I just added another book read to my list. Without a doubt this was the most painful book I ever forced myself to read. The cover picture of a couple of kids on a bike sucked me into it. I am a sucker for bikes and bike riding. The author Viet Thanh Nguyen is a refugee from the Viet Nam War, or as he referred to it The American Wa.. He speaks eloquent english and writes the same. I found myself opening the dictionary to understand some of his word selections. The last word I had to look up is solipsism. I never heard it or saw it used before. Solipsism is a view or theory that the self is all that can be known to exist.
The last time I heard a speaker talk to me this way was in college when I took metaphysics. I didn’t understand it then nor did I understand much of what this guy was telling me. I was sooo tempted to return the book without finishing it. I kept hoping the next chapter would be the one that made sense, it did not happen. I finally understood the Epilogue because it he wrote it as a narrative about his life.
If you are into philosophy you will enjoy this book. If you like a regular everyday story like I do you will walk away from it.
All through the read I kept remembering the professor I had at Saint Joseph’s College who taught metaphysics. I kept telling myself that guys like Viet Than Nguyen are teaching at our colleges(he is Associate Professor of English and American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California) and warping the minds of our youth. None of what he wrote made sense and I wondered how he ever found a publisher to take this book on, then I saw it was the Harvard University Press. I have too little time left on this good earth to waste my minutes with unsatisfying work such as this. I have nobody to blame but myself.