Em and the Big Hoom by Jerry Pinto: Don’t Judge the Disturbing Book By It’s Lovely Cover


Image Credit: goodreads.com

This will go down in history as one of those books I never finished reading. (Let’s ignore the more critical things going down in history for the moment.) I know plenty of people who say that they ALWAYS finish the book once they start it, no matter how awful it is.

And this is generally said in the tone of a boast, with some underlying pride. It puzzles me. Why would anyone struggle to finish a book they didn’t like, when they could be reading something they do like? What a perfect waste of time, right? I thought everyone was about YOLO and stuff.

Everyone is entitled to the use of their own time, and if you want to spend your’s reading a crappy book, go right ahead. You do you. On the other hand, if you start doing something detrimental to your well being, I can’t stand there and continue to say, “You do you,” I’m going to have to dash over, pluck the scissors out of your hands, and ask you why you’re trying to cut your nails with them.

This book was actually kind of disturbing for me, and ruined my state of mind for the days after I stopped reading it. So I have to warn you: decide whether or not it’s for you first. I honestly feel that I should have stopped myself before I’d already finished three quarters of it. It was given to me as a gift, and when I read the first page, I thought it was wonderful.

Pinto’s words are woven exquisitely, and the prose is a joy to read. The subject of the book, however, is the narrator’s mother, and her manic depression. I couldn’t handle it.

The book will continue to sit in my shelf in all it’s rich plum-coloured glory, a piece of art, to look at, but not consume.

I’d conclude with some comforting homily about how maybe I’ll enjoy it when I’m older, but I don’t think I’ll ever be that numb to suffering.

Now that just made history as the saddest ending ever.



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