Thank you to Matthew Selwyn for sending me this to review…
Reality is overrated. Sex, love, power, life: it’s gone digital. Why settle for a girlfriend with cellulite? Why spend every day working a dead-end job? These are the new days, the infinite days: plug in, get connected. Life is porn, porn is life, don’t accept anything less than the electric light show that is our digital reality. At the end of every computer screen, a mind is being formed on the material coughed up by the web that connects us all: this is the story of one of the internet’s children, told from his own warped perspective. This is the millennial generation, the Y generation: we’re horny, lonely, afraid, and self-confident. This is our story, our reality. Thrillingly inventive and powerfully engaging, ****: The Anatomy of Melancholy is a timely examination of life and masculinity in the digital age, a study of loneliness and mental decay, and a satire on the consumption of literature of disaffection. Brutally honest and darkly comic, it is a very modern novel about a very modern life.
First things first; this book is extraordinary and nothing like anything I have ever read before. This book does not have any chapters…oh yeah, you heard me right…no chapters. Interestingly enough, this adds to the narrative tone being informal and colloquial.
The protagonist in the story was bizarre to say the least, I really wanted to despise him because of all the violence and anger but in a way I could not. I had sympathy for him, I wanted to help him.I love how honest this book was, the reason I felt sympathy towards the protagonist is because the book struck chords in my heart and it spoke directly to me. As the narrative progressed, so did my awareness of the protagonist’s pain.
The format of this book was very fragmented, which kept me sat on the edge of my seat reading this. I was eager to know where the narrative was going; I love it when authors cleverly lead the reader on a journey, especially when it is a shocking and unexpected one. This book did just that and wow! Wow…I loved it. The fragmentation of narrative adds to the shocking nature of the book.
If you want to go on a journey that will open your eye and force to look at the modern society, then go and read this.
This book was a real eye-opener, it made me reflect upon my own life and how society has changed drastically. I feel like I will read this book again, it is short, so it gives you that accomplished feeling quickly that comes hand in hand with finishing a book. It is also a really interesting read, that I feel will become more and more captivating the more time i dedicate to it.
To conclude, I loved this book. The writing was unique and insightful and I loved how he made me feel soo many different emotions at once; I wanted to hit and hug and protagonist at the same time. The words on the page demanded deep and thoughtful reflection, which I was happy to obey to.
This book won’t be for everyone and I will warn you, that it is very violent and sexual, so read with caution.
Quotes – “A smile is just the contortion of a face”
About the Author-
Matthew Selwyn is a young writer from London, England. His debut novel, ****: The Anatomy of Melancholy was released in 2014. A student and librarian, he is often to be found hiding amongst the stacks in the Victorian library where he works, surrounded by piles of books.
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I have a lot of respect for him, it is amazing that wrote this while being a student.