Name of the book: My Name is Alex
Author: Jean Spraker
Grab your copy from: Amazon
Leave a Rating @: Goodreads
I started pondering about the future after reading this short story by Jean Spraker. Before understanding Who is Alex? I started wondering Who is Jean? How did she make me start thinking about a future that scared the hell out of me?
The tale begins with Independence day celebration by the Lethe River, a river of Forgetfulness according to the Greek Mythology, and then a woman gets arrested for speaking to A Man With No Name. The story moves in a fast-forward mode where the arrested woman's daughter, a girl named Alexandria is a keeper of books, She hides books since books are banned and she tries her best to save as many as she can. For a moment I thought it had the Nazi background but the author has created a utopian society which could be any part of our world. A region which has no books except the ones hidden by Alex. By this point, I fell in love with the story. I will not crunch my words here when I say that the author has a way of spinning an intriguing tale where a reader can almost see the story unfolding in front of her.
The story then gallops across generations, where, and a man named Ben finds the note from Alex after fifty years. In this scene, there is a snowflake effect which reminded me of ideas, misplaced ideas or ideologies that are falling like flakes. Ben could be anyone - you or me. From a mythical place, Gnosis writer brought us to Bangalore where the author is attending Ashwin Sanghi's book launch.
Halt. Stop. I was thoroughly confused by now.
I found a few known names mentioned in the book, and by then I was wondering if this was the way to advertise books? Was the author trying to make a statement here by saying, this publisher could make it and that couldn't? I started rereading it. I couldn't understand, what it was about this book that was attracting me and yet making it difficult for me to understand.
It was only in my second read did I understand that I live in Gnosis and I might very well be Alex hiding the books during the reign of The Man who Has no Name. My only difference here would be Jean, The Art of Deal would not make the cut if I were the librarian.
As one reads this book, it would be interesting to see what books you would try to save in your library if you were Alex. Interesting. Very interesting.
The only thing I wish the author had done in this book is to keep her thoughts about her friends, her likes and dislikes in the Foreward section or as an endnote. It was difficult for me, as a reader, to understand when the story ended and when the acknowledgment list started. But I am glad I found this book on my timeline and read it.
Recommended for anyone who likes reading something different. Interesting and different.