She came by way of Archer, Bridgeport, Nanuet, worked off 95 in jeans and a denim jacket, carrying a plastic bag and shower shoes, a phone number, waiting beneath an underpass, the potato chips long gone.
It took me four days after finishing this before I felt like I could shape an opinion about this story. At first I was just hugely relieved that I was done.
This novel is closer to a news bulletin, a history story or a sociological essay. This isn’t entertainment or escape, it’s too brutal and slogging, the number of light and happy moments much too little.
So why would you? How many people pick a book that will darken their day considerably? As with non-fiction: to know. To remember that there is a world outside the familiar one. And in Zou’s path there can be find a little spark of motivation, while Skinner’s fall just shows the urgency of supporting veterans mentally. With my previous reads of De Gele Vogels and Terug naar normaal this month’s themes turn out to be mental health and war.
I agree with other reviews that the addition of a certain character is unnecessary, and his chapters could be skipped. They just add more violence, despair, and lack of reasons for existence.
Preparation for the Next Life, Atticus Lish, OneWorld 2014