Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Just... bizarre

33. Enon opetukset by Petri Tamminen ("My uncle's teachings")

The About: Jussi is a 12-year-old who has a good relationship with his uncle, who is a mere 10 years older than the boy. What is it about this uncle that makes him such a champion in life? He always has the answers. As Jussi goes from being in his twenties to a divorcee in the late 30s, he's still searching for the answer as he still cautiously looks up to his uncle.

Thoughts: What a strange book. On the one hand, it's trying to be very, very deep with uncle's drunken philosophies and Jussi struggling with his own depression, but then on the other I felt like I only had a chance to skim the surface of these life-altering events and thoughts while bouncing from one drunken event to another. Jussi thinks he is a loser when actually he's just a depressed, middle-class man who is moderately successful. He looks up to his uncle who seems to have a better grasp of life than Jussi does, although he's a complete drunkard, a flake and a womanizer who always gets burned. At first, it seems like the story is idolizing a certain aloofness in life style and not caring about what others think--because that's what the uncle espouses. But maybe it's just an illusion, and as a reader I'm only seeing through Jussi's eyes, which are veiled by depression and feelings of failure. Jussi actually has a better handle on life than his uncle, but his uncle is just much better at bullshitting than Jussi is, and that's why he has become the guru of the family. The older Jussi gets, the more he begins to see flaws in his uncle.

Still. A strange book.

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