The Afterlife of Stars
The Afterlife of Stars by Joseph Kertes was a very unusual book and hard to get into. The subject matter—the flight of people fleeing the Russian invasion of Budapest against the Hungarian Revolution—was a very intense topic, but that was not the cause of concern. The difficulty of reading this book was from the syntax of the language style. I’m unsure if this book was translated or if it was meant to represent the sporadic pattern of a normal thought process, but either way this book read very strangely. At first, it was the odd way of counting age (“I turned 9.8” or “he was 13.7,” for example), but as I continued reading I was given a very strange sense of unusual family behavior. The interactions with the main character’s older brother always seemed a bit…incestuous. From asking his brother if he wants to see him make semen to the overly affectionate pet names (“my lambkin,” “my one true love,” “my tender love,” etc). It gave a very creepy overtone to the older brother that I was just unable to shake. The book was decent, but the language was very difficult for me personally.
Little, Brown and Company