of storytelling.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 .....The persepctives range from the eyes of the human characters to the eyes of crows to....wait for it....in a particular instance, the wind passing through a party! The very notion of "narrative perspective" feels like a flesh and blood character in itself. What is especially interesting is how seamless the multiple switches in perspective feels.... 2mo
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nathandrake1997 ....At one instance, the reader might be reading through the perspective of a human character, but as the lines go by, the perspective gradually shifts to a society of crows and before we know it, the wind takes centre stage again! 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....But, this isn't a book merely content with formal brilliance! The function is in a league of its own. In a glorious sequence, famous charactes from partition literature literally share the stage with their creators where the line between creator and creation is blurred in a literal manner, an apt segway to the book's shift to borders as a central theme.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....The book is a gossamer of such glorious sequences weaved in a manner so exquisite that one can't help but sweep one's jaw from the floor while being awestruck by the magnificent literary mosaic on display! 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....TOMB OF SAND is one of those rare, monumental literary events that honestly makes the reader feel privileged that the written word is their choice of artistic indulgence! It is books like this that remind me the reason I fell in love with literature ❤️ 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....All I'll say is, if there is one book I am rooting for from a brilliant shortlist to win and one book that I feel might be and deserves to be hailed as a classic, it is TOMB OF SAND! An absolute stunner of a book where words fall short to convey its brilliance! 2mo
BarbaraBB You sold it! 2mo
rockpools 🎉🎉🎉 1mo
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nathandrake1997
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"She" and "He" are stranded in the unknown waiting for a certain "Rambuku". She is attempting to make He let go of the psychological ties he still has tethered to his previous relationship by making him proclaim anticipation for the arrival of Rambuku. Who is this Rambuku? Why are She and He waiting for them? Is Rambuku even real?....(continued in comments)

nathandrake1997 ....Jon Fosse attempts his own spin on Beckett's iconic play WAITING FOR GODOT in his play RAMBUKU, but this is a take where what if Godot actually arrived? Fosse talks about the fragility of relationships and the psychological soliloquy one has to endure whilst moving on from a previous relationship and while the soliloquy comes to an end, its echoes never leave one's mind.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....When compared to either his landmark SEPTOLOGY or even SCENES FROM A CHILDHOOD, this feels like a minor work. But, its pared back nature is what makes it Fosse-esque. While a bit didactic in conveying its themes, especially when compared to Fosse's later work, RAMBUKU nevertheless makes for a psychologically compelling read and a play whose stage production I would love to see someday! 2mo
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nathandrake1997
Loser | Thomas Bernhard
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Trigger warning: Repeated mention of suicide
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There is a famous anecdote about Steven Spielberg where after watching THE GODFATHER he said he would renounce filmmaking because he wouldn't make anything even remotely close to the brilliance of THE GODFATHER. He obviously didn't renounce filmmaking and instead went on to make some of the greatest blockbusters in the history of cinema....(continued in comments)

nathandrake1997 ....The same unfortunately cannot be said about the two central characters of Thomas Bernhard's THE LOSER. The unnamed narrator and his friend Werthiemer meet piano prodigy Glenn Gould in the institute they are learning music from.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....One day, they listen to Gould playing the GOLDBERG VARIATIONS and that performance entrances them in a manner that both in their own subjective ways decide to give up on a career in music, since reaching Gould's level of brilliance is unfathomable for the both of them.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....While the unnamed narrator gives up his music career in a physical way by selling his piano to a music teacher whose child is terrible at playing the piano, he deliberately does this inorder to make music descend from the pantheon it occupied in his mind, Werthiemer's renunciation of music is comparatively more psychological.... 2mo
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nathandrake1997 ....From deliberately destroying everything he has written to a despair that eventually leads him to suicide, a suicide initially thought about as a result or rather, as a response to exposure to artistic brilliance so radiant that it blinds out purpose and meaning from one's life, eventually it turns out that his reason for taking his own life turns out to be more deeper than one thought.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....Werthiemer loathes the very concept of existence, the kind that evokes a pessimistic outlook of Sartre's interpretation of the meaninglessness of existence, in one passage he remarks that "we don't exist, we are existed", alluding to the fact that existence happens to a person without the consent of said person, which led me to contemplate that had I been given a choice before I was born, what would have been my answer?.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....In my current headspace, I would have more than happily tripped on my feet and bow my way out of the sperm race to existence.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....This hatred of existence bleeds into his opinion about the people in his life. Werthiemer especially hates his parents because of whom this whole "existence" conundrum has been dumped on his shoulders. The only family member he doesn't hate is his sister.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....On the contrary, he loves his sister, but not in a mere "sibling cares for sibling" manner. His "love" can't actually be called "love", on the contrary, it is something that is deeply problematic. He literally and psychologically imprisons his sister in a shack in the woods so that her life revolves only around him.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....He is disgustingly misogynistic while expressing his desire for affection from his sister, a desire that borders on incest. When his sister finally breaks away from the shackles imposed on her by her brother and marries a chemical plant owner from Switzerland, Werthiemer travels to Switzerland and hangs himself on a tree merely hundred metres away from his sister's house 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....His suicide is interpreted by his friend, the unnamed narrator, as an act of revenge by Werthiemer against his sister for "abandoning" him.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....The book makes for a really uncomfortable read, especially when following characters as despicable as Werthiemer, but it is the lens through which we view Werthiemer's life makes it intriguing in an almost schadenfreude manner.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....We are disgusted by Werthiemer, but we are also trapped in an endless curiousity about knowing more about him. The unnamed narrator alludes to this fact by the fact that he is travelling to the same shack in the woods where Werthiemer imprisoned his sister inorder to read a set of writings that Werthiemer probably left behind.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....This "being trapped in a gradually tightening loop to know more and more about a despicable human being" is mirrored in Bernhard's prose. Written as two unbroken paragraphs, the prose feels akin to a snake gradually circling its prey and tightening the coil until the remains of the prey are crushed into an unrecognisable pulp and are eventually devoured by the snake. The unrecognisable pulp being the headspace of the reader. 2mo
BarbaraBB It sounds like a real Bernhard book. He is always so depressing and sister-obsessed! It must have been hard to read yet another book about suicide or maybe you want to read about is right now of course. Wishing you the best 🤍🍀 2mo
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review
nathandrake1997
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Trigger warning: Suicide
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Does writing really heal? Does writing really provide closure? These are questions one contemplates while reading Peter Handke's heart-wrenching novella-sized memoir A SORROW BEYOND DREAMS. Handke talks about the suicide of his mother and the book in a way is Handke attempting to process this sudden loss, especially a loss due to unnatural circumstances...(continued in comments)

nathandrake1997 ....He talks about how form is something that one can't really contemplate about while writing about something so deeply personal because it threatens to mask fact. But what exactly is fact?.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....Is memory actually that reliable that something encapsulated in it could be interpreted as something as definitive as "fact"? Handke abstains from doing so and instead calls the anecdotes he recalls about his mother's life as "dreams", since they resemble the phenomenon of memory closer than "facts" ever could.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ...And here, I have a few "dreams" to share as well.... 2mo
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nathandrake1997 ....Warning: From here on, the text will contain graphic depiction of suicide.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....I have talked about my father's death quite often. At times in posts, at times during conversations. But I have always tried to gloss over the actual circumstances of his death using the term "critically ill". But today, after reading Handke's memoir, I think I am finally ready to expound on what I alluded to by the term "critically ill".... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....My father was going through a tough time in his buisness from the past few years. There were times when he used to be distant and angry, but there were also times when he used to be forcefully cheerful. At times he used to laugh out loud for no apparent reason, a laughter that felt forced.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....Then the pandemic hit and my father had to pull down the shutters of his business for a while. "A while" went on for a bit too long and it really put a financial as well as mental strain on him.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....A few months later, he was allowed to reopen his business, but work felt almost impossible due to the imposed restrictions. Still, he tried his best.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....On the 20th of October 2020, I woke up in the afternoon as I had slept late last night. I opened the door to the bedroom in order to access the washroom. Dad was lying in bed. At first, I thought he was sleeping. But then I noticed something was amiss. There was a pool of blood beside him, an opened pen-knife and a bottle of toilet-cleaning disinfectant.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....I immediately shouted at the top of my lungs and called for my mother saying "There is blood all over dad's bed!". Mom rushed to the room, shocked, tear stricken, and asked dad "What is this!". To which, dad replied "I don't want to live like this anymore!".... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....Mom asked me to call our family doctor and she rushed outside the house and knocked on our neighbours' doors. When one of them opened their doors, mom exclaimed amidst tears "My husband has attempted suicide!". By the time she said this, the remaining neighbours opened their doors as well and everyone rushed to our house.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....One of our neighbour's successfully managed to contact a hospital and an ambulance and we immediately moved him to the hospital.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....The doctors flushed out as much as possible of the acid he had consumed. A few hours later, the surgeon arrived and stiched the slashes he had cut on his wrists. The surgeon declared immediately that "he is safe".... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....On the second day, the doctor was on rounds and when he visited dad's bed, he saw an x-ray and noted that he was developing symptoms of pneumonia. The second day passed in stress as well as a result.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....On the third day, further scans revealed that there was a hole formed in his intestines and he had to be operated on immediately and the success ratio of surgeries of such kind were very less. The doctor asked us to be prepared for an unfavorable outcome, although, my question is, how does one prepare for such an outcome?.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 .....The surgery was successful and dad was put on ventilator. The next day when the surgeon visited for a follow up, he asked us to shift him to a bigger hospital.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....We did so and for the next few days, his vitals were showing improvement. But on the ninth day, dad suddenly fell unconscious and his blood pressure dropped to an alarming rate. The doctor said that, due to remnant traces of the acid in his body, his organs were failing in quick succession. By the evening, when all hope was lost, he suffered a brain stroke.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....Next day morning 6:45 am was when we received a text from a cousin who was staying overnight at the hospital stating "Dad passed away at 6:45 am due to a cardiac arrest". I had just woken up, mom had already taken a shower and had got ready. I asked her what had happened and she replied "Dad passed away" and showed me the text.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....That day, after ages, I had visited a church and once I reached and met the parish priest, my first words were "I lost my father today". That was when I verbally acknowledged him in the past tense for the first time.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....From there, we went to an undertaker to buy a coffin and since this was a suicide case, we had to visit the police station once as well. After we got an approval from the police station, we moved dad's body to a morgue, because, due to covid restrictions, we couldn't organise a wake for him at our home.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....The next day, we got ready and went to the church. As soon as we reached the church, mom broke down. A few minutes later, dad's body arrived in a hearse. His skin was pale, almost matching the yellow coloured shirt he was decked in..... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....Due to covid, we couldn't organise a mass and hence we had to directly proceed with the burial. The burial rites were being uttered while his body was being slowly lowered in his grave. My mother and sister were in tears while I wasn't sure of the emotional state I was in.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....All I could say was, at that point, my body and soul were so bruised and battered that all I wanted to do was join dad.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....Maybe writing this won't mean anything in the long run, because even after penning this down, I don't feel anything even remotely close to closure. The wounds feel as fresh as they did back then. The eventual PTSD diagnosis and the course of antidepressants prescribed as treatment feel like they have been doing nothing to heal the scars time was supposed to heal.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....Life feels as excruciating today as it did back then. Handke's memoir hits home in ways I wish it hadn't. But alas, wishes are an elusive construct, because life after all is....a sorrow beyond dreams. 2mo
Cathythoughts Beautiful title 💔 2mo
batsy I'm so very sorry to hear this 💔💔 I hope your father is at peace and much strength to you and your mum and your sister. It's a lot to deal with and heal from. Be patient with yourself... ❤️ 2mo
BarbaraBB I am so sorry for what your father, you and your family went through. This book must have been so hard for you to read. I can‘t imagine how you must feel, just hope that you‘ll be able to take those little steps towards a future a bit lighter. 🤍 2mo
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review
nathandrake1997
Nausea | Jean-Paul Sartre
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Antoine Roquentin finds existence pointless. Not just pointless, but if I may say so, grotesquely pointless. And, not just existence from the lens of the human experience, but the very fact of existence itself, of both animate and inanimate beings! It all started with a pebble. At the age of 7, Roquentin was at a river bed and he lifted a pebble to throw into the water....(continued in comments)

nathandrake1997 ....But instead of throwing the pebble, he contemplates the existence of the pebble. Of how the pebble wasn't always a pebble but instead is a stone chipped away by the flow of both water and time and how the stone itself is probably a fragment of a larger rock. Hence the pebble's existence is meaningless since it wasn't a pebble from the beginning.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....Roquentin is so caught up in this existential train of thought that the muddy juxtaposition of thought upon thought causes him to become nauseous. With age, more and more objects and facets of existence get this disturbingly granular mental attention from Roquentin and each instance triggers nausea.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....Jean Paul Sartre, through Roquentin, expounds upon his views on existence in his landmark philosophical novel NAUSEA. Sartre, through his thoughts on existentialism, intended to form a counter point to essentialism, believed that existence doesn't have any inherent meaning and being forced to render meaning to existence was according to him an act of "bad faith". 2mo
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nathandrake1997 ....So, as per Sartre, writing fiction is probably an act of bad faith as well, because meaning in fiction is purely a contrivance by the author. So in a way, by writing this work of fiction, Sartre engaged in an act of bad faith himself.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....This meta-contradiction of one's own beliefs in turn forms a broader comment on how the fact that there is physical proof of the existence of instances of "contrivance of meaning", which in turn provides ample proof for Sartre's theory that from a purely natural standpoint, existence is devoid of meaning.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....There is a lot of philosophical, especially existential, meat to chew on and that at times on a cerebral level can be overwhelming and in a way that is the point...... since life is after all an elaborate bout of nausea with barely a breather. 2mo
Alfoster I remember reading him in college and thinking, wow this is what I have to look forward to in life??? At that point it was overwhelming but not sure I‘d revisit now😱! 2mo
batsy Nice review! I've been wanting to read this for a *long* time but intimidated by it. Your review helps me to know what to expect. 2mo
nathandrake1997 @Alfoster Reading Sartre is overwhelming indeed. He opens up a facet in one's existential lens that one can't help but look through it from there on! 2mo
nathandrake1997 @batsy Thank you so much ❤️❤️❤️❤️ Can't wait to hear your thoughts on it ❤️ 2mo
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nathandrake1997
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In one of my favourite scenes from The Coen Brothers' 2013 film INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS, Oscar Isaac playing aspiring country musician Llewyn Davis arrives at his friend's house after a futile cross country trip where he attempts to and yet again fails at selling the rights to his music to a record label....(continued in comments)

nathandrake1997 ....He keeps his guitar aside, sits on a chair and on the other side sits his friend's wife, with whom Llewyn had a brief fling with, and she says that a club that Llewyn regularly plays at has offered to let Llewyn have the stage again. But, instead of the token "yes", Llewyn lets out a barely stifled sigh and exclaims "I am tired! I thought I just needed a good night's sleep, but it is a lot more than that!".... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....Similarly, Hemingway's protagonist, a weather and time worn old fisherman after catching a really big fish and bringing it ashore, is instead caught up with the weariness that has seeped into his bones with time and age and all he wants to do is sleep, while almost everyone else is remarking about how they haven't seen a fish as huge and beautiful as the one he has caught. 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....Llewyn and the old man have many similar qualities. There was a time when the two of them were passionate about what they wanted to achieve in life. But time and life take their toll and the two of them are left as nothing but a husk of their former selves.... 2mo
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nathandrake1997 ....A friend, or rather the absence of a friend, plays an integral part in their day to day being. While Llewyn's friend and bandmate passes away untimely, the old man's friend, a young boy who at one point was also his fishing partner, finds a boat that is comparatively "luckier" and his parents force him to abandon the old man, although the boy's heart says otherwise.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....A meandering journey plays an integral part in both INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS and THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA as well. While in INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS, it is a cross country trip where Llewyn is trying to meet a record label producer to sell the rights of his music, in THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA, it is a journey into the overwhelmingly boundless seas in search of a big fish to catch.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....Both journeys are preceded by futility. In INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS it is Llewyn's failure to make a name for himself and in THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA, it is the old man's failure to catch to a fish from the past few voyages, to the point where the last successful voyage seems as elusive as the receding sunset in the horizon.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....Both INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS and THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA are accounts of a limited time frame in their protagonists' lives. While INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS spans a week in the life of Llewyn Davis, THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA spans one voyage in the old fisherman's life.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 .....While Llewyn's week ends with yet another instance of failure, the old man's week, while ending with materialistic success, nevertheless ends with the kind of existential exhaustion that impedes him from reaping his rewards, which in turn makes one wonder, what really was the point of literally wading through a storm, only to come crashing down to a fatigued sleep?.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....This is a question that we can probably ponder upon pertaining to our day to day existence as well. Wake up, work towards a materialistic goal, achieve/fail said goal, spend a considerable amount of the night sleepless regardless, open your eyes, prepare and consume a stimulant of choice, then truly wake up, rinse and repeat..... 2mo
nathandrake1997 .....Ernest Hemingway's THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA, while usually interpreted as a tale of human resilience, read to me instead like a parable of the futility of resilience, especially when one takes the ending into thematic context..... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....A magnificent work of literature that is surprisingly both concise and meandering, in a mere span of 99 pages, Hemingway encapsulates the toll the human experience takes on oneself in a manner so eloquent that one is left in awe of what one has just witnessed. 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....Using concise sentences and an accessible vocabulary, Hemingway manages to convey volumes in the span of a short sentence or two. 2mo
BarbaraBB My fave Hemingway! 2mo
nathandrake1997 @BarbaraBB This was my first Hemingway and I absolutely loved it ❤️❤️❤️❤️ 2mo
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nathandrake1997
Normal People | Sally Rooney
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There is something about NORMAL PEOPLE by Sally Rooney that reminds me about a few things at once. One of them is the "in the moment" writing in the screenplay of Greta Gerwig's LADY BIRD where each scene felt like a moment in the protagonist's life instead of a result of potential build-up...(continued in comments)

nathandrake1997 ....Similarly, every chapter in NORMAL PEOPLE opens directly amidst a moment, as if the world Rooney has crafted continues to exist beyond the reach of her pen.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....At first glance, while glossing through the promotional material of the book, one can easily misinterpret NORMAL PEOPLE as a love story. After all, everything about the promotional material, from the cover art to the blurb to the various snippets found all over the internet to the trailer of the Tv Series adaptation screams "star-crossed lovers", when in reality, the book is anything but that.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....Yes, it is about two people. Yes, it is about them sharing experiences together that are usually interpreted in a romantic context. Yes, sex plays an integral part in the narrative. Yes, love, or rather the fragility of love as an emotion is one of the key thematic and emotional undercurrents of the book.... 2mo
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nathandrake1997 ....But the book is anything but a love story, or rather, anything but a love story in a conventional sense.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....The two protagonists, Connell and Marianne, drift in and out of each other's lives over a period of four years, from 2011 to 2015. The relationship that the two of them share is quite emotionally impulsive in nature. There are times when they awkwardly exchange a nod while there are also times when they end up sleeping together.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....But both of them, in their own subjective ways, refuse to ground the connection they share into something definite. This at times causes a source of frustration for the people around them, but in a way, one cant help but empathize with the existential ambiguity of the relationship shared by the protagonists because they are in a juncture of life where they can barely make sense of the life they individually want to lead.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....let alone the life they probably want to share with someone else.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....This impulsive existential ambiguity in a way becomes the defining trait of the narrative timeline Rooney chooses to frame the protagonists' lives in. Each chapter starts at a particular moment in the protagonists' lives.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....At times, it is multiple months from the previous chapter, at times it is a few weeks from the previous chapter and during one instance it is barely five minutes from the previous chapter. Time also operates at an impulsive rhythm in Rooney's prose.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....Another interesting narrative device Rooney uses in the book is in the way she chooses to flesh out the protagonists' lives and the relationship they share. Throughout the book, Conell and Marianne meet other people and it is through their relationship with these "other" people that both Connell and Marianne and the relationship they share are fleshed out.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....What Connell and Marianne mean to each other is conveyed when they are apart from each other, or rather when they are emotionally invested in someone else. At first glance, this might sound cliched and generic. But Rooney's refreshingly anecdotal writing prevents the prose from slipping into a quagmire of saccharine.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....At turns witty, at turns heartbreaking, but the kind that never loses its sharpness, Rooney's prose is like one of those knives that manages to slice effortlessly through both butter and meat, leaving glorious layers open for display in its wake.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....Connell and Marianne's relationship is one that is an uphill climb to get invested in and in a way that makes sense, because that is how not only romantic, but human relationships in general are.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 .....A lot of times, one can't really make sense of why does a certain person mean the world to them, even though the relationship they share with said person probably isn't positive in a conventional sense. It is this existential dilemma about human relationships that Rooney attempts to explore in NORMAL PEOPLE.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 .....This write-up feels like it is going nowhere, rambling on and on about something or the other, at times talking in circles about the same point, at times meandering on tangents embarked randomly upon. But, in a way, that's what reading this novel feels like..... 2mo
nathandrake1997 .....In fact I am kind of hesitant to call this a novel. Or maybe what the "novel" as an artform means from a literary gatekeeper's perspective..... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....Just like some of my favourite literature in recent years, the writing is fragmented, intentionally rough around the edges, akin to shards unafraid to pierce one's skin at moments and leave an indelible impression. It has its rough edges, but the sharpness nevertheless is intact, hence I am rather hesitant to dismiss them as flaws. On the contrary, if nothing, they add to the reading experience. 2mo
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nathandrake1997
Never Let Me Go | Kazuo Ishiguro
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Usually, whenever I finish a book, I take a moment, a moment that lasts atleast a few hours, or in some cases, a few days to gather my thoughts and then I proceed to write them down. But, for the first time, I have the urge to write about a book immediately after flipping its last page. A book that evoked a reaction so viscerally emotional that one has to be ready with a bottle to catch the lightning....(continued in comments)

nathandrake1997 ....Narrated from the first person perspective of Kathy, a thirty one year old carer (a carer is a person who cares for organ donors), we follow her train of thought, primarily pertaining to her memories about school, a dystopian establishment named Hailsham where clones are groomed and trained to become potential organ donors. They donate organs until their bodies can't cope and they eventually pass away.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....This state is referred to as "completion". These donors are cited to be the key reason for there being a potential cure for a lot of life-threatening diseases, but one wonders throughout the book, at what cost?.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....Ishiguro treads familiar ground when it comes to touching upon themes pertaining to the fragility of memory, the various existential conundrums about the human condition, but also traditional to Ishiguro is the lens he chooses to chronicle these human quandaries through, the lens not necessarily being human.... 2mo
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nathandrake1997 ....While in his later novel, the Booker longlisted KLARA AND THE SUN it was through the eyes of a robot, here it is through the eyes of a clone. Resembling human beings in shape and form, but unlike humans, instead being born with a predestined goal.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....Another significant Ishiguro trait being the intentional emotional distance in his prose, where he stubbornly refuses to give into mawkish sentimentality and instead fleshes out the characters and the world around them using sparse yet evocative prose while letting the eventual heartbreak subtly simmer in the background until it builds up to its eventual boiling point.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....and moistens one's eyes while the pages soak up the tears and leaves stains in its wake.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....Divided into three parts, the first part, through the unreliable memory of the protagonist Kathy, chronicles the lives of Kathy, Ruth and Tommy at Hailsham. The second part is about their lives in a place called The Cottages, which in a way is their first exposure to the outside world.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....The third, and in my opinion the most heartbreaking, part is set in the present where the ambiguous memories in the previous parts coalesce into an emotionally satisfying whole that leaves the reader reaching out for a tissue whilst turning the pages because inspite of the constant downpour of tears, the intrigue is such that one can't help but read on!... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....While THE REMAINS OF THE DAY is still my favourite Ishiguro, NEVER LET ME GO comes a really close second! 2mo
BarbaraBB My two favorites as well! 2mo
nathandrake1997 @BarbaraBB Two stunning books ❤️❤️❤️❤️ I also love THE UNCONSOLED ❤️ 2mo
BarbaraBB My third favorite would be 2mo
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review
nathandrake1997
Man in Love: My Struggle: Book 2 | Karl Ove Knausgaard
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There are times when one finds one's thoughts echoing to a haunting degree from the literature one reads. While reading the second volume of Karl Ove Knausgaard's MY STRUGGLE series (A MAN IN LOVE) I came across a surprising amount of aforementioned instances. One of them being when Knausgaard talks about how excruciating attending a birthday party is.....(continued in comments)

nathandrake1997 ....Now, digression time. I am not really a "birthday" person. Maybe it is the cynical pessimist in me, but I don't really see the point behind celebrating an occasion which marks the fact that one is now a year closer to their imminent demise. I wasn't always like this.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....As a kid, I actually used to enjoy attending birthday parties and I used to look forward to my own birthday as well. Then the years went on and as the age old adage goes, life happened. Maybe I started growing more and more "life-weary" and gradually my thoughts on the concept of a "birthday" started to shift towards the pessimistic side of my headspace..... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....Pessimism is probably too kind a word, the days leading up to my birthday are probably the worst set of days I experience in a year (this is beside the fact that I feel like shit almost everyday). A glaring reminder of the day I was forced into existence without my consent. 2mo
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nathandrake1997 ....On my last birthday, the whole "celebration" vibe got so unbearable that towards the end of the day I had to isolate myself and go to a restaurant alone for a dinner. A risotto and a glass of wine later, some semblance of calm entered my mind and helped me power through the cheer and pomp of the last few hours of that day.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....A few months back, we were at my uncle's place to celebrate my nephew's birthday. After we had cut and eaten the cake (along with cringing through the obligatory recitation of that garish "Happy Birthday To You" in an unsurprisingly tone deaf manner), I remember texting a friend that "This birthday cake tastes so boring that it feels like the most BIRTHDAY CAKE of all birthday cakes I have eaten."..... 2mo
nathandrake1997 .....Along with birthdays, Knausgaard talks about how attending social events in general can be excruciating from the lens of everyday mundanity. And not just attending social events, but the mere act of existence can itself feel like a chore, the cyclical repetition of the 24 hour cycles we mere mortals call as days.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....Wake up, exist, try to sleep but some or the other godforsaken thought/thoughts keeps us awake most of the nights, wake up sleep deprived, repeat. This is the "struggle" that Knausgaard is alluding to in this series.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....Another instance of the book echoing my thoughts is Knausgaard's thoughts on food. He often refers to the very act of eating as a chore and honestly, that's how I feel about eating as well. An exhausting time sink that I want to be done with as soon as possible..... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....I used to be quite the foodie. As a kid, I remember ordering the dish with the most interesting sounding name and while it usually used to end up in disaster, this habit nevertheless persisted throughout my childhood.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....Eating used to feel like something special, something to look forward to. But, as I grew up and life happened, that emotional bond between me and food was gradually severed to the point where that particular existential thread disintegrated into oblivion. Now food is nothing but an obligatory means of sustenance, the kind of sustenance that makes me curse the sunrise.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....The prose is probably the most unpretentious I have read in a while. Here, Knausgaard is chronicling day to day mundanity in a manner without giving into any form of "literary" pretense, to the point where, unlike the previous volume (A DEATH IN THE FAMILY) which was divided into two parts, he doesn't bother dividing this volume into either parts or chapters.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....Yes, this entire 664 page tome plays out as a single chapter. Probably an attempt to communicate the fact that how for Knausgaard the days started to blend into each other to the point where any form of segregation seems antithetical to the project he has embarked on.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 .....Reading this series can feel challenging, especially when coming to terms with the kind of prose Knausgaard uses. This is not necessarily because of the vocabulary, which is honestly quite simple, it is the way the prose is framed in. While digressions have been one of the most polarizing aspects of literature, I am someone who actually enjoys digressions and plotless meandering in literature.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....While nowadays it feels as if fiction is trimming the fat down to the bone, here is a book that is all about digressions. From being forced to attend social events to philosophical and existential trains of thought stemming from the books and media in general Knausgaard is consuming, this is a book that thrives in drawing multiple tangents while not quite bothering to give us a "resolution",.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 .....instead letting the reader ponder a subjectively suitable resolution to the train of thought at hand. 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....Instead of a plot, Knausgaard provides ample food for thought.... 2mo
nathandrake1997 ....While I personally preferred the more elegiac tone of the previous volume, this nevertheless was a compelling read and one that makes me want to read the next volume immediately! 2mo
BarbaraBB I could relate to many of his “issues” too and recognized the time setting. Such a good series! To me each new one was better than the one before! 2mo
batsy Fascinating review. I must read him and this series (thought of starting with The Morning Star as an intro to him, just for the sheer fact that it's *one* book 😅) (P/S: I hate birthday parties too & my own brings about anxiety. Thankfully, the people around me know this by now. It's so much better for everyone just being able to celebrate/recognise one's birthday in the way one wants to, without having to endure a party imposed upon you... ) 2mo
nathandrake1997 @BarbaraBB At times while reading, I felt like Knausgaard was echoing thoughts from my own subconscious. There are so many instances when I felt like screaming "ME"!!!!!! 2mo
nathandrake1997 @batsy Thank you so much ❤️❤️❤️❤️ I am not a party person in general, but when it comes to detesting parties, birthday parties take the cake! Also, am I the only one who hates birthday cakes? I'd rather have a glass of wine over a glorified lump of sugar! 2mo
BarbaraBB @nathandrake1997 me too. Anytime 🍷! 2mo
Suet624 ....”Wake up, exist, try to sleep but some or the other godforsaken thought/thoughts keeps us awake most of the nights, wake up sleep deprived, repeat. This is the "struggle" that Knausgaard is alluding to in this series....” I‘ve only read the first book but I had no idea this was the struggle he was referring to in the series. And yeah, that‘s become my life more@and more as I age. 2mo
Suet624 Same here with parties and food. I often leave town and sit on a beach by myself so as to avoid birthday parties. 2mo
nathandrake1997 @Suet624 The mundanity of life is indeed the biggest uphill climb one has to endure 😓 2mo
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review
nathandrake1997
The Discomfort of Evening | Marieke Lucas Rijneveld
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Read this when you are in the right headspace" is something we have come across in some or the other context atleast once in our reading lives. This forewarning is something that even I have used while recommending something particularly grim (which, spoiler alert: is atleast 90% of the literature I read), (continued in comments)....

nathandrake1997 ....but what does one say while recommending something about death. What exactly is the "right headspace" to read about death? This is something I have always wondered about while talking about literature pertaining to death.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....THE DISCOMFORT OF EVENING by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld is one such book. I attempted to read this book for the first time early last year, I only made it through 60% before I called it quits, I probably wasn't in the right headspace then.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....Yesterday, I picked this book again on a whim and started reading through it again from the beginning and a day later, here I am jotting my thoughts about the book down after flipping the last page. I'm not sure if I was in the right headspace even now, but reading is something that one can never be definitive about.... 3mo
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nathandrake1997 ....This is a grim, depressing, crushingly macro-detailed look at death and the grief it leaves behind in its wake. This is not an easy book to read and honestly, one that is even more difficult to write about. By "macro-detailed", I mean the kind of detailing where even a single pixel isn't out of focus.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....For example, there is a moment in the book when someone is eating yoghurt. But they are not merely "eating a yoghurt". They are "accumulating the remaining yoghurt in a packet on a finger and then licking the finger and when they remove the finger from their mouth, a strand of saliva accompanies the finger". (Note: This quote is not verbatim)..... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....Fate and a cunning court jester have something in common, they have an endless bag of tricks. But fate upstages the court jester in one regard and that is, on a whim it can summon a really grotesque existential trick, something the court jester can only attempt a pale imitation of. Or rather, fate is probably the pantheon that the court jester attempts to rise to.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....The book doesn't root the setting, a farm, to any particular town/state/city/country, but one might as well interpret the setting as "death". By this I mean literally every facet of the existence of its central characters is intertwined with death in some or the other manner.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....For example, the silo in the farm is mentioned in the context of the mother's potential to jump off it. Another example being, the "mission" that the children embark on. The "mission" being travelling "to the other side" on a "bridge" to be reunited with their dead brother.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....Rijneveld doesn't pull any punches when it comes to writing about the effervescence of the aftermath of grief. They write about grief in a manner akin to a diary. The book isn't necessarily structured as a diary, but it can be interpreted as one.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....A diary kept by the protagonist Jas, a ten year old girl, as an attempt to make sense of experiencing something as existentially profound as death at the tender age of ten.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....The prose is grim, unflinching but also lyrical and occasionally heartfelt. This is a book that breaks your heart, then beats it into an unrecognisable pulp and laughs at the aftermath, the kind of laugh that haunts the reader long after the last page has been flipped. 3mo
BarbaraBB I wasn‘t that impressed when I first read it (so many gory details 😰) but I can‘t get this book out of my head, which says quite a lot. 3mo
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review
nathandrake1997
No One Is Talking about This | Patricia Lockwood
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The internet. Probably the most profound existential enigma of our times. A tool to be both productive and counterproductive. It is such a literal manifestation of a juxtaposition that it transcends the grammatical realm of a metaphor....(continued in comments)

nathandrake1997 ....Social Media. A facet of this enigmatic juxtaposition that allows us to connect with people miles away from where we live, while in due process isolating us from the people around us. A juxtaposition within a juxtaposition, the internet indeed has transcended vocabulary, since there isn't a word for such a grammatical phenomenon in the dictionary yet.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....Juxtaposition. The norm of social media. Scrolling through a feed, words washing over our eyeballs, a meme that makes our sides split, while a heartfelt anecdote makes our eyes moist. But not for long, since it might be followed up by a catchy tune, or, yet another meme.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....This existential digital juxtaposition forms the crux of Patricia Lockwood's stylistic framing device of her prose in her stunning debut NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT THIS.... 3mo
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nathandrake1997 ....Longlisted and Shortlisted for all the prizes visible to one's eye, yet quite polarizing in its reception, maybe this is the kind of reception Lockwood was aiming for, since the internet indeed is a polarizing place.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....Jia Tolentino in her review of the book described Lockwood's prose as "Kaleidoscopic" and honestly, a more succinct description of the prose probably isn't possible. The prose, structured as a series of social media posts, is a series of fragments where each fragment can be refracted into a myriad of interpretations.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....Amidst witty social commentary about pop culture and the Zeitgeist of our times in general is buried a heartbreaking story of personal tragedy. This in turn mirrors the fact that nowadays the only outlet for personal expression is social media. But the caveat being that an account of one's personal experience can indeed get lost in a quagmire of fluff.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....This conundrum is reflected in the structure that Lockwood chooses to frame her prose. Those aforementioned "fragments" are sequenced in such a manner that the "personal" gets buried under the "popular".... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....Reading through the prose indeed mirrors the experience of scrolling through a social media feed, attempting to sift through the clutter to find what's relevant to the user.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....What's especially refreshing about this book is that it feels like it is written by someone who has genuine experience with today's state of the internet. It feels both self-aware and authentic in execution.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....That is why the experience of reading through Lockwood's prose hits home in a manner that is probably subjective to each reader, pertaining to their experience with the internet.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....Stylistically, Lockwood goes for the broke in a manner that authors seldom do these days and this results in the most formally innovative debut I have read in years and a book that feels both groundbreaking and prescient! 3mo
BarbaraBB Completely agree with your review. It feels so real, both parts, even though they are so different. 3mo
Suet624 I was one of those who appreciated this book for the same reasons you mention while others around me found myriad ways to diss it. Thank you for this review. 2mo
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review
nathandrake1997
Zone | Mathias Enard
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Coherence. A word usually attributed to something that makes sense. Coherence does make it easier to process things. But, is coherence essential to make sense of existential experiences? Are existential experiences always of the kind one makes sense of? Is rendering coherence to existential experiences an act of emotional dishonesty? Well, the answer to that would probably be, to each experience their own....(continued in comments)

nathandrake1997 ....Spy, a three letter word endlessly romanticized in art. Hollywood has built a sizeable market out of the "spy-thriller" sub genre. Casting unbelievably good looking people to perform awe inspiring spectacle in unbelievably stunning locations, these "spy-thrillers" undoubtedly look like glorified tourist brochures for the locales they are shot in.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....But what goes on in the mind of a spy performing these death-defying stunts while we sit in air conditioned IMAX cinema halls with a tub full of popcorn and a glass of soda or a cup of coffee?.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....What must Ethan Hunt actually be thinking while dangling from the door of an aircraft that has just taken off in the opening set piece of MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: ROGUE NATION or what must he have been thinking while racing through the streets of Paris in that breathtakingly shot motorcycle chase sequence halfway through MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT?.... 3mo
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nathandrake1997 ....What must 007 be thinking while racing through the streets of Matera in one of the opening sequences in the first act of NO TIME TO DIE? What about the dizzyingly high body count that both Hunt and 007 must have raised during their globe-trotting espionage hijinks?.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....Do the ghosts of the people at the other end of their weapons haunt them? Are their nights sleepless?.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....Mathias Enard's ZONE is a novel about a spy rather than a "spy novel". By that, I mean, it is about the psychological grime accumulated in the mind of a spy after years of murky service under the dubious guise of "loyalty" and "patriotism"..... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....Instead of the globe trotting hijinks of his protagonist Francis Mirkovic, Enard instead dwells on the psychological toll taken on Mirkovic that is a result of his morally dubious actions that his mind doesn't allow to excuse himself from anymore.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....Instead of giving us the typical "Blue-eyed greek god", Enard's rendition of a spy is often a drunken, unkempt mess with fetid breath, a spy who can barely put two and two together, but is still tasked with accumulating data due to which some or the other person ends up on the recieving end of a bullet, that person not always being a war criminal.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....The titular "Zone" is used in two contexts: one being the area (the countries) of his work and the other being the briefcase full of data he has been collecting.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....There is a third interpretation of this "Zone" as well, that being the suitcase full of data being a physical manifestation of the psychological rocks in his pocket, whose number and weight increases with every assignment he undertakes, whilst trying to stay afloat in a sea, a murky, polluted sea, the source of pollution being predominantly human.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....Enard writes about Mirkovic's headspace in an intentionally incoherent manner. The writing is not incoherent because of its vocabulary, on the contrary the vocabulary is intentionally simple, making the text as readable on the surface as possible. The incoherence is instead in the way the words are framed..... 3mo
nathandrake1997 .....The mood of Mirkovic's train of thought dictates the grammar of the prose. At times forgoing commas in order to emphasize juxtapositions and at times breaking up words with hyphens to convey the psychological toll taken on Mirkovic,.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 .....the prose in ZONE is constructed as a single 500+ page sentence, with occasional breaks of sequences from a novel Mirkovic is reading, these sequences use a more traditional style of grammar. The simplest possible explanation of this particular writing style could be the fact that a human being doesn't really think in sentences..... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....Our brains embark on trains of thought without breaking up instances using commas, colons and fullstops. Sometimes, multiple trains of thought embark on the same time and these instances are not always parallel, at times colliding into a murky pile of mush that becomes near-impossible to sift through..... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....Our mind doesn't have an "edit" feature after all. The most succinct description I could use for Enard's prose is that it feels "unedited" and I mean this in a positive way. The prose actually reads like the way a person's train of thought actually might if allowed to unspool in an uninterrupted manner..... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....The writing in ZONE is absolutely stunning. Layered, unconventional, demanding yet rewarding, this is the kind of book that reminds me why I love literature ❤️ 3mo
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review
nathandrake1997
Seven Days in August | Brit Bildoen
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There is a lot of literature about grief. But it feels inadequate. There is still that ever elusive quest to seek out more literature about grief, or rather literature about the aftermath of grief to search for answers of the questions lodged within the scars of oneself....(continued in comments)

nathandrake1997 ....Scars that instead of healing are reopened by the incisive existential pondering induced by literature of this ilk.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....SEVEN DAYS IN AUGUST by Brit Bildøen is one such work of literature that pertains to the aftermath of grief. A couple, Otto and Sofie, in their late fifties are mourning the death of their daughter Marie. Marie was killed in a terrorist attack a few years before the beginning of this novel.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....Otto and Sofie are trying to put up an appearance in front of society. They attend social events in an attempt to stay toe to toe with the world around them. But, within, they are probably somewhere beyond a point of return.... 3mo
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nathandrake1997 ....The book takes us through a week, a rather eventful week, in the lives of Otto and Sofie. From a disastrous art exhibition to an unplanned expedition to their cabin in their woods which turns into an exercise in renovation after witnessing the decrepit state of said cabin to Otto meeting with an accident to Sofie almost discovering Otto's infidelity..... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....Because of Bildøen's eventful storytelling, the book is a page turner that can be breezed through in a single day inspite of its heavy subject matter. The first two-thirds of the book is a meditation on grief and its ripple effect on the lives of the people it leaves behind in its wake.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....There is a particularly poignant sequence where Bildøen mentions an anecdote about a widower who pretends to dance a waltz, a waltz with an invisible partner, the invisible partner being an imagination of his wife. Life post the loss of someone in a way is akin to this aforementioned waltz with an invisible partner, a waltz with a void.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....The last third is where the book sadly falls apart where it becomes a bit too eventful, where it feels like events don't get the space they need to breathe and instead are a part of a domino effect that eventually leads to an ending that feels a bit too deliberate. The kind of ending that feels like it is trying too hard to coalesce its themes into a coherent ending.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....But irrespective of the book losing its footing towards the end, it nevertheless is worth reading for Bildøen's lyrical, poignant prose. 3mo
Suet624 A waltz with a void. Again, a wonderful review. 3mo
nathandrake1997 @Suet624 Thank you so much Sue ❤️❤️❤️❤️ 3mo
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review
nathandrake1997
The Years | Annie Ernaux
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May 10th 2016, VivoCity mall, Singapore. The music being played was an eclectic mix of jazz and pop. Naughty Dog studios finally released their much anticipated fourth installment in the UNCHARTED franchise. I used to be a huge UNCHARTED fan back in the day. I asked dad whether I could get a copy. Dad said "You've already purchased two videogames in this trip.......well.......ok, you can have it!"....(continued in comments)

nathandrake1997 ....I remember being over the moon as soon as I heard that. We walked into the store, I picked up a copy of the standard edition of the game and stood in the queue to bill, dad pointed out to something and asked me "What is that?". Dad was pointing to a copy of the "Special Edition" (an edition of the videogame that came with a steelbook cover and an artbook exclusive to that particular edition) of UNCHARTED 4.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....I told him "Dad, that is the special edition of the game, this edition won't be releasing in India due to a logistics decision by the publisher Sony". Dad immediately said "Buy the Special Edition!". I literally pinched myself to check whether the moment was real or not. That pinch did hurt but because of my elation due to what just transpired, pain gave way to joy!.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....We purchased a copy of the special edition and I immediately unboxed it, since I couldn't contain my excitement, but at the same time I was also paranoid about whether everything was in the case, the kind of paranoia that accompanies excitement. At first I was shocked to discover that the manual in the box and also the sheet that contained some digital unlockable items exclusive to the Special Edition were printed only in Cantonese.... 3mo
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nathandrake1997 ....For a moment I was dejected by the fact that I bought an edition of a videogame I was waiting for ever since it was announced in a language that I can neither read, write or understand in general. Then, luckily my eyes fell at the back of the box where it was printed "Language of game: English".... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....I was relieved! I quickly put everything back in the box and put the box in the suitcase we had purchased a day earlier.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....Later in the evening, we boarded our flight back home. It was a turbulent flight. When we reached and when we are at the conveyor belt to receive our luggage, my heart immediately sank when I saw that the suitcase in which my copy of the videogame was had cracked open, literally like an eggshell!.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....Throughout the taxi ride home, I was worried about one thing "Is my copy of UNCHARTED 4 ok?". We reached home, I immediately opened the suitcase and I was relieved by seeing that my copy of UNCHARTED 4 was ok! Out of excitement, I barely slept that night! Inspite of arriving home late last night, I woke up early in the morning, booted up my ps4.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....inserted the UNCHARTED 4 disc and I never realised when minutes turned into hours and hours turned into an entire day!.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....Its been years, I traded in my copy of UNCHARTED 4 for another game, the ps4 exhibited a fair bit of wear and tear and after running on its last legs for a few months, the ps4 is now defunct. To be honest, so is my interest in videogames anymore. Although, I wish I could change one thing about this, I wish the person who gifted me a copy of my most anticipated game ever was still around.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....Now, this might sound like a pointless anecdote steeped in indulgent consumerism. Well, isn't that what the world is these days? "I'll get a coffee" being replaced with "I'll get a Starbucks". "That bag looks stunning!" being replaced by "That Louis Vuitton looks stunning!".... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....Life in a way has become about tethering slivers of existence in a decrepit gossamer of consumerism. It eventually builds up to a cobweb, a cobweb that returns to dust, but now let's get that preorder because only limited copies are going to be in stock!.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 .....Annie Ernaux, in her stunning Booker International Shortlisted memoir THE YEARS, talks about the zeitgeist of France from 1966-2006, weaving a shape shifting narrative thread using anecdotes glimpsed from the lenses of pop-culture, socio-political news and ultimately, consumerism.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....In one of the most poignant sequences of the book, she talks about how the concept of the gradual yellowing of pages and creases gradually being formed on the cover is a concept of yesterday since everything is available at a mere click of a button ever since the advent of the bottomless pit, that is the internet!.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....Ernaux's prose seamlessly travels time and space and juxtaposes the personal with the socio-political in a manner so seamless that one is left in awe at the exquisite craftsmanship at display, the kind of craftsmanship that is so seamless that it almost feels invisible.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....I read this book in what could be called a feverish pace in a mere span of two days, because of how absorbed I was by Ernaux's exquisite prose and by the time I flipped the last page, I immediately added Ernaux's entire bibliography in my wishlist! Well....in that regard Ernaux is indeed right, life and consumerism are rather seamlessly intertwined! 3mo
kspenmoll Wonderful writing yourself! 3mo
Suet624 @kspenmoll is right. Wonderful piece of work here. Consumerism. Instant gratification. It‘s something I watch from afar and wonder how it‘s all come to this. People have lost their way. Except for books. I need them all. Especially this one apparently. 3mo
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review
nathandrake1997
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A few years back, when we were young, we looked at the world dreamy eyed. Then as the age old adage goes, "life happened". We wanted something, what we recieved was the polar opposite. Sometimes we did recieve what we wanted, but not in the manner we dreamt of receiving it. But once we recall what we dreamt about, it is probably too late....(continued in the comments)

nathandrake1997 ....Too late" is probably when adult life begins. "Too late" is probably when instead of a book, we have an excel sheet open in our laptop before bed. "Too late" is probably when we start reading to meet a deadline instead of reading for pure literary pleasure..... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ...."Congratulations, you have been recruited" could also be a "too late" in disguise. "Congratulations on your wedding" could also be a "too late" in disguise. "Congratulations on having a kid" could also be a "too late" in disguise. Life in general could be a protracted existential manifestation of "too late"..... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....Alice Munro's exquisite short story collection is about people gradually slipping into this "too late" existential conundrum. One character remarks that what probably draws people to a lake in their area is the fact that the flow of water gradually chips away what once existed and gradually withering its existence, in a way the lake probably resembles life itself for a lot of the characters in this short story collection.... 3mo
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nathandrake1997 ....Written in a sparse yet unflinching manner, these are heart-wrenching and haunting stories about everyday existential dilemmas deliberately presented in a manner in which the protagonist is an observer of the events in a third person's life.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....This "third person's" life is presented deliberately in a three act structure, as if the protagonist is viewing this person's life in a manner that one would watch a film.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....This in turn makes a broader comment on how in a bid to escape from the existential quandaries of one's life, some people instead try to get invested in a third person's existential quandaries in an almost schadenfreude manner.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....This innovative use of perspective makes this short story collection an uncomfortable and unforgettable read! Absolutely stunning! 3mo
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review
nathandrake1997
The Books of Jacob | Olga Tokarczuk
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Where do I even begin? At the razor-sharp satirical depiction of religious fundamentalism? At the mind-bogglingly intricate gossamer-esqe mosaic like portrait of a forgotten historical figure? At this being one of the finest works of historical fiction I have ever read? This book being unlike anything I have ever read? Something I said for her last book that I wrote about, the 2018 Booker International winning masterpiece FLIGHTS, as well?....

nathandrake1997 ....This book is all the above mentioned plus a lot more, a lot lot lot lot lot more! Composed using a myriad of sources and framed in a myriad of narrative techniques, from autobiographical accounts to letters to anecdotes to the perspective of a character in a state of existence that is somewhere between life and death....almost dead but still not quite there.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....THE BOOKS OF JACOB is a landmark historical fiction novel that is both groundbreaking and compelling..... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ...."It needs to be seen to be believed", a phrase thrown around quite often, but rarely earning its merit. Well, this novel is one of those rare instances when this overused phrase earns its merit!.... 3mo
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nathandrake1997 ....The most interesting aspect of this magnificent novel is its use of perspective. The novel tells the story of a forgotten historical figure, the self-proclaimed messiah Jacob Frank who travels across Europe and amasses a cult following and develops a fanatical sect of Judaism that engages in dubious rituals in the guise of religion, at one point even forcefully converting everyone to Catholicism.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....Tokarczuk tells Jacob's story using a myriad of perspectives. The most outlandish bits of his story are told in the form of anecdotes, mentioned as "scraps", written by his most ardent follower Nahman, which is a broader comment on how problematic the indoctrination induced by Jacob's pedagogy was.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....Meanwhile, the historical context is fleshed out in an epistolary manner, as letters exchanged between a woman and a priest. There is a third perspective that Tokarczuk uses, that of the "almost dead" Yente, a woman whose body is gradually turning into crystal while she is dying.... 3mo
Alfoster Wonderful review!👏👏👏👏❤️ 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....where the entire mosaic of the various perspectives used to tell Jacob's story finds its objective glue, the resulting composition being what we eventually end up reading..... 3mo
nathandrake1997 .....As someone who has been an atheist ever since he was introduced to the concept of religion, it was interesting to read a philosophically nuanced work of fiction regarding theological themes. This is a novel that invites pondering and discussion about its depiction of theology instead of merely drawing conclusions..... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....This is a novel that is mature enough to present its themes while letting the reader draw their own interpretations instead of spelling out and spoonfeeding.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....There is a lot one can talk about while writing about something as monumental as this masterpiece. But that would mean spoiling its many, many, many surprises. All I'll say is, dont be intimidated by its length, this is that rare tome that reads like a novella! 3mo
nathandrake1997 @Alfoster Thank you so much ❤️❤️❤️❤️ 3mo
BarbaraBB Wow, I guess there is no escaping this one after reading your review and that by @Simona ! I bought the book, I just need to start!! 3mo
batsy What an engaging review 💜 It really sounds fascinating. There's a review by Fredric Jameson on this in the LRB that's also piqued my interest tenfold. I have this and Tomb of Sand especially marked to read from the Booker and I hope both make the shortlist because I certainly won't be able to read it before it's announced 😆 3mo
nathandrake1997 @BarbaraBB Can't wait to read your thoughts on the book ❤️❤️❤️❤️ 3mo
nathandrake1997 @batsy Thank you so much ❤️❤️❤️❤️ I really, really, really want to read TOMB OF SAND as well ❤️❤️❤️❤️ 3mo
Simona Excellent review (as always) of a excellent book❣️ No excuses any more @BarbaraBB 😘 3mo
BarbaraBB @Simona I have my copy ready to go. Now I just have to start. That‘s all 😇 3mo
nathandrake1997 @Simona Thank you so much ❤️❤️❤️❤️ 3mo
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nathandrake1997
The Book of Sand | Jorge Luis Borges
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Pickpick

Beginnings and Endings. It happens, but do we remember? We are given several anecdotes about how adorable we were as a toddler or how we used to cry at the slightest inconvenience or how we used to laugh as though there is no tomorrow, but do we remember? We are told that we fell innumerable times before we learnt to finally walk, but do we remember? (Continued in comments)

nathandrake1997 ....The beginnings we remember are instead the beginnings we contrived. The beginning of a career, the beginning of a relationship, the beginning of parenthood, the beginning of life in a new village/town/city/state/country.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....Endings are a conundrum of their own accord. Eyes shut while the rug of life is swept from under our feet in barely a moment's notice. If there is an afterlife, will we remember this ending?.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....Memory is in a way akin to "The book of sand" in the titular short story in Jorge Luis Borges' frighteningly brilliant short story collection THE BOOK OF SAND, in which the protagonist chances upon a book that has no beginning or ending, but the book does exist nevertheless..... 3mo
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nathandrake1997 ....Borges is concerned about existential quandaries, retrofitting them in a magical-realism framework that doesn't really have a beginning or an end, what happens....just happens, whether ordinary or extraordinary, time flows like quicksand, it isn't concerned whether what happened was ordinary or extraordinary, it is quicksand after all, it will flow nevertheless..... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....This edition also includes another short story collection by Borges titled SHAKESPEARE'S MEMORY. This volume is concerned with the act of creation and destruction. Time plays an integral role here as well. Creation in a way is a protracted act of destruction. Storytelling is attributed as a generational form of art.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....Each generation passes down a treasure trove of stories to the next generation, but while doing so, making a few dents and scratches to the once pristine treasure. These dents and scratches become progressively profound generation by generation until what's passed down doesn't even remotely resemble what was intended to be passed down.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....From the blooming and burning of a fabled rose to the passing of a set of blue stones whose number is infinite, Borges uses these fantastical devices to allude to existential beings like memory, how each generation passes down its caresses and scars to the next.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....From the blooming and burning of a fabled rose to the passing of a set of blue stones whose number is infinite, Borges uses these fantastical devices to allude to existential beings like memory, how each generation passes down its caresses and scars to the next.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....There is literature that is so good that it keeps one engaged, then there is literature that is so good that it has a profound impact on the reader, then there is literature that is so scarily good that it haunts the reader moments after the last page has been flipped.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....The brilliance of Borges' prose is of the scary kind. This is the kind of prose whose brilliance almost felt disturbing. This is the kind of prose where I felt like I needed moments, or scratch that, lifetimes worth of time to catch my breath and come back to my senses and make sense of everything around me.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....Borges writes in a manner that is so absorbing that the world around oneself blurs to the point of non-existence, the only beings that exist are the reader and the prose, the kind of prose that is so absorbing that it almost blurs out even the author's existence. 3mo
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nathandrake1997
Girl, Woman, Other | Bernardine Evaristo
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Identity. Something I have struggled with all my life. I was born a man, but I've got a confession to make, I've never felt comfortable in a man's body. In fact, there were times it was one of the myriad of sources of despair for me. School made things even worse. "I doubt you are a man" was one of the many barbs that bullies in school used against me, after beating me up, I was accused by them of not being "man enough"....(continued in comments)

nathandrake1997 ....My reclusion from my classmates grew even more profound as the years passed by. Years that felt like decades, a decade that felt like a millenium and then some more.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....While school got over, "be a man" continued to haunt me like a shape shifting mirage.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....Years later, when my father passed away, one of my relatives took me for a drive and on the way, he explained to me in problematically patriarchal detail that how I now had to be the "man of the house". That conversation made me so uncomfortable that I wanted to throw up.... 3mo
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nathandrake1997 ....I'm not a huge "shopping for clothes" person, but I do have a favourite article of clothing. It is a blue colour pyjama with pineapples printed all over it. It feels comfortable. My father detested that pyjama and called it "girlish". I didn't stop wearing the pyjama, but now it reminds me of my father in a way I don't want to remember him.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....My father was someone who took the whole "masculine" thing very seriously. When I confessed at home that I was being beaten up by bullies at school, my father in turn scolded me and told me to "be a man".... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....No wonder "be a man" still haunts me.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....When I watched Barry Jenkins' Oscar winning masterpiece MOONLIGHT, while seeing Chiron struggle with his identity, especially when being forced to live up to society's tenets of "masculinity", and when in the end he wept on his best friend's shoulders, I wept along with him, because in a way, through Chiron, I saw my own struggle of identifying with masculinity.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....GIRL WOMAN OTHER by Bernadine Evaristo is about twelve people who in their own subjective ways are struggling with identity. From gender to sexuality, the gamut of struggle pertaining to identity is quite broad and Evaristo weaves together these existential quandaries in such a seamless manner that it almost feels miraculous that a book as exquisite as this exists and works the way it does!.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....This is the book that gave me the courage to open up about my struggle with gender and identity in general. This is the book that made me feel "seen", especially in a world that is getting existentially claustrophobic day by day. This is the book that gave me the courage to finally say that I don't want to "be a man" anymore!.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....I'll sign off by saying that this masterpiece deserved a solo Booker win! 3mo
TheKidUpstairs Thank you for sharing such a personal part of yourself in a wonderfully written and expressed review. I hope you continue to find ways and works that help you feel seen and able to express your own identity outside of society's stereotypical constraints. And I 100% agree on the solo Booker win. I love Atwood, but I felt like that award was more of a nod to her career rather than something the book (which was good) really deserved. 3mo
batsy What @TheKidUpstairs said. Thanks for sharing that struggle with gender and identity—it's something I feel so many of us can relate with the more we talk about it. And I'm grateful for the books that enable us to open up. This is a beautiful, heartfelt review 💜 3mo
Simona Thank you for being so vulnerable❣️ … and I agree with the solo win. 3mo
nathandrake1997 @TheKidUpstairs @batsy @Simona Thank you so much ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ 3mo
StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego Thank you for sharing such a personal story. I'm sorry you were treated that way. I hope you have people around you now who love and support you. 💕 I will definitely be reading this book now. And watching Moonlight. I don't think I really knew what that movie was about. 3mo
Suet624 Oh my goodness. My heart just opened up so very wide and all I want to say is I LOVE YOU. And thank you for your honesty and vulnerability. 3mo
nathandrake1997 @StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego Thank you so much ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ And, MOONLIGHT is one of my all-time favourite films ❤️❤️❤️❤️ 3mo
nathandrake1997 @Suet624 Sue ❤️ You made my day 🥺❤️ I love you too ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ 3mo
Suet624 ❤️❤️❤️ 3mo
kspenmoll Thank you for your eloquent writing, honesty & vulnerability. 3mo
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nathandrake1997
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Pickpick

As a kid, I used to dream about becoming an astronaut. Then school happened and I realised I had no knack for maths or the sciences. I am nevertheless fascinated by the outer space. (Continued in comments)

nathandrake1997 ....As I grew up, I wanted to become a pilot, but then, a few years later, airplane anxiety kicked in and now I need a pill to slow my heart rate to travel in an airplane without triggering an anxiety episode.... 4mo
nathandrake1997 ....When I was in college, I wanted to become a filmmaker, but a few months before my graduation, my father passed away and eventually I had to take up a corporate job. A while later, I fell out of love with cinema, a medium of art I grew up experiencing and loving.... 4mo
nathandrake1997 ....Currently, I am trying to become a writer. I don't use the term "want to" anymore. As life has taught me, it always leads to disaster.... 4mo
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nathandrake1997 ....Life is more about sweeping the broken shards of once harboured expectations than harbouring those very expectations. If life is a plate, then a dream is that initially invisible hairline crack which threatens to shatter the plate while being oblivious to the person eating from that plate.... 4mo
nathandrake1997 ....This plate filled with hairline cracks is in a way the 60s Hollywood that Joan Didion depicts in her stunning and heartbreaking novel PLAY IT AS IT LAYS. The protagonist Maria, who while trying to make it in Hollywood is also gradually growing disillusioned with the industry due to her harrowing experiences, reminds me of Esther from Sylvia Plath's exquisite THE BELL JAR..... 4mo
nathandrake1997 ....Both are initially fearless women with dreams and both in a way trapped in an existential bell jar that they are unable to escape no matter how hard they try.... 4mo
nathandrake1997 ....The world is our oyster sounds rather misleading. The world is our bell jar sounds more apt! 4mo
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nathandrake1997
GROVE. | ESTHER. KINSKY
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In a city, if one desires to see trees, the best chance they have is probably the nearest graveyard. Graveyards being the places harbouring the most abundant greenery in our cosmopolitan cities is probably an allusion to our dying planet, how we are living through the geological butterfly effect pertaining to the actions of a generation bygone....(Continued in comments)

nathandrake1997 ....Trees, a sign of life, growing in abundance around a graveyard, a sign of death. Another allusion to Pessoa's "we die life" outlook towards existence. People mourning loudly while birds chirping to probably welcome the oncoming day, an existential juxtaposition of joy and sorrow.... 4mo
nathandrake1997 ....A relic. Belonging to someone who has passed on eons ago, but droves of people flock to observe this remnant sliver of one's bygone existence. At times paying for a ticket, at times travelling a gruelling distance, at times through the means of a screen, a carnival of death observed by the gradually dying.... 4mo
nathandrake1997 ....Fuel. A predominant source of fuel we consume is derived from the remains of the biological relics of beings who have passed on eons ago. In a way, death powers and provides sustenance to the living, who will someday, if this planet which is gradually inching towards its demise pulls through till then, in turn die into means of sustenance for the then living.... 4mo
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nathandrake1997 ....Esther Kinsky writes about grief in a manner that is at times reminiscent of a landscape painter, prose that resembles an elaborate canvas where element upon element is added to add layers to a central theme. Written in the form of fragments of varying length, each fragment is named after either an object or a place or a word.... 4mo
nathandrake1997 ....The fragment then proceeds to talk about the meandering walks the unnamed protagonist, a woman recently bereaved, takes everyday while on a work related trip to Italy.... 4mo
nathandrake1997 ....Her walks center around the graveyard in the town she is staying in and from there, each day she meanders in a particular direction and along with observational musings, she also shares existential musings stemming in herself from what she is observing, attempting to create a mosaic that will probably resemble the meaning one searches for while meandering through the existential bylanes of grief.... 4mo
nathandrake1997 ....This mosaic is the exquisite book that we end up reading. 4mo
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nathandrake1997
The Book of Disquiet | Fernando Pessoa
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For something to begin, something has to end. While a new beginning marks the end of something bygone, is what that begins always outweighs what ended? Or is it the other way around? While every birthday marks the beginning of a new year in one's life, it also signifies the end of one. Every sunrise is preceded by a sunset. Every moment of growth/experience/maturity is preceded by a moment of loss....(continued in the comments)

nathandrake1997 ....The person we are born as usually ends up being the polar opposite of the person we grow up to be. In some ways, the person who we were even mere months ago feels unrecognisable today. So, does that mean, inorder to become the person we probably aspire to be, do we have to cease being the person we are today?.... 4mo
nathandrake1997 ....Shedding facets of ourselves to embody new facets, life in a way becomes an elaborate act of loss, the kind of loss that we are unable to process or mourn before the next moment of loss occurs. An elaborate act of death, that's what life probably is. Or as Pessoa says "We die life", because "living life" feels contradictory to what existing through life actually entails.... 4mo
nathandrake1997 ....Because, while the sunrise brings in a new day, it is after the fact that we lose a day. In a way, we die by 24 hours. Thats what ageing probably is, chipped fragments on the tombstone of one's existence.... 4mo
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nathandrake1997 ...."Meaning" to one's life is something we come up with as an attempt to make sense of the existential quandary named "existence", which in a way renders the very notion of meaning when contemplated on an existential tangent as an elaborate lie, since what's made up can't be counted as a fact. But, what exactly could be counted as a fact, when every experience one has with life is filtered through the lens of subjectivity?.... 4mo
nathandrake1997 ....And meaning pertaining to existence becomes even more dubious when contemplating the fact that the aforementioned lens varies from person to person. So, probably the only "fact" from an existential standpoint is that in an experience as subjective as "life", there is probably no room for objective tenets like "meaning"..... 4mo
nathandrake1997 ....So, does that make existence futile? Since everything objective when viewed through an existential lens feels like a duplictious farce, a mirage of an ever-elusive oasis. Maybe, making peace with life is all about accepting its futility and realising that every step taken towards something will ultimately lead us to nowhere except the dust or the ashes.... 4mo
nathandrake1997 ....Fernando Pessoa elucidates exquisitely about the futility of existence in the absolutely stunning THE BOOK OF DISQUIET. Published using fragments of writing literally found in a trunk after Pessoa's death, the book till date hasn't been published in the order Pessoa intended. Whether Pessoa intended any order to this exquisite literary chaos is itself something that is being debated till date!.... 4mo
nathandrake1997 .....The Penguin Modern Classics edition translated and edited by Richard Zenith claims to be the most "complete" edition of Pessoa's masterwork. Although, "complete" is a word Pessoa probably doesn't want to be associated with this book, since in multiple fragments, he talks about how the destiny of this book, just like life itself, is to remain incomplete..... 4mo
nathandrake1997 ....The fact that the publication of a book as exquisite as this could have been completely missed out on had nobody discovered a trunk of writings of a dead author is probably one of the few credible proofs that serendipity isn't as implausible as one might think. 4mo
batsy Beautiful review of one of my favourite books 💖 4mo
Suet624 Thank you for letting me know about this book. 4mo
nathandrake1997 @batsy Thank you so much ❤️❤️❤️❤️ It has become one of my favourite books as well ❤️❤️❤️❤️ 4mo
nathandrake1997 @Suet624 Can't wait to hear your thoughts on the book ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ 4mo
Suet624 Ordered and on its way. I‘ve tried over the last few years not to order books to purchase, generally trying to find the books I want to read through the library. But this seems like one I‘d want to keep. (edited) 4mo
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nathandrake1997
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Brief, a moment, an event, a significance, or some existential permutation and combination of the above, or something completely different. A five letter word that can be used and interpreted in multiple contexts and subtexts. And in a way, that is what Anuk Arudpragasam does exquisitely when it comes to examining the existential fragility of human relationships in his stunning debut THE STORY OF A BRIEF MARRIAGE.....

nathandrake1997 ....A sequential collection of fragments playing out over the course of 24 hours, Arudpragasam depicts moments that we have seen usually spanning months, years, decades and sometimes an entire lifetime of a relationship.... 4mo
nathandrake1997 ....But, weary by the death and destruction around them, these 24 hours feel almost like a lifetime long, which in turn adds a profound undertone of tragedy to the storytelling, where the prospect of a "lifetime" is warped, what in an ideal situation we expect to span years is instead reduced to months/weeks/days/hours.... 4mo
nathandrake1997 ....Arudpragasam treats each moment like an episode, where, in paragraphs, at times spanning the length of an entire page, he gets into excruciating detail about the infinitesimal existential quandaries pertaining to the larger mosaic of a moment. There are moments when one is swept away in a moment in a manner that by the time we get to the crux of what Arudpragasam probably wanted to talk about, we embark on a train of thought of our own.... 4mo
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nathandrake1997 ....He writes about death and devastation in a haunting, almost dream-like manner, the kind of writing that conjures vivid images in one's mind. He then frames his characters against these images and adds thematic layers to ground them to the overall picture he is trying to compose. There is a painter-like patience to the process where the individual moments play a part in the larger diorama-like rendering of existential quandaries.... 4mo
nathandrake1997 ....There is a lot one thinks about while reading, but is at a complete loss of words while talking about it, thats what great books do! Leave one speechless! And THE STORY OF A BRIEF MARRIAGE is indeed one such book! Absolutely stunning debut from one of the finest authors of our times! 4mo
batsy I loved this book. So quietly devastating. Great review 💕 4mo
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nathandrake1997
Flights | Olga Tokarczuk
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Movement. What exactly does this word entail in a world that is constantly spinning around itself whilst orbiting a larger celestial being? Is every step we take meaningless because the distance covered by us in a day is probably for naught because the very pavement we took those steps on is perpetually tethered to an act of movement dictated by another being, whose movement in turn is tethered by the movement of another being, ad infinitum.....

nathandrake1997 ....So, when we travel, are we actually in the same place with the illusion of the clouds drifting by? Maybe that is why we find it either exhilarating or exhausting?.... 4mo
nathandrake1997 ....Is movement yet another existential manifestation of Camus' THE MYTH OF SISYPHUS, wherein the boulder we are condemned to push are our very own feet? Our very own body? Our very own.....life? Is ageing an act of movement as well? With every push of the boulder wearing us down every moment and every futile trip up the steep hill marking its imprint on the map of our body in the form of wrinkles?.... 4mo
nathandrake1997 ....There are days when one feels to old to be young, but at the same time too young to be old, are these the moments when the boulder yet again rolls down the hill? With no peak at sight, the hill stretches on to as far as our eyes can see until it becomes one with the blinding glare of the sun....disorienting our illusion of movement momentarily, until it is time to push the boulder again.... 4mo
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nathandrake1997 ....This boulder, a mosaic of fragments chipped away from experiences of the world around us, viewed through our subjective lenses, each fragment introducing either one, two or at times a gossamer of cracks on our lenses. With each scratch/crack, the boulder becomes heavier and heavier until the day comes when the lens shatters.... 4mo
nathandrake1997 ....Olga Tokarczuk's FLIGHTS talks about the very act of movement from a psychological perspective, from The Paris Syndrome to Island Symmetry, almost every popular psychological theory pertaining to travel finds mention here, but it is done in a manner that is woven seamlessly with the themes Tokarczuk depicts exquisitely in what in my opinion is a landmark work of fiction!.... 4mo
nathandrake1997 ....I know the term "modern classic" gets thrown around quite often, to the point where it has become annoying ubiquitous and has in a way lost its individuality, but if the term still retained the luster it once had, then FLIGHTS would definitely deserve that pedestal! Stunning, absolutely stunning! 4mo
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nathandrake1997
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An ode to growing up. It was probably what Fosse was going for in SCENES FROM A CHILDHOOD. Or was he? Is it a soliloquy instead? Can an ode be a soliloquy? Or can a soliloquy be an ode? Can something about growing up be either of those two? Isn't growing up too fragmented an experience to ever coalesce into a whole? (Continued in the comments)

nathandrake1997 ....Is growing up merely a transition from childhood to adulthood? At what point do we lose our "childhood"? Is it merely a numerical tenet, or, is it something else?.... 4mo
nathandrake1997 ....Traumatized after a tragedy, nothing about the world shocking or exciting one self the way it once used to, such a being usually remarked upon by their peers as "They have grown up too fast. They seem to wise for their age!"..... 4mo
nathandrake1997 ....In one fragment, Fosse talks about how once after failing to tune a guitar string, he plays the guitar with the remaining five strings. Isn't that what growing up is all about? Playing according to fate's tunes while gradually losing oneself and growing accustomed to the void.... 4mo
nathandrake1997 ....In another, he talks about reading a book and not understanding parts of it, then buying a dictionary the next day to help understand what he couldn't. Again, doesn't that hit a bit too close to home as well? Trying to understand the world around us through the lens of someone else while our own subjective lens is decorated with a gossamer of cracks. Isn't that why we, in a way.....read and write?.... 4mo
nathandrake1997 ....The book is comprised of such fragments, each varying in length, some barely a paragraph long, some barely a page long and one almost spanning the length of a novella. But irrespective of length, each fragment has a lot to read between the lines and just like Fosse's landmark "SEPTOLOGY" series, the prose here speaks about volumes in a minimalist manner. 4mo
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nathandrake1997
The End | Samuel Beckett
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Conclusions, resolutions, tying up loose ends, etc are narrative devices probably sprung up from a desire to fill an existential void, the void being one created by a lack of closure. Because the end of a life is always a loose end....(continued in the comments)

nathandrake1997 ....The fact that it is a person who is alive who has to close the eyes and mouth of a dead body is something that itself speaks about these existential loose ends in a rather profound manner, how even biologically we never really come to a clear existential resolution by our own selves.... 4mo
nathandrake1997 ....Samuel Beckett depicts these existential quandaries in a manner that, while being melancholic, is also more humorous than usual.... 4mo
nathandrake1997 ....The very act of seeking hope in an excursion that is bound to come to an abrupt end without a moment's notice is something that forms the key catalyst for Beckett's sharp and piercing dark humour.... 4mo
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nathandrake1997 ....the kind of humour that makes one laugh but also makes one want to talk a shower immediately after reading, because the grime that the exhaust of this humorous ride through the last moments of one's life is recalled with all the smog intact.... 4mo
nathandrake1997 ....I am not sure if the above statement made all that much sense, but in a way, so does most of life. We coast along these turbulent seas in a rickety boat that is progressively being punctured with more and more holes until we become one with the storm.... 4mo
nathandrake1997 ....The light from the sun means naught if it is blinding and does nothing but obscure the horizon to which the boat is drifting towards. Along with the boat progressively being punctured with holes, the passenger is swayed helter-skelter by the waves that cease to stop inspite of our repeated pleas and after a point, the very act of seeking those pleas feels futile.... 4mo
nathandrake1997 ....THE END and THE CALMATIVE are the two short stories included in this edition and while THE END is about the final moments of a man's life, THE CALMATIVE is about a man (that very man in THE END or probably someone else) recalling fragmented moments from his life while being in the very first moment after his death.... 4mo
nathandrake1997 ....Beckett writes about life and death in a manner that feels both melancholic and farcical, akin to life itself crooning a ballad accompanied by an orchestra with tone deaf instruments and equally tone deaf performers. An absolutely stunning duology of short stories that is worth a read if one is looking for a more farcical lens to view existential quandaries through! 4mo
Suet624 I feel as if every book you review is a ‘must now buy‘ for me. 3mo
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review
nathandrake1997
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How do we choose to remember the people we lose? Either through rose tinted glasses that only bring pleasant memories to the forefront or is one still able to process the moral grey area of a person after they have passed on? This is the question I was contemplating about while flipping through the final pages of Adam Mars-Jones' unflinching, disturbing and powerful novella BOX HILL....

nathandrake1997 .....Colin and Ray, two men embark on a six year long relationship after Colin literally falls while accidentally stumbling on Ray's foot, something Ray remarks as "Colin didn't fall for me, he fell over me!" But, if this particular line of dialogue gives the impression of a meet-cute courtship, then it couldn't be farther from the truth..... 4mo
nathandrake1997 ....Because, Colin does fall, both literally and metaphorically, into a relationship that is more toxic than romantic, one whose toxicity Colin isn't able to wrap his head around even years later when he is reminiscing about his relationship with Ray..... 4mo
nathandrake1997 ....The novella is subtitled as "A story of low self-esteem". And true to the subtitle, Colin is indeed a man of low self-esteem. But why he is the way he is isn't made clear in black and white terms and that in turn makes him feel more human..... 4mo
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nathandrake1997 ....Sometimes, a person is the way they are because of existential aspects they probably can't put a finger on and that in turn ends up framing the lens through which they view the world around them. This existential quandary is mirrored in the fact that Colin never discovers the reason as well as the location of Ray's death and also the reason why it is only Colin who Ray had willed to be kept in the dark regarding details of his demise.... 4mo
nathandrake1997 ....A few years pass, Colin starts working as a subway train driver. In multiple occasions, he sees people almost meeting their death on the train tracks. He knows the reason behind the random passengers landing up on the tracks by accident while driving a vehicle that guides multiple people to their destination, but at the same time he is clueless about finding his way to the answers he has been seeking all these years.... 4mo
nathandrake1997 ....If everyone navigates the mirror-maze of life guided by their own subjective lenses, can we actually find answers to our existential quandaries? Can anything "existential" actually be viewed through an objective lens if everything we see, feel and think is covered in a film of subjectivity?... 4mo
nathandrake1997 ....This lack of objective closure for questions pertaining to existential quandaries forms the thematic crux of this slim yet powerful novella, something that is mirrored in its narrative structure as well, often diverging into tangents without providing closure for most of them, just like how in life we end up with more loose ends than clear resolutions. 4mo
rwmg wishlisted 4mo
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nathandrake1997
My Struggle: | Karl Ove Knausgaard, Don Bartlett
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Death. A five letter word thats probably the only absolute truth and certainty in one's life. It's time of occurrence might be uncertain, but its occurence nevertheless is. Everything in life in a way is a build-up to this one certain moment....(continued in the comments)

nathandrake1997 ....Throughout life we experience death in multiple forms. The loss of a loved one, the loss of an acquaintance, the loss of that one random person who used to pass you by the street and who probably bought their morning coffee from the same cafe as you. Death surrounds us in a manner so omnipresent that we almost grow oblivious to it, until its proximity is alarmingly close.... 4mo
nathandrake1997 ....While someone is blowing the candles of their birthday cake, someone at that very moment is probably lighting a candle in someone's rememberance. The very significance of a "birthday" in a way is a reminder of a fact that we have inched one year closer to death..... 4mo
nathandrake1997 ....When we finally experience death in some form or another, it is the "highlights reel" that we remember....the burying/cremating of the body, the post-funeral conversations, probably even the wake, the one week/one month/death anniversaries.... 4mo
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nathandrake1997 ....But, what about the legwork? The logistical concerns regarding arranging all the rituals for the departed? The hours spent waiting while one ritual leads to another in a not-so-seamless manner? The endless phone calls made to the loved ones informing them about said rituals? Arranging food and lodging for them?... 4mo
nathandrake1997 ....It is this very legwork surrounding grief that Karl Ove Knausgaard talks about in the first book of his monumental "MY STRUGGLE" series.... 4mo
nathandrake1997 ....While walking us through the everyday reality of the days leading up to his father's funeral, Knausgaard walks us through his strained and complicated relationship with his father, one that had both respect and repulsion in equal manner.... 4mo
nathandrake1997 ....This respect/repulsion dynamic is encapsulated in the fact that Karl spends half of the book describing meticulously the process of cleaning the filthy house that his father died in, a house left filthy by his father's neglect due to his alcoholism..... 4mo
nathandrake1997 ....Along with details pertaining to his father's death, Knausgaard also includes other, more mundane aspects of one's life like grocery shopping.....in a way alluding to the fact that the world moves on even after the loss of a life and that in a way is the hardest part to make sense of after experiencing a loss.... 4mo
nathandrake1997 ....A significant part of you has left a void but everyone except you are able to walk past it. Knausgaard sheds tears at random moments, at times while standing in the billing counter of the supermarket, at times while cutting the grass in the lawn, at times while having a beer at the roof, at times while.....a myriad of permutations and combinations of "at times"..... 4mo
nathandrake1997 ....But while shedding those tears, everyone else is indifferent to him. In a way, it feels like he wants the reader to be indifferent to them as well, because while shedding these tears, he describes the mundanity of the moment in granular detail, because, while Knausgaard has lost his father, all we are doing is reading about it..... 4mo
nathandrake1997 .....In a way, isn't that what acquaintances do as well? Express their condolences, probably join in the hue and cry of the various rituals, but in a few days, they are probably heading to a restaurant for dinner or to a screening of the latest film released or probably running some errand or the other while you are still processing the absence of someone's otherwise profound presence.... 4mo
nathandrake1997 ....This is something that Knausgaard is probably aware of, because most probably after reading this book, you will open another book and get invested in it instead. Maybe once in a while you might think about this very episode in Knausgaard's life, you might revisit it as well, but existentially it nevertheless will belong solely to Knausgaard. 4mo
BarbaraBB Fab review. I loved the series, I hope you will continue to the next! 4mo
15 likes13 comments
review
nathandrake1997
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Human greed knows no bounds. A shape shifting mirage that snakes around a scorched desert promising the delights of Eden but once unveiled, it instead leaves us gasping for more and off we go, chasing mirages again. Mirages that leave us famished, mirages that wither away hope, mirages that sap the strength from the bones of our very being. (Continued in comments)

nathandrake1997 POONACHI by Perumal Murugan could be interpreted as an allegory about these very mirages. A powerful and heartbreaking novella that delivers a tome's worth of layers and allusions in a fraction of its length. 5mo
batsy I've been meaning to read him for awhile now! 5mo
nathandrake1997 @batsy The publisher that publishes his books (Westland) were unceremoniously shut down by Amazon a few days back, so, unless Murugan signs up with another publisher, his entire catalogue might go out of print by the end of this month 😓 5mo
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nathandrake1997
Still Life | Sarah Winman
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Summer, an undisclosed time, sitting at a cafe sipping piping hot espresso, the aroma of freshly ground coffee permeating the air, lively chatter abound, whispers of a Fellini retrospective, time comes to a grinding halt, a few strokes of ink on a blank canvas, strokes coalescing into outlines, outlines being filled with colour, the colour being filled varying from the perspective of the subjective lens of the observer....

nathandrake1997 ....Once the colour has been filled, the scene comes to life and the coffee is sipped and the tickets for the Fellini retrospective have been booked and the beans have been ground for the next espresso.... 5mo
nathandrake1997 ....Life, when paused at a particular moment, doesn't feel too far removed from a Still Life composition waiting to be sketched by the strokes of fate. But, are these pauses something we often notice, or even allow? For most of us, the answer is probably no and hence the sketches get progressively messier.... 5mo
nathandrake1997 ....The colours and strokes jumble into an incoherent mess and before long, the painting is an incomprehensible jumble of a once visible still life.... 5mo
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nathandrake1997 ....The writing style echoes this phenomenon magnificently by describing every sequence in decadent detail before explaining its significance to the plot.... 5mo
nathandrake1997 ....The prose, when compared to TIN MAN, feels more indulgent, but in a good way. From films to food to wine to art, everything is rendered in decadent detail and the diorama of this decadence leaps off the page and envelopes the readers sense in a manner that feels surreal.This is a novel meant to be read, seen, heard, smelled and tasted.... 5mo
nathandrake1997 ....This is one of those books where every moment needs to be savoured and every detail needs to be soaked in for all the pieces of the puzzle to come together. This is a novel that requires patience and rewards it in spades.... 5mo
nathandrake1997 ....With this being my second Winman, she has already made it to my list of all-time favourite authors ❤️ There is so much to love here and so much to savour, this is a novel that feels rich and decadent in a manner novels seldom do ❤️ 5mo
TrishB I love her books ❤️ 5mo
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nathandrake1997
Tin Man | Sarah Winman
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2017, Paris, France, After an exhausting nine hour flight, I reach my hotel and at the reception desk stands a really handsome guy, one whom I'm smitten by almost immediately. It was really difficult keeping a straight face while filling out the various forms because I couldn't help but steal a glance of him ❤️ (continued in comments)

nathandrake1997 ....And after that, he offered to make us croissants which were as delicious as the man who made them ❤️? After a tiring day of being a tourist, it was his smile that used to greet me at the hotel's entrance and all the exhaustion used to make a graceful exit from my bones. On the day we were about to leave, he wished us a safe flight and all I could think was "Wish you were my co-passenger" ❤️..... 5mo
nathandrake1997 ..... I randomly thought about him all these years later while hugging my tear-stained copy of Sarah Winman's exquisite TIN MAN. The sparse, minimalist prose conveys volumes about love, grief or rather, the aftermath of grief.... 5mo
nathandrake1997 ....A wedding sequence where Winman instead chooses to focus on a bunch of tourists finding the tombstone of a long dead author is one of the many clever juxtapositions of life and death in the book. Another instance would be about how Ellis learns where Michael was all these years before reuniting with him after stumbling upon a notebook that Michael wrote during those tumultuous years, stumbling upon that notebook after Michael has passed away.. 5mo
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nathandrake1997 ....Isn't love in long term an act of anticipating grief? We make vows and promises about spending a lifetime with our significant other, but, our lifetime or theirs, its always one or the other, rarely both in unison. Those aren't questions we contemplate when we get into a relationship with someone because.... 5mo
nathandrake1997 ....how morbid would that be. But once fate makes its choice, it is that morbidity which envelops us like an all consuming winter-chill, sending shivers down our spine.... 5mo
nathandrake1997 ....This post has travelled quite a way hasn't it? Beginning from a meet-cute infatuation to eventually landing up at questions and thoughts pertaining to the mortality of love.....I know its all over the place, but isn't our headspace as well when we fall in love? Or when we have to process the fact that inspite of innumerable vows and promises, "forever" isn't actually......"forever"? 5mo
Cathythoughts Nice pic 💫 5mo
19 likes7 comments
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nathandrake1997
The Glass Menagerie | Tennessee Williams
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Expectations, something that does more harm than help, yet isn't it an existential conundrum we wrestle with on almost a daily basis? Isn't it something as fragile as a glass figurine that can drop and shatter at the slightest jolt? Maybe that's why the object that Laura covets the most is a glass figurine of a unicorn, a fragile manifestation of a fictitious being....(continued in comments)

nathandrake1997 ....Maybe that's why Jim, Laura's potential suitor is the one because whose jolt the unicorn falls and loses its horn, thereby becoming a horse, something that exists in the world we inhabit, the horse being the jolt back to reality from the expectation of a unicorn.... 5mo
nathandrake1997 ....Tennessee Williams' exquisite THE GLASS MENAGERIE is a heartbreaking play about the duplicity of expectation from an existential lens. Mostly centered around a dinner organised in honor of a potential suitor, the play is an allusion to how "expectation" may seem outwardly illustrious, but once the mask is lifted, what's revealed is nothing more than a hollow husk of what was promised.... 5mo
nathandrake1997 ....just like how after every delicious meal....one eventually has to clean the dishes. The "dinner" setting is one of the many multifaceted symbolic allusions to expectation, especially pertaining to the human experience.... 5mo
nathandrake1997 ....This edition is also accompanied with an essay by Williams about how he came to detest fame, something that could be read as an interesting thematic companion piece to the play itself. 5mo
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nathandrake1997
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Greed, something that is taught as a sin, yet something those very people who end up teaching this are drawn towards at some point in their lives. Maybe they are still drawn towards it while spouting wisdom against it. Yes, what is life if not an elaborate act of ludonarrative dissonance....(continued in comments)

nathandrake1997 ....the answer to all existential conundrums pertaining to the human experience.... but probably the only answer that actually solves nothing, because inspite of being aware of greed, one can't help but be drawn towards it in some or the other point in their lives.... 5mo
nathandrake1997 ....Leo Tolstoy's exquisite HOW MUCH LAND DOES A MAN NEED is a bite sized yet profoundly evocative allegory of human greed. It is easily the greatest short story I have read since James Joyce's THE DEAD.... 5mo
nathandrake1997 ....This edition also includes another short story by Tolstoy named WHAT MEN LIVE BY. While this story too is undoubtedly written exquisitely, its themes comparatively feel more elaborately spelled out than necessary, leaving almost nothing to read between the lines. But is nevertheless an interesting companion piece to the exquisite HOW MUCH LAND DOES A MAN NEED. 5mo
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batsy It sounds good. Great review. It recently caught my attention because of another positive review on Litsy so I should get to it soon! 5mo
nathandrake1997 @batsy Thank you so much ❤️❤️❤️❤️ Can't wait to read your thoughts on the book ❤️❤️❤️❤️ 5mo
Simona I loved this short story too! 5mo
16 likes6 comments
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nathandrake1997
To Paradise | Hanya Yanagihara
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A book arrives and for the next few weeks, it consumes your life. A book arrives and for the next few weeks all you can think about is that book. A book arrives and for the next few weeks the only companion for your first as well as your tenth cup of coffee is that book. Hanya Yanagihara's TO PARADISE is one such book ❤️ (continued in comments)

nathandrake1997 ....Divided into three books, each book talks about the elusive quest of reaching "paradise" and how the word can change meaning pertaining to the subjective lenses of each and every person's perception of the world around them.... 5mo
nathandrake1997 ....The prose here feels more subtle and understated than Yanagihara's previous novel A LITTLE LIFE, but is nevertheless equally, if not more, heartbreaking.... 5mo
nathandrake1997 ....There were moments when I had to take a break because of how heavy the book felt, there were moments where I had held my breath for so long that I had to let out a gasp, there were moments when I was contemplating about dnf'ing the book because of how real and relatable it felt.... 5mo
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nathandrake1997 ....Overall, Hanya Yanagihara's TO PARADISE is absolutely stunning ❤️ It has its flaws, the prose can feel a bit too convoluted at times, some sequences feel rushed while on the other hand, some sequences feel drawn out. But, this is one of those rare books where the flaws add to the reading experience instead of detracting from it, it makes the book feel more.....human ❤️ 5mo
TrishB Great review 👍🏻 5mo
nathandrake1997 @TrishB Thank you so much ❤️❤️❤️❤️ 5mo
Chelsea.Poole Great review!! 5mo
nathandrake1997 @Chelsea.Poole Thank you so much ❤️❤️❤️❤️ 5mo
smjohns Received book mail and this is one of the books I received! 5mo
22 likes9 comments
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nathandrake1997
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Ever read something that defies convention in a manner so boisterous that it becomes virtually impossible to distill the essence of the book in a succinct manner? Well....once such book is Benjamin Labatut's exquisite WHEN WE CEASE TO UNDERSTAND THE WORLD...(continued in comments).

nathandrake1997 ....A book that is fragmented in a manner where almost every scene is open to introduction. Just like a physics equation, it demands the reader to pay careful attention to the proceedings and derive a conclusion. The only difference from an actual physics equation being that the answer here is open to interpretation.... 5mo
nathandrake1997 ....There is a lot that Labatut discusses in the book and initially it might feel overwhelming to process....or rather.... scratch that....it feels overwhelming to process almost throughout. Even though the page length is short (189 pages), Labatut manages to cram in an encyclopedic worth of detail without the book feeling rushed or overstuffed and that is no ordinary feat..... 5mo
nathandrake1997 ....This is a miracle of a novel and the fact that novels as formally inventive as this were considered for prizes as mainstream as the Booker is a cause worth celebrating! 5mo
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batsy Fantastic review. I was thinking about bits of this book the other day and it felt like scraps of dreams resurfacing. I read the ebook but definitely want to get a print copy to keep. 5mo
Simona Totally agree with your last comment @nathandrake1997 ❣️Can you see @batsy how overly excited I‘m every time I see review for this book 5mo
batsy @Simona 😆 I share your excitement! 5mo
nathandrake1997 @batsy Thank you so much ❤️❤️❤️❤️ 5mo
nathandrake1997 @Simona It is a stunning book indeed ❤️❤️❤️❤️ 5mo
Suet624 I just read the first chapter and thankfully just read this review. I‘ll keep going. 5mo
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nathandrake1997
The Fall | Albert Camus
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Truth....a duplicitous beast that prowls in the dark. Whispering sweet nothings....it leads us down an abyss impossible to climb away from. Impossible is also to resist its attempts at breaking down walls we have created within oneself to protect us from this darkness. Maybe that's why most of the quotes about "positivity" allude to the sun than the moon....(continued in comments)

nathandrake1997 ....This is a train of thought that Albert Camus' uncomfortably claustrophobic yet unrelentingly engaging THE FALL made me contemplate.

While there has been innumerable writing placing truth on a pedestal, Camus instead shows us how truth in its barest form could be something that we, in the capacity of the human experience, are in a way not really prepared to process.....
5mo
nathandrake1997 ....Maybe that's why we view the world around us through our own subjective lenses, because "absolute truth" could be blinding upon contact.

No other book in quite a while has made me as uncomfortable as this! But, that in a way is probably the desired effect Camus wanted to have on his readers, because truth without a filter could be scalding and scarring.
5mo
Suet624 A thoughtful review as always. 5mo
20 likes3 comments
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nathandrake1997
After Dark | Haruki Murakami
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The night is young....the stars aren't visible. A glass of whisky....a jazz record humming faint notes, permeating the air with a musical melancholy. Its all here....this is quintessential Murakami. We have seen characters of this ilk in his previous work, we have seen character-arcs of this kind in his previous work as well, in a way, in terms of form....there isn't anything terribly new here....(continued in comments)

nathandrake1997 But this is a more "don't-fix-it-if-it-aint-broke" deal than a mere retread.

Murakami takes comfort in the familiar and that's where his prose is at its strongest. The lack of focus on plot actually does wonders for the comparatively lowkey tone Murakami was probably going for when compared to the rest of his work.....
5mo
nathandrake1997 ....The only aspect of the book that didn't work for me was the Calvino-esque second person narrative style Murakami uses at times. Whenever it appears, it feels like a jarring distraction from an otherwise refreshingly uneventful Murakami... and I mean "uneventful" in the best way possible. The kind of uneventful that feels like an exquisite glass of whisky, best experienced in slow, luxurious sips.... 5mo
nathandrake1997 ....Overall, this was a book that reminded me of why Murakami was one of my favourite authors in college. 5mo
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nathandrake1997
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Mehso-so

I have read this somewhere.....an unshakeable thought throughout my reading experience of Amor Towles' A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW. That "somewhere" being a style of prose attempting to evoke Ishiguro. Now....that doesn't mean I dislike the book.... I'd rather say...... I'm underwhelmed. Because, the book itself is alright, in fact, more than alright. (Continued in the comments)

nathandrake1997 ....There are moments when it is almost good. But.... that's the problem.....Towles settles for "almost good" a bit too comfortably.... 6mo
nathandrake1997 ....Throughout the book, I couldn't let go of the thought of how someone like Ishiguro would have told a story like this. His formal brilliance in rendering depth to subtlety was something that felt sorely missing in Towles' prose. 6mo
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nathandrake1997
The Namesake | Jhumpa Lahiri
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Ashwin....a name bequeathed from my parents upon me in a rather unsolicited manner. If I had the freedom to choose my own name during my naming ceremony....would I choose Ashwin? I must confess....my answer is no. To be honest....it is a name I don't connect with. When I Googled the meaning of my name, the result thrown up on the screen was "horse tamer". (Continued in the comments)

nathandrake1997 ....I rode upon a horse exactly twice in 24 years of my existence and both times I was terrified to the point where I couldn't form a coherent sentence. No wonder this name doesn't feel like who I actually am as a person..... 6mo
nathandrake1997 ....My all-time favourite film is HER (2013) directed by Spike Jonze. It is about a guy named Theodore Twombly....a divorced and lonely writer who works in a company that writes love letters for people. One day while walking back home, he impulsively purchases a new operating system. The rest of the film is a quirky and heartfelt love story between Theodore and this operating system. But, why did I mention this film all of a sudden? 6mo
nathandrake1997 ....Probably because Theodore is a character I connect with due to his loneliness and his impulse driven writing....probably because Theodore is a name I connect with. Recently at a coffee shop, when the barista asked my name, I impulsively mentioned Theodore and I felt.....this is something I should probably do often..... 6mo
nathandrake1997 ....A catalyst for this impulsive decision must have been the fact that at that time, I was reading Jhumpa Lahiri's exquisite novel THE NAMESAKE....which is also, along with a myriad of themes pertaining to identity, about a guy named Gogol who struggles to identify with his name.... 6mo
nathandrake1997 ....Maybe....just like Gogol changed his name to Nikhil.... should I change mine to Theodore as well? Is it a decision just like Gogol I'll come to regret over the years? Only time will tell....although unlike Gogol, I never really got to know the reason behind my name being what it is. The only fact I know about my name is that dad chose it and now....I can't even ask why. 6mo
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