My Rating: 4 Stars
Beyond the Absurd was a delight to read. Being a fan for the Theatre of the Absurd, specially Waiting for godot by Samuel Backett and No Exist by Jean-Paul Sartre, I’m familiar with the style.
These 12 short stories, focused on the absurd, take the reader in a journey to the deepest and darkest corners of the human mind and actions, and the paradox of human choices and opinions. These tales are a mix of genres that go from fantasy and sci-fi to dystopia and even humour.
Alexander Tomov is a great writer and his writing style is amazing. The language is simple and it completely matches the simplicity of life and the banalities of our daily lives. I must admit that in the beginning I got a bit lost since I didn’t know if the stories were somehow related or not. It’s nothing that can’t be clarified with an introduction to the book. Furthermore, I think that a quotation on the subject or theme in the beginning of each story could help the reader to understand the story better.
Some of the stories were really creepy like “The machine” that can create the ghost of someone for your past or the 4-year-old boy that committed suicide because he hated the world since he was 2. My favourite stories were “The Taxicab” and the “Firekeeper”. These two stories are related to the thing but in a different perspective: time. They’re about travelling to the past or the future and an old-man that can burn ghosts from the past. For me, it’s about that human desire to relive distant memories with people that are lost and the inability to aspect that our past, no matter how dark, is what makes us who we are now.
The story that really made me laugh is the devil having an orgy in the United Nation’s room since hell is out of room and “Heaven has gone bankrupt” from the lack of pure souls. A story about power and how leaders only take notice to the details that are in their interests.
These are the type of stories that made me think and to see the absurdity of life, the contradictions of what we see and choose to see has banalities. For example, the end of world, the death of children, how we would like to change something in our lives but don’t and then wish to change the past. Tomov inserts tiny details that complete the short-stories and make them even more human.
It was a great reading that I recommend for the fans of the absurd. I’ll definitely keep an eye open for Mr Tomov’s future works.
I want to thank the author Alexander Tomov for his advanced copy of his book in exchange for an honest review!
Hope you find an idea for your next reading here.