Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Book Review -- I, Kidney by Chris Six

I, KidneyI, Kidney by Chris Six
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A digital copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.

The cover of the book made me wonder about what to expect from the book. Although I understood that the Kidney references must be an abstraction of thoughts and idealogies, I was eager to find out what the book revolved around. The book takes us through the life of Joe, who had an absolutely enviable childhood. The book transports us back in time, into the 1950s. As the story ages along with Joe, we move on to the next decade when life flips 180 degrees for Joe. Losing his mother and seeing his father become an emotional wreck, Joe tries to take solace in the support of his older brother, Matt. But to Joe's dismay, Matt is deeply affected by the different happenings and moves away too. Now grown up and having learned to sustain life, Joe is a successful coach and writer. But when he learns of his ailing kidney, he goes through a phase of existential enlightenment, being forced to make tough and selfless decisions for his family.

I loved the pulse of the book - the theme of existential philosophy, cloaked with a fictional concept. One sees life through the eyes of Joe, but gets questions about one's own life as one empathises with Joe's dilemmas and turmoils. The characterisation, specifically of Joe's, was remarkable. It's hard to shake his voice off even after finishing the book. The one point I would have loved to see toned up would have been the pace of the book - it drags at many points and at the cost of developing the characters, there seems to have a battle with not being able to propel the story forward.

Nevertheless, it's a fantastic read and I recommend it to all book lovers.

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