So Long, See You Tomorrow July 17 2014, 0 Comments
Speechless... That was extraordinary.
(24 hours later)
I knew I was in for something special when I heard Richard Ford saying that this was one of his all-time favourite books but I didn't expect this level of amazement and mastery as I zipped through these 150 pages on a rainy October Sunday. How did someone manage to pack so much humanity in such a tiny work of art? The last time I felt such mind blowing concision was when I read "The Great Gatsby" for the first time. Every single sentence contains an entire world of thought and imagery and sensory detail that burns into your mind like a red-hot iron. The entire story is eerily seamless, moving like water from point of view to point of view, gathering speed like a storm about to burst. Rarely have I felt such emotional rawness and truths expressed in so few words. This is a true feat of the heart and mind.
I was also lucky enough to read this masterpiece with a most luminous and intelligent introduction by Ann Patchett. Obviously enamoured with this piece of work, she writes the following:
""So Long, See You Tomorrow" is structured not like a novel, but like the inner workings of the human brain. There are no surprises, only a constant circling of facts, the question of how things might have gone differently, the familiar retreat into personal experience. The narrator puts himself into characters he has no connection to, imagines their days, imagines the dog, without apology or explanation. Why has he stepped into someone else's life? Because this is how we try to make sense of the things we cannot possibly understand. It is an exercise in compassion."
Ann Patchett chose this novel as one to pass on to future generations. So would I.