If you didn’t remember something happening,
was it because it never had happened?
Ok, just kidding.
But the tagline above sums up everything you need to know about the hero of the book “Everything I don’t remember” written by Jonas Hassen Khemiri.
The novel is the story of Samuel (23+), who is already dead when the book begins. He’s kinda ‘troubled’ guy who’ve got a millions of problems. You are going to tell me: who doesn’t have them, ffs?!! And you are right, thats why it feels like you know the hero, right from the start.
I’d even call him – The Hero Of Our Time, because the streets of each city are filled with such “samuels“.
Samuel’s 3 biggest problems:
Let’s start from the memory: if we could not remember past events, we could not learn or develop relationships. Samuel do not remember the experiences, the feelings/or the emotions of the past events…His long-term memory sucks. Or maybe he simply doesn’t care. To live without long-term memory is probably much easier in our modern world.
“Hello! Who are you? Mary?
No, Mary, I don’t remember
how you’ve broken your ribs last summer.
Really? Was sex THAT good?”
Listening: He doesn’t listen shit. He pretend he does. Thats why people loves him so much. He’s not interested in their life as well, he just there ‘listening by not listening the bullshit you feed him”. Being THERE is already a lot. Right? :))
Love: “What is Love?” – the world is still wondering. Khemiri’s answer to that question is: a crash into a tree!
The composition of the book is ‘something SPECIAL’. I wanted to drop it at the beginning, but then I kinda got used to it. The story told by various people who knew Samuel before his death:
-his friend (or NOT), roommate – Vandad
-the girl he met (fell in love with) and had a year-long affair – Laide
-his childhood friend (a girl) – Panther
The book consists of a very-veryyyyy small snippets of interviews conducted by an unnamed writer, who is kinda trying to write a book about Samuels death and in the same time trying to figure out: was it an accident or suicide?
Let’s say you love rock-n-roll and never-ever in your life listened to hip-hop …and then pums, the world is going to hell and everything you are trying to listen transforms into hip-hop. You are going mad, because you don’t understand – what the fuck is happening!
This is HOW the structure and the composition of this book FEELS.
For me personally was difficult to determine who is speaking in each snippet (at least first 30-50 pages). It is also impossible to know how much truth any person is delivering…You are starting to suspect them all, thinking: here it comes, the truth – some bitch killed that ‘forgetful’ guy! But nope. This is NOT a crime novel. There’s zero ‘tension’ in the novel. Only Loooooveee!
The end of the book: it is still a mystery, but without any mystery.
If you are waiting for some kind of suspense – you’ll find yourself disappointed.
Rate 3 from 5.
“There are moments when I wish
I could roll back the clock and take all the sadness away,
but I have the feeling that if I did,
the joy would be gone as well.”
A Walk To Remember