rainycityreflections's Reviews > Adios, Nirvana

Adios, Nirvana by Conrad  Wesselhoeft
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's review
Dec 29, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction, young-adult
Read in December, 2011

As many other reviewers indicate, Adios, Nirvana, by Conrad Wesselhoeft, is raw, powerful, and heartbreaking. Additionally, the voice of Jonathan is absolutely authentic. Nonetheless, I rated it at 4 stars instead of 5 because I found it to be not quite-tightly-enough-written. I felt it had too many characters that were not as deftly drawn as I would have liked, and it wandered around a bit too much especially with regard to the music. There was so much other content that deserved more attention, including the relationship between Jonathan and Mimi. And a reference midway through the book to the sudden passing of four months gave me the feeling that an entire chapter or two of the book had been torn out rather than carefully edited.

I also found Jonathan's insistence that Telly was the more talented leader of the group to be a bit puzzling as Jonathan seems to be rather talented and dynamic himself. The reader gets to see Telly basically as a few of Jonathan's memories; it would have been interesting if Wesselhoeft had written a prologue or even the first portion of the book during the time before Telly died so that we would have been able to see his vibrancy a little more clearly. As it is, we are able to see him "through a glass, darkly." Obviously, this works on one level in that this is all Jonathan has left of him as well, but it also made it harder for me to understand the depth of loss Jonathan experienced.

Still, this is definitely worth reading, especially for Jonathan's wry observations, the authenticity of his voice, and the affecting way he copes with the loss and lack in his life.


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