Monday, September 25, 2006

Literature: Sophie's Choice by William Styron

Sophie's Choice by William Styron
(626 pages)

Date Started: 14th Sept 2006
Date Finished: 26th Sept 2006


Oh my God, what a read! I finally finished this book after twelve days of slogging through it, and I'm exhausted!

It was an extremely intense read, deep and thought-provoking, but I guess I just wasn't in the right frame of mind to absorb everything that Styron had to offer. It held me captivated til the end, but there were many parts that I skipped because it got too descriptive and technical about the war. In fact, Styron went off into many tangents most of the time which, although has some relevance to the story itself, tended to get long-winded.

My initial interest in this book was because of the many references to 'Sophie's Choice' in real life, which I inferred from those references to mean a difficult choice. But I never knew all this while, what the choice was, what people were referring to, and just what the hype was over this 'choice'.

So I decided to read the book for myself and find out. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Whoowee...

Intense is the word. It was a freaking thriller! I kept asking myself, 'What happens next? What happens next?!' I was literally holding my breath each time I turned another page!

The way Styron wove the story is incredibly masterful. The story keeps on building up, and along with it the suspense and the tension of the reader. Secrets were unveiled little by little as Styron brings you closer to the climax. I could've guess the ending...well, ok, I couldn't have guessed it, but the ending doesn't surprise me.

Anyway, although the ending was pretty much predictable, in this story it wasn't about the destination. It was the journey. All the backstory about Sophie and Nathan, especially Sophie's history, was crucial in bringing us to this conclusion. It's a valuable insight to how our pasts affects us and make us who we are, how sometimes it can make us stronger people, but at the same time, it could also destroy us.

I like incorporating lessons from the books I read into my life. And while I could just stop here without elaborating further on what I got out of this read, I won't. I am a believer in personal strength, and attitude. I believe that two people can go through the exact same ordeal, and yet one will be a stronger and better person because of it, and yet the other can be a total wreck. Everybody handles things differently. And while I can totally understand the motives of the characters in Styron's novel, I believe that we can also learn a lesson from their mistakes.

I believe one day I will come back to this book again. It was a terrific read, and very engrossing, but I didn't do it justice with my inability to focus on Styron's amazing narrative on the South and of the war, so perhaps one day I will re-read this again, and come away with a deeper insight.


Template by:

Free Blog Templates