I’m re-reading A Little Life, because I love the characters, and Oliver Wyman brings their voices to life.
Rereading A Little Life isn’t as difficult for me as it was the first time. The first time, I was too close to the characters and their plight–especially Jude–and couldn’t take a step back and enjoy the story. I thought that Hyana Yanagihara hated Jude, but upon re-reading the novel, I see that Jude is too encapsulated in his own misery and the trauma of his abuse to see the good in his life.
And anyway, this is Jude’s story. It’s told mostly for his skewed perspective, cutting, scars, and abuse and all. It comes from someone who continually fights the negativity in his mind–until he cannot possibly fight anymore.
If this saddens you, do not read this novel.
But, if like me, you can find the shafts of light in such a dark novel, then go ahead. Venture forth. Take lots of breaks, have tissues handy, and know that there are many, many, many trigger warnings in this novel about four best friends venturing out into the adult world of New York to make their staple on the world.
I love this novel. Yes, I have issues with several things–like what transpires in Jude’s past–but overall I just want these people to live happy lives. Willem and Malcolm I don’t worry about, JB I’m concerned about because of his drug use, and Jude I worry about very much. I wanna hug him–even though I know he doesn’t like to be surprise touched–and tell him that he’s an amazing man. He’s overcome so much in his adult life, and he has achieved a great deal as his time as a New Yorker. I want to save him, as well as the other boys from Hood Hall, from their individual fates.
But, this book is written as a tragedy. If this is any key, you already know what happens. If you’ve already read A Little Life, then you definitely know what I’m talking about here.
You see, it’s impossible to read a 720-odd paged novel and not become engrossed in the character’s lives. Or at least, it was impossible for me.
Now, I just found out that this novel has been transformed into a play, but will be preformed in Dutch. As weird as it sounds, I kinda wanna go see it. I would post the article here, but there are spoilers and I don’t wanna ruin anything for people who want to read this heart-wrenching, uplifting story.