Monday, January 8, 2018

The Slave

If you aren't a long time blog reader you might not know why I would have chosen this book to read for review. First, I had an uncle who was in what you would consider a vegetative state for five months before he passed away. You always hope that they can hear you and that you're making them comfortable and doing the best possible thing for them but you never really know, do you? Also, there was a time during my AFE that I was in a coma and nobody knew if I was processing anything that was happening to me or not, and I don't know because I have no memory of it. I wish I did though.

The Slave - Anand Dilvar

A profound and paradigm-challenging book that guides readers through a transformative journey to personal freedom.

Trapped in a vegetative state, following a terrible accident that has paralyzed his whole body, the narrator is unable to communicate with those around him. Cut off from family and friends so begins an inner conversation with his spiritual guide, a conversation which takes him on a journey of self-realization, bringing him eventually to a new state of consciousness, and an understanding of his deepest self.

Written with an engaging simplicity, this is a truly profound book which can change your life. In fact to use the authors own words, it is designed to shake, shudder and wake us up. It is a book that has nothing to do with success, social recognition, with the accumulation of goods; but everything to do with joy, love and peace.

This is the Spanish to English translation of the book so I'll tell you some of the phrasing used in the book doesn't feel as natural as it maybe would in Spanish, but don't let that deter you from this. This is so well written that I often wondered if it was a true story, to be able to get into the mind of a young man in a vegetative state is kind of unbelievable. We have a young man, The Slave, who we first meet by learning he's in this state, the morning light is blinding him but he cannot blink. He's discovering her cannot move, he cannot communicate that the light is blinding him and he actually wonders if this is death. Unfortunately it isn't and he spends a great deal of time wishing her were dead until he "meets" The Guide, an inner voice who helps him ponder the meaning of life and death, really. He's fully cognizant of everything around him, the kind nurse (Faith) who cares for him so gently, to the meaner nurse who callously says he should just be unplugged so someone else can still use his organs. (The interaction with her at the end of this book is SO GREAT.)

The Slave learns he's about to become a father unbeknownst to him and he's trying to decide if that baby is worth living for even if it means he could never communicate or hold it, is that really going to be enough? I can't tell you what he decides or what happens after he makes that decision, but this book.. wow. It's only 127 pages long but it will get you right in the feels, it'll make you look at people differently, approach humanity in a different way, make you wonder what qualifies as living, it would make an EXCELLENT book club choice. Heck, I'd even use it for high school or college kids to discuss, the discussions from it would be fascinating.

It feels weird to give a book 5 stars right out the gate in 2018 but I have to. This book has stuck with me and I find myself thinking about it in different ways long after I've put it down. If that isn't 5 star material, I don't know what is.


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