Friday, April 13, 2012

The Free World

David Bezmozgis' The Free World was an intriguing and, at times, heartbreaking tale of the three generations of the Krasnansky family as they made their way from Soviet-controlled Latvia to "the Free World."

Bezmozgis shows the blurring of lines and the complications that arise as people enter the Free World and ultimately become Free People. In cases like that of a family friend, Lyova, who is no longer branded an refugee, getting a visa to America proves even more difficult as he is now a "free man in a free world."

Lyova might be my favorite character in this book. My complaint would probably be that we don't see enough of his story, except we aren't really supposed to — he's a passing character. He's kind of a tool Bezmozgis uses — he provides introductions for the characters and his predicament brings forth the bigger questions of freedom outside the USSR. Maybe one day he'll get a spin-off book.

On the other hand, there's Karl. With most of the adult characters there was a certain amount of understanding after a while, but I feel like we never reach that point with Karl. He remains a mystery and almost feels like a villain because of it. We don't know what's going on in his mind.

There was less of a driving plot in this book, but it was very strong on character development most of the time. The characters don't move so far, so the readers only get to see a small slice of the journey.

I'm still a bit confused about character motivation of one part — what was the point of all that business with Iza Judo and was it related to the Masha fiasco? If anyone has an answer to this, please let me know because I'm still in the dark about that.

I picked up Girl, Interrupted from the library yesterday and started it today. I only have around 30 pages left, so I'll probably finish that tonight and review tomorrow or the day after. It's been a quick, easy read thusfar.

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