Monday, January 3, 2011
Joseph Geist is a student at Harvard, which for several years can not finish his dissertation. The beginning of the novel folds for him extremely unfavorable: his girlfriend Yasmin, Persian by descent, throws him out. His entire luggage is a small bag and a half of the skull of Nietzsche, which Joseph once bought from a dealer in Berlin, thinking that he sells half of the head of Einstein. Joseph has nowhere to live, except the apartment of his friend Drew. Drew also alludes to Joseph that he should not stay for long. But to pay for another apartment, Joseph needs money, and therefore needs a job. Despairing, Joseph browses job ads in the student newspaper, which runs across a strange one. From the announcement is not clear who exactly is required and what have to do, and Joseph decides to try. A woman who answers his phone call has a slight German accent and after some of the issues offers to Joseph to come to the interview.
Some reviewers called this book a thriller, but it's hardly a thriller in the conventional sense: there are not almost the usual thriller elements (chases, fights, conspiracies, investigation) here, and all the suspense is focused not on the throughout the novel, but only at the very end. However, the novel sneaks down to the bone better than any thriller. When the hero (he's anti-hero) sweeps out all traces and only thinks they catch him or not, you even begin to beat on empathy. And this effect is difficult to achieve.
It's brilliantly written novel. This book really could be written by PhD: the text has many delicious details, black humor, humor with philosophical bent; suffering of the spirit is devoted much more space than the suffering of the body. The first person narrative twice suddenly changes into the second-person narrative - in those very moments when Joseph sees himself as if from the outside, and all his actions are transformed into a continuous stream of consciousness. Joseph is truly a Griboyedov’s hero; we can apply the term "Woe from Wit" with 100 percent accuracy. He puts an experiment on himself becoming the victim of this experiment. He gets into the final that he had dreamed of, and thinks has he changed his choice, if the fate gave him a second chance, but the tone of the prose for some reason says the opposite: he was pleased with how everything turned out.
Stories of such cases had already been enough, but it allocates different language, an unusual choice of hero and brilliantly built plot.