Apeirogon – Colum McCann (AUDIOBOOK) – 02.10.20

I have been mesmerised by this novel for days – narrated by the author, who at first seemed to me to be somewhat jilted and strangely flat in his narration, but who actually drew me in until I was hanging on every word, I feel emotionally wrought, enriched and changed by the experience. It’s like when you come out of a really strong play with maybe only one or two cast members but that really packed a punch so that you feel like you have lived the trauma or journey with the characters. Apeirogon is set in Palestine and follows two fathers, one Jewish, one Muslim who both lose daughters in the violence there. Based on actual people the novel explores their journeys, their lives and their decisions to campaign for peace in the face of such tragic loss, but it tells the story in such a profound and beautiful, masterful, way that it is like a masterclass in ‘showing not telling’. I think the stark, simple and factual way the story is told, as well as the ‘random’ asides with facts related to peace and war and the struggles of people against people only serve to intensify the emotional punch of the experience without feeling that the book is being cheaply manipulative. I can go so far as to say that it’s my reading (or listening) highlight of 2020.

Published by sarahrwray

I'm an erstwhile writer and forever reader and book reviewer.

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