Who knew it was in my power to make anyone so happy, or that I could ever be so happy myself
Why I read this book
Once again I have to give thanks to the podcasts I follow for putting this book in my head. I heard so many good things about it that when I saw it available on Audible I just went for it without any hesitation.
What the book is about
The book takes us through the life of Theo Decker, starting from when he was 13. Tragedy struck his life when his mother dies during a bomb attack while they were visiting a museum. In there, right before the attack, his path crosses with an old man and a little girl that will affect his life more than he could've expected from a pair of strangers. From New York to Las Vegas, back again to New York and then to Amsterdam the book follows in a very detailed way the ups and downs of this life and how he himself affects the lives of other
I read a couple of reviews before starting the book itself and I saw that most of the negative ones tackle the fact of "over detailing". Alas for me this was not a problem but a plus. When I started listening to the book I was speedily entranced with the descriptions of the city and then the exposition itself.
What a beautiful book. From the superb similes (comparison of the shapes formed by light to "Parameciums under a microscope) to the lengthy and eloquent artsy discussions about not only paintings but architecture and furniture this book transported me far, far away from where I was listening
Theo is a complicated character, not just because of what happens to him through the story, which is a lot, but because of how he sees himself. From the beginning he has a seemly auto destructive tendency that might be heightened or tamed depending on his companion at the moment but is always there, even during the happiest moments of his life. Guilt is a great part of this since he feels that it is his fault that his mother died. The constant question of "what if she was still here" something that touched me deeply.
But as much as Theo seems to not like himself he does like several people around him, risking more than he realizes for them. Boris and Hobby just to make a case in point are 2 of the biggest influences in his life and as such, he will risk everything he has and more for this two.
There are several love stories in this book, the way I see it. The way he loves his friends, the girls in his life (won't spoil it, though) and off course, the way he loves art. The descriptions the museum are made out of love for details and that is how the author manages to involve you in the story and you don't even realize 10 hours have passed by.
It was a beautiful book, full of sentiment; a book that I have recommended several times already and that I might even re listen too.
David Pittu has a beautiful voice and gives an amazing rendition of the book.