I saw this book on the ‘bestsellers’ shelf at Waterstones, and after reading the blurb thought it sounded quite interesting. I didn’t buy it, but after seeing that it had stayed on the ‘bestsellers’ self a month or so later, I decided to give it a go. With it only being 160 pages, I thought it would be a nice length book to read.
Tony Webster tells of his life and his connection with an old friend, Adrian Finn. Befriended at school, Tony and his friends, and Adrian all vow to stay in touch. Both Tony and Adrian go to separate e wrote after breaking up with an old girlfriend, Veronica. a letter from a lawyer tay frienuniversities, where Tony acquires a girlfriend, Veronica. In time their relationship fails, and soon after Tony hears that his old friend Adrian is now seeing Veronica. It is learned a few months later that Adrian has committed suicide. Forty years later, Tony, having lost contact with his old friends, had a career, married and divorced, and had a child, is sent a spiteful letter which he wrote after breaking up with Veronica. He also receives a lawyer’s letter informing him that he has acquired some documents, one of them being Adrian’s diary, which leads him to revisit the past and piece together the true reasons of his friend’s death. It is this hint that the novel will conclude differently to what we expect which is the most intriguing point of the book. Rightly so, there is a big revelation towards the end of the novel which completes the story and puts to rest the ‘what’s going to happen?!’
What I loved about this novel, was that despite it being quite short, I didn’t feel that the story was ever rushed. I like how the author has included deep philosophical musings about memory and time which adds to the novel’s appeal. Given that the novel is about revisiting the past and the loss of time, I feel that it complements the story well. One thing to bear in mind when reading is that the revelation at the end of the novel explains the behaviour of some of the characters which may have appeared confusing and odd throughout the novel. Overall though, I can see why this novel won the Man Booker Prize last year. If you like a book with a twist then this is a great read which will stay with you for a long time to come.
By Amber Gunn