Martin's Reviews > The Lazarus Project

The Lazarus Project by Aleksandar Hemon
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's review
Sep 24, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: 2012books
Read from August 31 to September 23, 2012

A persistently depressing, thoughtful, layered book -- a book I'm glad I read yet am not sure I enjoyed, in the typical sense of the word "enjoy." The writing is elegant and there are moments of great beauty, some very funny small (dark) jokes, but mostly just relentless sadness. In this respect, I was forced to wonder, midway through the book, about the purpose of such sad fiction. Certainly there were moments of great pathos and glimpses into lives both miserable (immigrant life in Chicago at the turn of the century) and sad (immigrant experiences in Chicago in the aftermath of the Bosnian war). Yet I don't really need to be convinced of the existence of misery and sadness in the world. All that said, some truly lovely, moving writing comes out of the twinned, interconnected explorations of immigrant life, dislocation, identity, racism, and justice in this novel so of course that is more than justification enough. Yet I admit that at times I had a difficult time picking such a sad book up and settling myself to read.

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