Received a copy of At Night We Walk In Circles By Daniel Alarcón through the First Reads Giveaway
This novel's subject matter is not one I would normally gravitate to. Performance arts typically involves overly dramatic, self-indulged, and entitled individuals that give me little reason to sympathize let alone cheer for. The tipping point for me was the psychological elements of the characters, the constitution of the "anxious" times, the regions civil unrest and it's convenience-oriented judicial system. Their is also a clear view of the effects of being imprisoned can have on muting a person's political ideals and the wanting of love and a humans touch from unknown sources. Not to mention it's a free giveaway. Now really everybody, what on God's green Earth do I have to lose, a torturous read, I've read worse(On The Road, I know I know, I am sorry).Instead I read a great book by a young up-and-comer that I will definitely keep my eyes on for their future work.
Theatrical work requires the exaggeration of movements while still maintaining the ability to communicate the characters emotions as well as their actions. Many people often suggest that the realization of becoming a true thespian will be on the stage. Where their craft is unvarnished, pure,and transparent without much compensation besides the value received from exhibiting ones own interpretation and expression. At Night We Walk In Circles revels in the thrill of the stage and illustrates how at the best of times life can imitate art and at the worst of times art can imitate life. While reading this book I couldn't help but reminded of Natalie Portman's portrayal of Nina Sayers in Black Swan. The similarity does not deal with the reality of being lost in a character, rather the psychological manipulation acting can have on blurring the lines between the theatrical stage and life's stage.
The writing is executed very well and kept me engaged from start to finish. From the childhood idolization of a political rebel, to the travels of a born again theatrical troop, and the physical and mental conflicts that present themselves along the way, this book was pure entertainment. Like all good actors the knowledge of a characters back story is vital in portraying the character in the truest sense. Daniel Alarcón does a great job in individually providing each character a substantial amount of book space in order for the reader to better understand the motivations that propel them along the way.
I have always regarded the majority of actors as people suffering with many various inner turmoils.The ability to camouflage, adapt, or compromise their own identities allows them the chance for "fitting in" during the short term while degenerating their own individual growth. Throughout this novel you bear witness too many of these episodes that befell for these main characters.One earlier review mentioned the inability for compassion or admiration of the primary characters. Personally I don't understand this peculiar fixation as a fulfillment to whether a book is liked or disliked. True, I really didn't like these characters myself, in fact I wanted to slap them all at one point, but I was intrigued by all of them and that is what makes an author successful for me. Witnessing the reasons for a characters progression/regression is really exciting and in this book it led to a precarious ending where anything and everything could happen except for a tidy ending.
This novel is one that should be read within a few days, it may seem a little dense at times but the nuances of the characters could be lost if this book is given to much time to rest. Give yourself some extended periods of time and you will be rewarded with a great literary experience. I would not recommend this book to mothers of nomadic children or recent empty-nesters because upon reading this book you may live in despair thinking about your children's whereabouts while jacking up your phone bill in the process. I would recommend this book to everyone else who enjoys psychological character studies where life's events transform a person along the journey for better or worse(insert evil laugh).