Through the Prism

After passing through the prism, each refraction contains some pure essence of the light, but only an incomplete part. We will always experience some aspect of reality, of the Truth, but only from our perspectives as they are colored by who and where we are. Others will know a different color and none will see the whole, complete light. These are my musings from my particular refraction.

9.16.2014

I Connected with It

To follow up on all the quotes in my previous post, I finished The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry.  Here's what I wrote for my four (of five) star review and a couple additional quotes:

There's art we find excellent because it so accurately captures the experience of life--we may not enjoy it since life isn't always enjoyable, but we know it is true and real. Then there's art we find excellent because we enjoy connecting with it and find emotional resonance in it, even if it's not always entirely accurate; real life isn't always scripted perfectly, after all, with people saying just the right things at just the right times and events happening in just the right order to make a satisfying story.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry falls into this second category. It all fits together too neatly (even the mishaps and tragedies), the characters grow and change a bit too perfectly (even their flaws and mistakes) to be fully believable as actual, but it still speaks to truths we identify with and find moving. The book conveys a story, not life, yet reading that story gives readers insight into and encourages them to reflect on their own lives. It's on the light side, not at all lacking in cynical humor and crotchety fun, yet has depth and passion as well. I enjoyed it immensely. I connected with it.

To give the quotes that follow (and proceeded in the previous post) a bit of context, spoilerish information from the first couple of chapters: The title character is a curmudgeon and literary snob who owns a bookstore, grieving the death of his wife with alcohol and misanthrope. Then a baby is left in his store with a note asking him to take in the little girl.

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Why is any one book different from any other book? They are different, A.J. decides, because they are. We have to look inside many. We have to believe. We agree to be disappointed sometimes so that we can be exhilarated every now and again.

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How to account for its presence [on this list of favorites] when I know it is only average? The answer is this: Your dad relates to the characters. It has meaning to me. And the longer I do this (bookselling, yes, of course, but also living if that isn't too awfully sentimental), the more I believe that this is what the point of it all is. To connect, my dear little nerd. Only connect.



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