Thursday, May 9, 2013

Books: Suicide

by Edouard Leve

Suicide is the written account of how a man remembers a friend who has committed suicide. The two men seem to have been friends from childhood. It's close to a stream-of-consciousness memoir, where the narrator shares memories of his friend, speculated on things the friend would have liked, and ruminates on life in general. The friend left no note, so "why" is another common theme.

It's a short book. There's an afterword explaining that Leve famously committed suicide just days after turning in the manuscript. He also left no note, so the book is often read by those seeking to understand what may have caused him to take his own life. I was unaware of the biographical note until after I had finished the book.

Did I like it? This one is a toughie. But yes ... lots of naval-gazing, and the anonymous nature of the narrator and the friend prevent any fully realized characters. But the concept is interesting, it's well-written, and there are some interesting points made.

Did it pass the Bechdel test? No. No dialog.

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