Read November 22, 2015
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I’m all for experimenting with the written word, to break free from the restraints authors feel forced they must stick to in order to tell their story. And because of that, I applaud author Gian Andrea for going outside of the mold. I can usually read a book fairly quickly. For a novella, you would think even more so. Unfortunately, I found myself repeatedly going back to the beginning to try to see if I missed something.
From the start, editing and lack of basic structure was evident, finding multiple typos within the text. It didn’t read smoothly, at least for me, because I had to keep pausing to think things through—and not in a good way. I love philosophy and art, so that was not the problem. I understood those parts. The problem for me, was, the lack of character build, finding myself wondering who was speaking and how the dialogue was choppy, trying to find a reason to care about these characters. We find ourselves jumping back and forth between mostly ghost characters, and I’m still uncertain who the main one was (a journalist, I’m assuming?). We have no sign of where this is taking place, apart from a university, or when. I couldn’t use my imagination to fill in the gaps, even with one as vivid as mine. However, with that being said, the one thing I could relate to was the lack of feeling when it came to touch (dissociation).
Once I reached the halfway mark, I had to re-read this passage many times:
“I get up from the desk and ask myself if this is really a case of abuse, when you can’t feel anything and nothing can harm you, where’s the violence, where’s the wounds?”
As a survivor, this is blatant ignorance on the part of the author—sadly, a large part of society. Whether or not it was intentionally written to evoke deeper thought doesn’t matter. It’s important to know your potential audience with the subject chosen. Wounds and violence does not dictate whether or not it’s abuse. If that were the case, you might as well say that emotional abuse does not exist, as there are no outward signs apart from the survivor’s internal scars. I ALMOST stopped reading at this point.
I would have preferred the filler at the end of the book woven within the story, but that is just my personal preference. I’m still rating it a 4 because the concepts of philosophy and art was interestingly explored. The plot was highly original and thought-provoking. The author made it his own with his unique style of writing. I will be reading it again.
You can buy Agida: Upon Dirty Art HERE