This is without a doubt the weirdest review I have done. Not only that but this book ranks as one of the weirdest books I have ever read as well, if I made that a category for my best of it would have swept the caetgory. This review is going to be very strange, and if you know about the bigger picture here you will understand why. If you Google this novel you will understand what I am talking about, and realize that there is no real good way to review this book. I felt this was the best way because technically this is a novel all by itself. So I figured I would first review it before I delved into the rest of it. If you have already read this and know what is going on, just be quite and play along.
As you know I usually give a brief review of the author’s bio, what they have written and so on. Well as mentioned above this is definitely the most bizarre review and novel I have read. The reason is that Straka technically is not a real person, so it makes this part of my review a little more difficult. Hopefully once you read this review and the follow up review you will understand, at least more than I do, about what is going on with this strange and unique novel. There are spoilers ahead, but not all of them. This is basically two books in one and the below spoilers are just for one aspect of the story. Proceed with caution spoilers ahead!
The story is about a man who has more or less no memories of who he is, but knows his name is S. S. finds himself in a sea town only to be drugged and taken aboard a ship that is crewed by some odd fellows to say the least. They all have their mouths sewn together and only one speaks. After a storm S. washes ashore in a town on the verge of a riot only to be thrown in the middle of it. Soon a bomb explodes, S. and a few of the people he met are blamed for the explosion and they are forced to flee the city. The police and agents chase them out of the city for days on end and eventually into cave that goes deep into the earth. The cave eventually opens up back at the ocean on a cliff where S. jumps to save his life. While in the water he swims only to be rescued by the same ship that was destroyed in the earlier storm. From there S. is thrown into a variety of situations including an assassin, all the while still trying to find who he is, who he is working for, and relentlessly searching for his long lost love.
First off I would like to say that this is without a doubt the most bizarre, weirdest, most odd story I have ever read ever, in the history of ever. Did I mention it was weird, seriously it’s out there.
I really have had a hard time understanding this one on any level. There is a bigger picture here, and keeping that in mind I still really have no idea what to make of this story. I have read a few other reviews of the story and they are all saying the same thing. Honestly, I could not find one that thought this was a good book, but that is something you will have to judge for yourself.
The story does have a ton of intrigue surrounding it, and I will admit that that was one of the reasons I felt I had to read it. There is so much mystery around it, even now that I have finished it I feel there is still a ton of mystery surrounding the book and so much that I missed. For me, in my opinion there was little to no plot in the actual story. With that being said there is a ton of other things going on, so I am sure this was not meant to be judged by itself rather the whole in its entirety. There were a few times when I was reading faster and faster trying to figure out what was going to happen next, desperately hoping for some answers. Sadly they never came as the book seemed to jump forward in time as soon as there was a chance an answer could arise. Even as the story drew to an end I was left trying to assemble the pieces of what some would consider a plot. I liken it to trying to put together a puzzle and some pieces are missing and other pieces just don’t belong, so you will never figure it out.
There is also a ton of characters that come up in this story. This is not overwhelming but they all have such weird names that at times it was hard to tell them apart. The other thing I did not particularly like about this was the style it was written in. Any chance the author could he would use a very extravagant word to describe every day things, such as using “valise” instead of case or carrying case. That is just one example and it happened throughout the story. With that being said the book was supposedly written in the 1940-50’s so I can understand the style, it was just a little annoying at times.
The other day I tried to explain to my friend what this story was about and I really had a difficult time explaining the plot or what the book was about. Honestly, I really do not know and it was a very difficult read from the start right to the end. There were many many nights where I just had to power through the story as it was very strange and lacking any sort of continuity from what had happened previously. I guess that is the biggest downfall for me, as it seems that the whole story follows the same guy but none of it really makes any sense. There are so many questions that are never answered and honestly I think none of them could be answered or were meant to be answered. So that leaves you with a bunch of randomness and quite a bit of time wasted, at least that is how I felt.
On the other hand if you read this one and take it at surface level you might enjoy it a little more. The lack of answers in this one bugged me if you cannot tell, but there are those out there that I am sure will love this story for its oddness and intrigue.
I am going to save my final judgment on this book for my next review when I do the other half I have spoken about above. By reading this though I am sure you can already tell that I am not a fan. I will say that the other half of this book is what makes this one so unique. Stay tuned…