Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Review: When We Cease to Understand the World

When We Cease to Understand the World When We Cease to Understand the World by Benjamín Labatut
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I didn't catch this book when it was on the International Booker list, but when it was named a finalist for the translated lit category of the National Book Award, I finally decided to give it a go, especially once I found the audio in Hoopla and it was under 6 hours.

At first, it feels like non-fiction, well researched information about science and math, death and destruction, the usual. It slowly morphs to include details about the characters that might be true, I guess, but would he unlikely to be known without a detailed journal or analysis records. And as it nears the end, the stories start linking and it feels more like a fictional experience.

I always enjoy books that take me on a journey. The characters do not have to be on a journey, but I like the author to have a clear goal in mind even if I don't know what it is... It's one of those undefinable things that I like and is present here. I also am a sucker for books about math and mathematicians and boy did this qualify. I wish it had won the International Booker and I hope it wins the National Book Award for translation.

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