Discoverer is a remarkable book - one I got myself completely taken with. It is the final part of a trilogy, and though reading the last part of the tDiscoverer is a remarkable book - one I got myself completely taken with. It is the final part of a trilogy, and though reading the last part of the trilogy before you have read the prequels may not be the prescribed order, the book stands alone on its own so that it does not become a handicap. The book is about Jonas Wergeland, an elusive character, who is a TV-genius, responsible for some remarkable shows on Norwegian television. He comes back from a trip one day to find his wife dead. He is tried for the murder and he confesses to the crime. The fall of a celebrity is much loved by people, and this fall brings about two books on Jonas' life. One is written by Kamala Varma – a famous Indian author under whom Jonas is now working as a secretary, and another is a biography 'staged' by Jonas's sister Rakel – these two books form part 1 and 2 of this trilogy. In the third and the final part, we hear Jonas' own voice giving his version of the story. (Though there is another narrator interspersed with Jonas, someone whose identity is not revealed till the end, like the other two books - but a narrator who is easy to guess)
This account is remarkable in its reminiscence. Jonas' account moves from one memory to another through a tenuous link, and he has not finished narrating one story before he reaches the other, and suddenly you find yourself into tunnels of stories. You have to keep track of which tunnel you are in, and then when you get out there is the other original unfinished story, which is capsuled in another one. The stories themselves are so full of thoughts and ideas, and you wonder if Jonas could have lived through so many thoughts when he was 12, or 7.
The book is about discovery – of self, of past, of memories and also of those beautiful regions of Norway which Jonas and his team is traversing on a ship. Jonas seems to be a boy wonder of sorts, but also seems to have so many moments of failing, disappointment which constantly plague him about his self-worth. What I have read so far seems like a coming of age story, though the part where the 'coming' happens has remained elusive. Perhaps it happens with Magrete's death. But before that happens, there is much meditation – on films, on music, on sports and all the things a growing up is wound up in....more
An imagined interaction between the father of psychotherapy and a great thinker of the 19th century, the book is quite interesting. The dialogue betweAn imagined interaction between the father of psychotherapy and a great thinker of the 19th century, the book is quite interesting. The dialogue between the man of science and the man of thought, holds many possibilities. Yalom has not been very articulate with this dialogue, but he does not need to be - the struggle and suspicion is easily imagined in the situation, and often I found myself nodding to the arguments of both.
There are parts of the book, the end particularly so where you will find yourself piled under the trite. The author, obviously is the one who follows convention, follows the Breuer he has portrayed, and even in his writing, is willing to go only so far. ...more