Jodie's Reviews > You Deserve Nothing

You Deserve Nothing by Alexander Maksik
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's review
Mar 03, 12

really liked it
bookshelves: 2012
Read from March 02 to 03, 2012

I had no idea about the controversy that surrounds this author who appears to have written a novel which is actually more memoir. I still would have read it, it still would have appealed to me if only to form my own opinion on it.

Marie, what do I think of Marie? Well certain parts of her remind me a great deal of myself when I was 17, so immediately I feel for her. And Mr Silver, gosh what I would have done for a teacher like that anywhere through my academic career, probably more than Marie gives, and the times where she is with him and thinks take anything, do anything, I feel would have been true for me too. There are girls, I was one of them who do know what they are doing at 17 and can live with the consequences of it. (I don't know that that is true for the girl this story is based on, so that sucks obviously.)

This story is about a teacher, and his adoring students, a dangerous cocktail surrounded by raging hormones and a teacher who thrives on his act, but at the same time, the class and students that he loves ask all the right questions about the literature they are studying and this pushes him closer to the edge, the facade is slipping, his own failings become more and more obvious to himself, and eventually his students. And if not for the adoration of his students what does he have? There is a backstory that isn't really explored we only know that there was a tragedy and he leaves his life for Paris. But is he malicious? Is he a pervert masquerading as a teacher? In the book, no I don't think he is. Is he wrong? Most certainly, his choices are diabolical, but I also think he is okay with that, okay with his demise, needs it actually to force his hand.

Say what you want about the authors intention, if it is true or not I don't know, but I read this book blissfully ignorant to the circumstance of its creation, and I really liked it. I loved the questions about perception, the realisations in peoples lives (particularly Gilad and his father), our individual interpretation of reading the same sentence, the randomness and inequality of all of it.
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