The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko by Scott Stambach
"...from what little I know of the outside world, I am fairly certain that my comrades and I live in hell. For most of us, the hell is in our bodies; for others, the hell is in our heads. And there is no mistaking that, for each of us, hell is in the empty, clinical, perfectly adequate, smudgy, off-white brick walls that hold us in here. In spite of my intelligence, I'm forced to accept that I'm one of the lucky ones."
I received a free copy of The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko from the publisher in return for an honest review.
The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko is such a harrowing read but at the same time it's both inspiring and full of hope. I fell in love with Ivan's voice he's a strong, unique and interesting character and his life both inspired and saddened me. It's a very poignant story told by a very memorable character that brings out a whole gamut of feels: heartache, sadness, joy, anger, hope, humour, and more.
I feel like I want to say this is a hard book to read but it's not. That is due largely to Ivan himself, his character approaches life in a very unique way and through his humour and stubbornness the shocking and heartbreaking story of his life is made more bearable and easier to read. Ivan shows us that a little bit of kindness can go a long way and even though this is a fictional story I'm sure much of it has gone on at some time or another.
The writing style is unlike anything else I have read and I highlighted so many passages and sentences while reading. One that particularly stood out for me was "How do you even start a book you know is going to be your last?" Which seems such a small and insignificant line to stand out amongst so many touching and insightful passages in this book but as a reader this really resonated with me. Most will know the saying "Too many books, so little time", as someone who lives and breathes books, the thought of only ever being able to pick up one more book, for it to be the last I ever read, I find that such a daunting prospect. There's a finality to it that I find very haunting and scary.
I don't often re-read books but this is one of those books that I know will draw me back to it.
Highly recommended. I'm off to buy myself a copy for my shelves.
Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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