book review: Some Day This Pain Will be Useful to You

by Peter Cameron

But for my professor assigning this book, and the fact that I respect her opinion, I would not have finished this book. Once you get past chapter 2, though, it really takes off. We finally get to the “conflict” in the book. I think this is the professor’s point: get to the conflict earlier. We will see if I was right as my class moves forward this week.

The book describes the fictional life of James Sveck, who I would describe as an over privileged, over thinking, brat from New York City. Oh and he is depressed. A lot of the book takes place in his brain. The way he analyzes and over thinks everything is excruciating and tiring. Do people really think like this? This thinking paralyzes him.

Ultimately, we only spend from July 24th to the 30th with him. A lot happens in this week, and we hear about some events that took place a few months earlier and his agonizing over going to college at Brown. There is also a postscript that I saw coming miles away. Before anything even happened I started crying.

I wonder now if the book was really as good as I think or if it just struck a cord with me, and now, I am not even sure what the difference would be? Does a great book have to speak to us to be considered great? Maybe that is why I still feel Crime and Punishment was just that; it did not speak to me.

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