Ann's Reviews > All is Forgotten, Nothing is Lost

All is Forgotten, Nothing is Lost by Lan Samantha Chang
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's review
Oct 26, 11

liked it
Read from October 25 to 26, 2011

I'm ambivalent. This is a beautifully written book. I had some issues with it, and I'm not sure if they were my issues or the book's issues. I was challenged by the decision to tell the story through the POV of a character who can only see others insofar as they may or may not temporarily ease his abandonment issues. It's gracefully and accurately done, but it also left me with a heartbreaking sense of the unknowability of the other characters, both for the protagonist and for me, seeing through him. I didn't like that feeling. On the other hand, that may well be the point.

Another issue, and this may be a bit of a SPOILER, is that by the end I was hearing echoes of Top Gun. Bernard/Goose was, I guess, just too pure to live. His death seemed to make some small measure of redemption possible for Roman, and I didn't like that either, I think because I felt a little suckered by it.

Although the book's main characters are poets, ultimately it's about any passion that drives a life. We go in blind, driven by desire. Things turn out differently than we'd imagined, and when we ask if it was worth it, we're never really sure of the answer.

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