Thursday, July 18, 2013

There are Reasons Noah Packed No Clothes, by Robert Jacoby

Barnes & Noble

You need your eyes, don't you?

So does Richard Issych. Two weeks ago he overdosed. Now he's fighting for his life, finding threatening notes like that one on his nightstand.

There are Reasons Noah Packed No Clothes is the story of 19-year-old Richard Issych, who wakes to a harsh new reality inside an inpatient unit. Now Richard's journey turns into one of revelations and struggling through his own reasons for being as he discovers new meanings for redemption, sacrifice, hope, love--and the will to live.

In the end, what are the reasons Noah packed no clothes? Richard can only imagine. But it has something to do with a size 3XL bowling shirt with the name "Noah" stitched over the pocket.

There are reasons . . . everyone uses his own dictionary.

There are reasons . . . some new heavens come from some new hells.


Just, wow. 

I just finished this book and I find myself searching for the right words to describe how I felt while reading it. 

As someone who has had suicidal tendencies for more than two decades, I feel very attached to Richard's story.  It hit home on so many levels, and I cried on multiple occasions (though, to be fair, it's not hard to make me cry), thinking about my own experiences: the heavy, black pressure on my heart; emotional pain at having to live through another day; believing that I wasn't good enough; and more.

The stream-of-consciousness writing fit the story perfectly: like in Jose Saramago's Blindness, or Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, the stylistic use of language helped me to know the characters and believe their histories. 

The ending left me reeling, which is part of the reason I can't fully express myself.  I had to read the last few pages a few times to be sure that I actually read what I did.

This isn't a happy-cheery-fluffy book.  It's a powerful, thoughtful novel that should be absorbed slowly.  I'm really happy that I read it; it's given me a lot to think about.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

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