I had convinced myself that I was going to stop to enumerate all the books that I read, but I guess I have to talk about this one. I have to do it because it was probably one of the books I had the hardest time to finish. Not because the story was bad, or it was difficult to read (I have given up reading books because of those reasons before), but it was because this book made me depressed. So before I continue on explaining why, I think I need to introduce the book, huh?
It’s a great work of literature. A very captivating and feels very realistic. So, is reality what made me depressed? Actually, that’s not incorrect. If I sit down with my psychologist (which I don’t have) and talk about it, I think I can distill down to three sources for my annoyance:
1) A good part of the story describes the struggle that was being African-American in the early to late 20th century in the US. Lots of things going wrong, lots of hurt people, lots of people with no perspectives of going anywhere in their lives. Not only this, it depicts the “white society”‘s disgust towards them. I was never able to understand this type of behavior towards people. Yes, it’s natural to be afraid of the people you don’t know. It’s expected that you should be worried about people that fit your mental profile of being dangerous (like people that walk on the streets with guns), but being disgusted by their presence? Why?
2) The story goes around a family of a physicist and a former singer that have kids that they teach music from very young and music becomes a part of their being. They can think and communicate using music. I think I envied that ability. I’ve been struggling a lot lately about my relationship with music and the book was making me remember that some time in my life I used to be able to read much more into music than I am right now.
3) The main protagonist of the book is a middle brother, Joseph. His job throughout the book (and hoping I won’t spoil much of it by saying this) is to go and be there for for his family. He ends up having no real life of his own (except for things that I won’t mention here), never graduating from college, never marrying, never really having the career that he trained all his life for. But he is there for his family and that is what keeps them from completely collapsing. I’m the middle brother and where am I? I don’t even reply to emails…
So now you see why I’m very glad that this is over. I’ve been very stressed at work lately. And arriving to work depressed due to reading this book was not helping at all! Now I need my next book to be something simple and uplifting. Haven’t decided what yet. I have until 3 AM tonight to figure it out, as I’ll be awake babysitting a process that has to run successfully tonight or else I’ll be in big trouble trying to deliver a project by Friday and having the weekend to celebrate.