Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Book Review: Trust Exercise by Susan Choi

Some books are entering my life like people. Regardless how good and extraordinary they are, they are just not suited for my tastes and interests. I may like them a lot but there is no place for them in your life.
It's my case with Trust Exercise by Susan Choi - which I've listened as an audio book. It's one of the most interesting books I've encounter lately in terms of writing: it has a complex meta-construction through which the voice of the writer intervenes directly, it has intricated story built around unique characters, and the balance between the dialogues and the discoursive side of the characters is achieved. But, during the development of the book I had no empathy for the topic, which deals with coming to age of 14-15 years old in an art school.
The first part is the most intense, and we'll find later was actually a story written by someone, so it is not a stand alone story, it is how someone seen it. It is a story about children failing to fit in, whose growing up evolves around theoretical discussions and art theories. Did those elitist framework help them achieve in their life? Will they have a different, much better trajectory than the rest of their peers? What I also loved about this part is the focus on the moment in its plenitude. This is how the characters are surviving at this stage of their lives, trying to give as many possible answers to the question: 'what is the moment and the now you are supposed to answer to?'
Moving on to the second part of the story, this momentum is lost. What some of the characters who are appearing in the book are experiencing is the dissolution of the time. Their stories of hope are becoming banal and their lives are lagging very much behind.  It is a certain sense of the moment, as it seems that the characters themselves are unable to achieve anything else. They are frozen in the moment but because incapable of changing or advancing.
Despite my personal struggles to go through this book, it was worth reading it. It was a meta-literary pleasure and despite the unattractive topic for me, it was good enough written to convince me I have to finish it.

Rating: 3 stars

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