Monday, September 02, 2019

Cherry (by Nico Walker)

This Read Harder Challenge challenge was definitely a challenge.The category is "A book written in prison." Obviously I've read "A Letter from Birmingham Jail" (masterful) but I consider it more of an essay and I don't use re-reads for this category. So I started and abandoned De Profundis, Our Lady of the Flowers and (about halfway through) No Friend But the Mountains, before picking up Cherry. Despite the brisk writing style, this one took me a while too; to give you some context, while reading this I also re-read Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine and the last two Harry Potter books. But I pushed through.

This is an autobiographical novel by Nico Walker, an Iraq veteran and drug addict who is in prison (to this day) for robbing banks. His unnamed narrator has the same story arc. I found the war parts hard to get through for some reason, although you'd think knowing me that it would have been all the heroin injecting.  (Shoutout here to The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook, the reason I was able to read those parts at all.)

This book is darkly funny and a compelling read, but I wouldn't have finished it without the Challenge.

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