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Quirky Story About the Human Condition
on 1 September 2014
I found this to be a rather odd book. I wanted to like it. I wanted to like Barnaby. But I didn't really understand him completely. If I were to summarize it in a few sentences, I would say that a man with emotional problems in his background starts on a journey to being whole again but continues to be burdened with his relationships with his birth family, mainly his parents. He manages to break free from them in one way, but then other aspects of life threaten to encroach on his freedom. Will he, once again, break free, and become his own man? The last few pages are quite suspenseful, reading almost like a mystery story.
I did find myself rooting for Barnaby. Tyler made me care about him despite the fact that he was a bit of an enigma. Since I am in my late sixties, I enjoyed the fact that Barnaby works for elderly people. A few years ago, maybe I wouldn't have been interested in such a large number of elderly characters. But now I can see the humor and the pathos in the geriatric generation. This book might raise more questions than it answers--it's one of those books that doesn't explain everything in black and white.
You'll probably have to answer your own questions and although you may, like me, root for Barnaby, you may not be terribly moved by the story. I didn't laugh or cry. I smiled a bit. I felt pity for Barnaby. It's a story that explores the human condition. At times you might want to slap some of the people, maybe even Barnaby. My answer to the question, "Is Barnaby an ordinary man?" would be "No, he was a little off kilter, but he's on his way to a more authentic life." I know--it sounds cliche--but I'm at a loss as to how to put it any other way. I'd say that if you're looking for great excitement or thrilling romance, look elsewhere, but if you want to read a rather quirky story about human beings, give this one a try.
By the way, I can see that amazon.com-UK is separate from amazon.com in the US. I hate it that you can't click on and see all my reviews. It looks as though I've written only one. And I do love British authors--James Herriot is a favorite and also Virginia Ironside. So if you want to read more of my reviews, you must access the other amazon.com