Sunday, March 25, 2007

"Thoughts of Joy..." ~ The Inhabited World (Long)

"Thoughts of Joy..." can be found here.

I had an 'on again/off again' relationship with this book. I first was introduced to it by Kristin at Books for Breakfast and was very intrigued, so I put it on my forever long TBR list. Then, I decided I wasn't interested in reading about a ghost and crossed it off. However, when the NYT Notable Book Challenge came along (it being on the list of choices) and my desire to stretch myself in genres, I decided to take the plunge. All in all, it was a bit somber, but I'm glad I read it.

What stands out most to me is the in-depth emotional content and well-developed characters. Long's ability to weave deep connections to these characters was very well done. The concept of Evan (the main character) being a 'ghost' is far from freaky or scary, despite his ability to 'live' on the premise where he lived and died, as he seeks the reason "why?" he was led to suicide. So, we go on the journey with him, going from who lives in the house now back to Evan's childhood and forward again.

Closure to the plot was there, yet I had hoped for a more satisfying ending. I feel a vague sense of being left to dangle. Maybe that's how Evan felt. Hmmm, something to ponder.


kookiejar said...

I'm glad you liked it, Joy (if only a little bit), and remember the author told me on my blog that Evan was not a 'ghost', but rather, an 'angel' who could not leave his Earthly life behind. When I learned that, it really helped bring the whole book together for me.

Joy said...

Silly Kookie ~ I liked it more than "a little bit"! I gave it a 4/5, that's "Very Good"!

Evan being an "angel" actually was in the book.

Question: What does the cover represent?

kookiejar said...

Good question, Joy. Empty chair, empty raincoat, empty picture frame. Makes you think that there maybe had once been someone there, but they stepped out of the room? I don't know.

Amy said...

Those were my thoughts too Kookie. I am glad that you liked the book Joy. I liked it too but as I said in my review I didn't close the books with a satisfied sigh. I felt like I was dangling a bit too but not really...LOL. I know that probably makes NO sense.

Joy said...

Maybe, someone still lives here, but you can't see me; I'm invisible. ?

The reason why I asked was because THE DOUBLE BIND's cover really doesn't fit the story. If I remember correctly Bohjalian didn't design it, but he liked it.

So...I was wondering how much input Long had into the cover and what it meant to him.