This is a book about the difficulty of love in the modern zeitgeist. The self-help notion is both satirized and interrogated - even self-interrogated to the point where even the act of reading, as a helping to the self, is put into question. The use of the second person singular enables a Brechtian distancing that allows the reader to always consider if/whether they would place themselves into the position of the character they are reading. This puts a moral dimension on each line. On the other hand, the pull of the story counters this, so that, in a way, the reader is almost being read by the book - quite a novel experience indeed. The fairy-tale simplicity adds to the moral tone, and counters the continual graphic reality of the 'filthy' that underpins Hamid's descriptions and events. The point of view shifts in a thrilling way, especially during the chapter concerning 'war' where the pov shifts into the laptops owned by characters and the drones that observe them from above. This book, like 'Catcher In The Rye', is deceptively simple and deserves to become a modern classic.
One person found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?