Book Review – Anamneza


Author: Ana Sandulescu
Original Language: Romanian
Genre: Fiction | Romance |Contemporary
Length: 214 pages
Published: May 2015
Goodreads link

After a deep coma, Luisa wakes up to continue her life. She starts a journey to find herself, in drugs, in books, on travels, and in lovers; teenage love that passes or last for years, crazy desires, holydays in Vama, second-hand friends and depression impregnated in the soul. This is just a few of the things that Luisa has to face in her tumultuous adolescence that she spends with a man from the mob.
    With the passage of time, Luisa realizes that the essence begins to fade out of herself, that it begins to become more and more erased and thence in a depression that keeps her bound. And what’s the point at the end, where the reality stops and where the fiction begins? Where? Summary source


     I started the book in force, I was ready to devour it after I had browsed it a little and it’s format aroused my interest: shorter or longer phrases, paragraphs settled apparently without sense, sometimes only one paragraph per page. That attracted me, but that’s what disappointed me.

      The book consists of excerpts from the diary of Luisa, conversations on messenger and various SMS or e-mails, pursuing the evolution of the protagonist over the last years of high school to the college. There are characters coming and going without an introduction and sometimes little context, at some point, I lost the number and the story itself stopped making sense being presented minimalist with a few to none landmarks.

        What I didn’t like in the book was the chaos, I didn’t understand who’s who and what they want, and at some point, it became overwhelming. Maybe I don’t have the soul of an artist, and I didn’t understand the symbolism and the substratum of the book but it was kind of hard considering the characters were just a list of names, without faces, that succeeded through the girl’s life. The action is not, more than it is, besides something, at some point, little background information of Luisa and one of the love interests Sorin. I wish I knew what was going on, why, who, where, when and especially what those people want, or even what Luisa wants!

        On the other hand, I liked the atmosphere it created, it seemed real, genuine. Because life is like this, an amalgam of experiences, impressions, and people who pass through without asking permission or if you’re ready.

      I identified myself with the character at certain levels and it helped me a little to understand what was happening to me. A big minus for me was the finale, when I put the book down my reaction was WTF?? And not the good WTF, when a book surprises me and leaves me mouth open. No, it was a reaction like, “I have no idea what happened,” really! I didn’t understand the ending at all, and it left a bitter taste.

      Overall, I’d say I liked it, not very, but I didn’t feel like wasting my time. It’s an authentic book, it manages to show life exactly as it is, a thrill of emotion on fast forward, which does not wait, does not ask and more than anything passes too fast!

PS. The book is published in Romanian and there was no translation at the moment of this review.

3/5 stars


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