A Little Life
From Goodreads: When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they're broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he’ll not only be unable to overcome—but that will define his life forever.A Little Life had been sitting in my Kindle for awhile. I had bought it, on sale, awhile back after hearing the hype but it took me awhile before I bothered to read it. In fact, I was tempted to just skip it and purge it the next time I cleaned up my Kindle bookshelf. From what I had heard, it was a male centric, arduous read. I have a lot of books to read, there was no reason to force myself to read something I would end up DNFing a few chapters in
But I decided to give it a shot. I figured what's the harm in reading at least a few chapters. It's not like I had anything truly pressing. Just some arbitrary goal on Goodreads that says I should read 100 books this year. I'm already something like 10 books behind, so who cares.
So I gave it a try and well, I fell in love. I honestly thought that at 35 years old I should be over the whole literary crush thing, especially cruses involving fictional characters, but I fell in love with Jude and Willem and their relationship over the decades of friendship.
This book was painful to read. Jude's backstory is brutal, and if you are particularly sensitive you might be better off skipping this book, but if you aren't-I cannot stress how good this book is, especially if you are the type that likes long, character driven novels that you can fully immerse yourself in.