Monday, October 31, 2011
Must read book of the year!
This book wasn't on either of the list's I'm readin but it is hands down best book I've read all year!
I love homeless people, always have. I have felt called to work among them since I was 16 and this book shows why. There are stories in their lives, beautiful heart rending stories and this book is full of them. To those who have never sat with a homeless person the stories of each of the four lives profiled by this book sound hugely over exaggerated but they aren't. The trauma and the pain detailed in these 500+ pages are the gospel truth even though the book is a work of fiction. It reminded me of my many friends I have met in my jobs as Homeless Outreach Worker and Youth Outreach Worker.
This book is filled with the beautiful power of story. 4 homeless people and one broken man discover each other during a cold snap where they all end up at the movies. The book shows the "magic and the mystery" (note the title of my blog) of truth and beauty displayed in the flickering lights of the big screen. The truth in story is why I read and this book has it all. Life lessons, heart rending stories that break down the harden parts of you, beauty so painful it feels like a knife stabbing you in the heart, and magical events that remind you there is a God. I don't often read stories that make me cry (I tend to avoid them like the plague because I am a lot like the character Digger in the story I don't like to get mushy or be vulnerable)
One day I would like to sit down and watch each of the movies that the book talks about, but right now I am not ready, because I think I would sob like a little baby. There are only a few books that I would give 5 stars to but this is one of them. I want to pass this book around to the world because the story is so powerful. Funny that so many of my favorite books were found on the bargin table at Chapters. Happy accidents from titles that spoke to me or covers that drew my attention. I don't really believe in accidents...
I love beautiful quotes and this book is just full of them. The words are sometimes cliche but in the context of the story they are heart rendingly beautiful.Here are just a few:
"Being a rounder's just what it sounds like. You go around the same fucking vicious circle until you've seen and done and survived everything. At first its just life that screws you. Nobody comes here by choice"
"There's a risk that comes from being known, and its most marked form is the loss of subterfuge"
This is why I love the homeless. They are the most genuine people I have ever met. They cease being ashamed of the person they have become and just live as who they are scars and all.
"About seeing what you crave the most thrown up on the screen in front of you and recognize it for the hole within you that it is"
Ahhh....that is so true. That is the power of good story. To recogize things in our lives because it is outside of ourselves and can be objectively viewed for the first time.
"It was a magic way. A mystery way."
I named my blog magic and mystery because those two word describe the essence of the things that make me happy and I love finding those two paired together in literature. Makes me glad to know others recognize their importance.
I highly recommend this book as a must read. Hands down best read of the year!