Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe; a review

I had to take a few seconds break after I read the book. It was different with that time I’d finished Demian. With Demian it mostly questions and the unsatisfying feelings because it had ended in an unexpected place. But it was good; Demian was good. It was a mixed thought about freedom, seeking the truth, and controlling yourself. With Demian you would get the feeling about being yourself as a whole, and how you would get that trough knowing yourself. Well, it’s not a feeling; it is what Demian supposed to taught you.

Yet, Demian is not the book for everyone. I myself got a quite hard time understanding the book. It was beautiful; the book, but if you are not patient enough, you will not get the beauty of it. And it is different with this book about which I am talking right now.

(It is a lame thing that I use my English Lesson in my writing – but practice makes perfect, right?)

It is titled ‘Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe’. The truth is I don’t really like the cover page. I let it slip by my eyes when I found it in the book store, until my friend found this after me and decided to buy this book because it had the Stonewall Book Award badge on its cover. Later when I googled the award, this book won on 2010. The book was written by Benjamin Alire Sáenz.

And it was two or three weeks ago when I borrowed the book from my friend. My circle of friend insisted me to read this; since we had this thing about lending books in round and it was my turn to read this already. I just started to read this book last night, when I read almost three per four of the entire book. And just ten minutes ago I finished it.

This book didn’t win for nothing; when I halfway read it, I already had a thought that this is a book that everyone must read. Especially in my country, where everyone don’t really care and even looking down on things like this. They must read this, and think about it.

This book told us about how everyone is the same. Girls can cry any time they want, while boys can’t. It is wrong. Boys can cry any time they want. It is not the sign of weakness nor the sign of childish. Sometimes crying is the best solution when you can’t do anything about your problems. And also, there is nothing wrong with boys liking boys. At least that what this book tried to say. And boys liking boys is not always about sex and steamy things and everything but genuine love. Screw those people thinking about it that way.

Everyone should read this book and open their mind.

I like the way the writer separates the chapter. There is one chapter that only had conversations in it. There is one chapter that had a whole narration and conversations. Sometimes writing the chapters this way makes it lack of feelings, but this time it is not. It captured the tone well, and I like it.

This book also includes the parents; the open minded yet still had their own secrets kind of parents. Their son’s sexuality doesn’t change their son’s personality. They do that, and that is what makes this book beautiful.

Somehow I read the entire book with a sad tone in my head. I don’t know why.

However, I think this book don’t talk about how the parents think about the main issue. It is showed that both of the main character’s parents are not against their relationship, but I think it lacks of ‘why’. Why Aristotle’s parents don’t disagree with that, why Dante’s parents as well. And the way Aristotle realized his feelings for Dante; I think it can be described better than that. But I like how Aristotle’s parents make him realise. It is like telling us that our parents will backed you up every time you need them. They know you better than you realise, and even though you keep secrets from them, they will still know.

Some parents are not like that, I know. Still, it is nice to think that you will have your parents support you forever while everyone turn their backs on you. At least it is what this book tried to say.

Last, perhaps this is just one of my crappy talk, influenced by the melancholy tone that still lingers in my head because of the book. I think it’s true that it is not nice when you write with emotions. You will write shits and things that you will regret later.

other by me


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