Top positive review
Reviewed in India on 24 January 2020
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara is a huuuge book! Like, no kidding guys, it's like 800 pages and I'll be honest the books that exceed the normal length of say 400 pages intimidate me, but after reading @paperbackdream's review I HAD TO READ IT AND I'M GLAD I DID! 🥺
Initially I was worried about DNFing it because the first hundred pages weren't that eventful and I wasn't really invested in the story and thought I'd certainly give up but as the story progressed, and the characters and their life struggles kept unfolding, I got connected to the story without even realizing it.
The story revolves around four best friends — 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cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their centre of gravity. These four men have been there for each other through every phase of life and have faced every hardship together.
All the characters have their own story that makes your heart break but I personally felt that Jude's life and his story was one, that was devastatingly horrible. Of course, that doesn't mean that the trauma, the other characters went through was any less but I think out of all them, I definitely resonated with Jude's character and felt his pain. My eyed welled up at points and I wanted to fly overseas and confront the author because HOW CAN YOU DO THIS TO THIS POOR BABY?
It was overwhelming and this book is definitely not all rainbows and sunshine, it's dark and raw and brutally honest and it makes you want to throw it away or even rip it to pieces but not because of being awful but awfully honest which is why it's worth it.
Apart from the four Willem is my absolute favorite. This book has a bunch of amazing secondary characters too, whose presence compliments our main protagonists. Harold, Richard and Andy being my favourites.
There isn't a lot to say about the book without spilling the beans so I'll stop right here because I obviously want you to read it on your own.
It's devastating, honest and unapologetic. The way it's written is beautiful and intense at the same time. Do not let your fear of lengthy books deprive you of the wonderful experience of reading this book. I would also recommend listening to the audiobook which is equally good if not better.