You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.
~ Abraham Lincoln

 

In this, his fourth novel, Mr. Gurung describes his journey through the netherworld after his passing.

I have to be very candid: this is not really the type of book I generally pick up. Besides which, as an atheist, I have my doubts about the concept of afterlife. So I sort of waded in with mixed feelings. Truth be told, the story started growing on me after twenty or thirty pages.

 

It takes a while before you realize what the story is about. Mr. Gurung manages to conjure up a feeling of disorientation, disconnectedness, detachedness and absolute wonder for this strange and eerie place Enos, his principal character, is moving through, on his quest for something he doesn’t know or understand, and which I can only describe as “It”. Is it a place? A person? A god? The writer never mentions any specific deity or supreme being, and the reader is left –together with Enos- to conjecture about the ultimate goal of Enos’s wandering through what I’ll call “Hades”.

 

I’m not going to spoil the book for you by giving away the end. Suffice it to say, that Enos has to surmount many challenges and difficulties before reaching his ultimate destination. The way I see it, his journey constitutes some sort of spiritual cleansing of the soul, readying Enos for what is to come.

 

I suspect Mr. Gurung is not a native English speaker. His writing has a certain solemn quality at times, which actually fits the story quite well. There is virtually no dialogue in the book, and I initially feared it would be a difficult read. But no, the story actually grows on you. You want to find out, together with the main protagonist, where all this is leading to.

 

If you’re into this sort of literature, by all means, have a go. You’ll come to wonder about the strange landscapes and moods, and the mysterious twists and turns in the story. And even if, like me, you're not, have a go anyway.

 

 

Larry Santers

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