Imagine you are sitting at the only cafe standing between the end of the universe and the continuous flow of time, and the most beautiful person you have ever seen approaches you. The person bends to his knees and asks you for a dance and you agree because you need someone to hold onto you. As the song plays into some strange rhythm and some blues band bleeds to jazz, this person presses his mouth to your ear and whispers that he is an assassin there to kill you. There you stand, at the end of the universe fighting between the tugging in your heart which wishes for a kiss and the sharp pain of every heartbreak all at once. It culminates in a tango, and you wish that his hold would never lessen or that you would never have to let him go. So, when he plants the knife on your back, you smile. You knew that he could have used a gun, but, the knife becomes your shared token of love, personally embedded in your heart.
There are so many ways to tell a story. Some would go ahead and write it through letters, some would choose to use scenes and scenes, some would showcase a man’s face in a sea of betrayal; and be done with it. Yet, rarely do we see innovation in this segment. So, an author telling a story through entries in a dictionary is an interesting prospect. Interesting enough to entice one to sit down and read through the book at one go. To be very frank the idea is ingenious, In love even strange words become personal and this book is one such journey for the reader.
The book is pacy, and when you begin you might very well find yourself in the 50th page drenched in tears. It is personal as you start imagining the shades of the bodies of the main characters with every page you read. By the time you reach mid-way you are thinking in words and not in terms of story. You breathe and notice that you have left significant stories behind and now, you know the characters. It is like a sense of running through the rain when you suddenly are alone in the street realizing that you have left so many people behind. The author enchants with prose that is compelling and powerful.
This is a book that can be read 100s of times before you throw it out. Maybe, because of how it is told. Before long, you may find yourself using it as a book of quotes and then as a definition of love itself. Yet, it will break your heart. The whites in the pages glaring at you and mocking you for having finished it too early, you would yearn for another resolution and you will start over again. This is the reason why this book performs so well. It speaks in silences and not through words and the scenes followed by that white page leaves you time to contemplate on what you have read.
About the piece I wrote above before starting the review. Seldom have I met a book which would leave such an effect on me and forced me to write. I would repeat, the silences in this book will affect you deeply and cut through you till you bleed words.
Does it have faults? Yes, it does. However, when one writes a prose in such a beautiful way and wraps it in a genius progressive narrative, you might overlook them. Some words do seem to be added just for filling out blank space (“Better”, perhaps would be the best example) and some of the characters you see in fleeting thought leave you questioning the narrator’s ideals. These don’t work against the author though, and make the book seem even more personal.
I do not have points to give for this is a personal book. I connect with it (being a person who had bent on one knee before another person and proposed to her in pouring rain). I fall in love each time am reading the book.
So, it is a humble recommendation for you
P.S Ebullient is my favourite word of all