It's been a while since I've read a book that challenged me and required me to really think and process what I was reading. The book, A Spy in the Ruins by Christopher Bernard does just that.
The book starts out with a shocking beginning - it seems that the world is coming to an end. Through what seems like a stream of consciousness from the character, we get an inside look of this world crumbling all around him. When everything seems to come to an end, we see the life of a young man flashing before our eyes, just as it seems to be flashing before his. At times, it is tough to know exactly what is going on, but the imagery evoked from the novel remains with you as you read it.
One line in particular resonated with me:
'The solitary one gropes for his solitude like a blind man. He cannot feel it cannot find it. What. Around him there is bitterness and air. Nothing but eyes.'
The main character we are following seems to tormented as he goes through the memories in his mind. Tormented by love. Tormented by identity. Tormented by who he is. Who he was.
Here is another excerpt:
"The books however made him reflect. What is this place? What am I doing here? What are we doing here? What am I supposed to be doing here? What should I do next? Who should I believe? What can I hope for?...The answer again came back to him heaven is the place of your greatest happiness and what is your greatest happiness. Despite what you know what you do not know. To live my life moment by moment over again. Over again. And over again. Forever."
To me, that last line defines that book completely. We seem to reliving the main character's life in a way that you would on another level. Maybe on the level that we tend to dream.
I think I would like to reread this book at another time when I am not as stressed. Nowadays, the challenging read such as this seems to overwhelm me just a tad (stress tends to do that to me). I encourage you to read this if you are drawn to fiction that steps outside the boundaries of its genre and exposes you to a new, poetic way of looking at life and reading a book.
Read A Spy in the Ruins by Christopher Bernard on Amazon.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of A Spy in the Ruins in exchange for an honest review. I also included an Amazon affiliate link in my review.