30 Day Book #2 – Favorite Drama Book

This one was a little more difficult for me than yesterday’s question.  For me, Drama is my kind of catch-all category for books that don’t quite fit into any other genre.  Honestly, until just a couple of minutes ago this book was going to be Chuck Palahniuk’s Invisible Monsters.  As I was about to write it, I kept thinking that I thought I had a better pick, and I ultimately decided on Hubert Selby Jr’s Requiem for a Dream.

Like many other people, I first heard of this book because of Darren Aronofsky’s movie by the same title.  I liked the movie (for anyone who has seen it you know it would be very wrong to say I enjoyed it) and checked out the novel.  This book has all of the same tension of the movie, but much more explanation where some parts of the movie gloss over too quickly.

Enough talking about the movie, time to talk about the book.  The book is written in a very strange style, the punctuation is unusual and there are no chapter demarcations, which can be irritating at times but ultimately suits the book very well.  The book is ultimately about 4 people’s struggle with their various addictions (diet pills for one, heroin for the other three).  As it should be expected when reading a book about this topic, this book is true to life, which means it is not a pretty book.

I’ve read most of Selby’s books, and they all focus on the darker side of life. Selby’s writing is powerful and even though it is darker, it is a refreshing change of pace from some other books.  In much of our popular fiction, it’s all about the happy ending, and in many ways this is very untrue to life.  This book is a powerful example of the ability of addiction to hold power over every aspect of our life.

This book is not an easy read.  It is not a comfortable read.  What this book is is one of the most powerful and haunting books you’ll ever read and it will stick with you well after you turn the last page.

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