Two days ago I told you I had a few subjects to catch up with on my blog. After sharing the Forgotten Movies with you, today’s turn is reserved for the Forgotten Books. After my Harry Potter reviews I’ve been really quiet in the book department. Partly that’s because I haven’t read a lot since then. Harry Potter was just so mesmerizing, that I found it hard to indulge myself in a new story. I tried twice though, but I haven’t blogged about those books yet.
De Eenzaamheid van de Priemgetallen – Paolo Giordano
Original title: la Solitudine Dei Nummeri Primi
English title: The Solitude of Prime Numbers
Finished on: March 4, 2015
Two people, both scarred for life because of someone they experienced when they where little, meet each other at a party. A special friendship grows between them. Some might even call it love. But is their bond strong enough to stand up to their demons of the past?
This book actually captured me right from the first chapter. I was feeling the fear and the shame of this little girl who peed her pants during ski lessons every week, because she was still too young to hold it. The fear of talking about this or standing up to her father or her teacher was described in a way that gave me goose bumps. A child could actually think the way she did, make the choices that she did and be treated the way she was treated.
The same happened when the next chapter described what happened to a young boy, when he had to take his disabled sister to a party. It’s mind blowing how such seemingly everyday events can lead to such shame, fear and disaster.
The greatest part of the book is about these two people as adults, after they have met each other. They develop a very peculiar relationship, with a lot of connection and a lot of distance at the same time. The mental disorders these two characters have developed as a result of their childhood experiences are beautifully portrayed. Not too heavy, but in fact totally relatable and understandable. That takes a lot of talent and it’s why I would recommend you to definitely read it.
Ik Ook van Jou – Ronald Giphart
Translated title: I Love You Too
Finished on: April 21, 2015
Two writers want to escape their daily routine and decide to go on a canoe trip in France. Edgar Fräser misses his significant other, who stayed at home. Ronald still hasn’t gotten over his first love. While they float on the river, pondering about their lives, they meet two girls. These girls change everything.
When I was a teenager, I read a few books of Ronald Giphart. I remember that I liked these books, but I couldn’t remember much of them, so I decided it was time to reread one of them.
Honestly, I cannot believe that I loved this book so much back then. I was annoyed most of the time. I hated the way Fräser had to be so smug and chant random wisdoms at all times. I hated the fact the two of them described every tiny life event as poetry. And I hated the fact that literally every conversation or memory was about sex at a certain point.
It didn’t matter how sweet or romantic or innocent a conversation or memory started, I only had to wait for the sex subject to come up somewhere. Why? I don’t understand. This is so unbelievably Dutch. Both in movies and books, the writers seem to think that sex is a very essential way to keep the story interesting. And it has to be described very vividly. Why? This was not even an erotic novel! It was supposed to be a psychological one, I suppose. But in that case, the vivid sexual descriptions disturb me every time I come across them. I’m not prude, I can totally read about sex if it’s functional for the story or believable. But having it come up at every conversation and in every memory, that’s neither of them I think. It’s definitely not believable to me. It gives me the feeling that the writer just felt the need to put in as many sexual descriptions in the book as he possibly could.
But yet I felt the urge to finish this book anyway. Apparently there was something about the story that kept my attention, even despite all the annoyance I felt while reading it. Main character Ronald didn’t only have a very disturbing sexual mind, there was also a very genuine side about him. This side was pondering about his first love, why it went wrong, if and how he could have saved it. It was about finding true love, about sticking with someone you love against all reason and about the scars a damaged love can leave.
This book alternated between vulgar and genuine so quickly, that it was really confusing. I never quite decided whether I hated or liked the book. I am still not really sure about my opinion of this book. There where parts I hated and there where parts I liked. Actually loving the book goes a bit too far, although I was even touched in the end. To save you from the same disturbing roller coaster I’ve been in, I would not recommend you to read it. Unless you love disturbingly frequent sexual thoughts described in a very vibrant way, of course. If you’d like to read it, I’m afraid I have to disappoint all my non-Dutch readers, as I haven’t found a translation of this book.
The author’s full name is Ronald Edgar Giphart. Yes, he named both main characters of this book after him. This makes their minds slightly more disturbing to me, because it gives the book a very autobiographical feel.
After these books I could not get myself to read another one somehow. I guess I was still searching for the enchantment the Harry Potter series had given me and I couldn’t find it. Even though I loved The Solitude of Prime Numbers, it just wasn’t the same. I guess I wanted to give myself some time to recover from the amazement that was Harry Potter, before reading any other book.
And after a while I just fell into my old habit of not creating the time to read another book. That changed now, however. Last week I’ve joined a book club! This means I will at least be reading one book a month from now on. And the book club happened to start off with the perfect genre: fantasy! I am currently reading Splintered by A.G. Howard, a story about one of the descendants of Alice from Alice in Wonderland. I’ve just read the first few pages and it’s very promising.
So I promise I will not let you wait so long anymore for another book review. My book goal is progressing again! If you have any books to recommend, please let me know in the comments!