Our lives are all made up of a series of episodes. Of adventures, of happenstance, of chance. What if you tried to capture it all, but a slanted version that you could leave behind in the written form? This book captures that goal and the madness of its attempt.
It’s almost a little hard to believe that this is Kristopher Jansma’s first novel, but it becomes quickly apparent that he has been a writer for some time. There is a level of craftsmanship in the writing and structure of the novel that allude to the time spent in honing and studying the craft of writing. This isn’t a novel that’s just a story – although it does have a good one of those as well. This is a novel about novels and writing.
Because I think it does a good job, here’s the summary from Goodreads:
From as early as he can remember, the hopelessly unreliable—yet hopelessly earnest—narrator of this ambitious debut novel has wanted to become a writer. From the jazz clubs of Manhattan to the villages of Sri Lanka, Kristopher Jansma’s irresistible narrator will be inspired and haunted by the success of his greatest friend and rival in writing, and endlessly enamored with his rival’s enchanting friend, the green-eyed girl who got away. After the trio has a disastrous falling out, desperate to tell the truth in his writing and to figure out who he really is, Jansma’s narrator finds himself caught in a never-ending web of lies.
So what else do I have to tell you about this book? Not much. I don’t want to give away the reading experience. This book came highly recommended from Joanna Robinson over on the Pajiba mothership a couple years ago and I am just now getting around to it. If you put this book on your to read list then and have lost track of it, it’s time to get your hands on a copy and give it a read.