Between two yawns and a walk with the dogs, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Zero!
Big hugs to Rosie Hedger for my copy of this book. This review is my thank you to her.
From Lipsyy : I started doing ‘lazy Saturday reviews’ as a way of getting reviews done in just 30 mins, and they proved to be quite popular. They are quick and snappy, and concentrate less on the plot (or content) and writing and more on my overall feelings about said book. They generally end up being a bit of a rant. My fave!
Ps: My lazy reviews are more often good ones than rants, haha!
Author: Gine Cornelia Pedersen
Translator: Rosie Hedger
Date of publication: July 2018
Publisher: Nordisk Books
I tell her I’ve stopped taking my pills
I write that I’m still not well, that it’s making day-to-day life difficult
That I often do things I regret, and that there’s some sort of membrane between what I want to do and whatever I end up doing
That I really want to be an actor, but that it’s a dream that seems all too distant for the time being
I tell her I use and abuse alcohol and drugs, and that I’ve got a death wish that sometimes becomes difficult to ignore
That I don’t know who I am
That I change my mind as frequently as I change my socks
That I’m horrible to the people around me
That my sex life is depraved
Sometimes you stumble across people. Sometimes you stumble across books.
Zero can’t be defined. Zero can’t fit into any category. Zero belongs to the kind of books that feels like an experience you go through at light speed.
Told through a first-person narrative, the novel is a door to another take on life. At first seemingly harmless, expressing thoughts that we might all have had at some point as kids or as teens, it soon becomes clear that the tailspin we are witnessing has no end.
I did not feel the need to judge, I was absorbed by how the main character, who remains nameless, was going through the motions. Like an addict high on words, I read Zero in one sitting, in less than an hour. Not that I was looking for a happy ending. I just wanted to understand, to imagine, to feel what it was like to have those voices inside you, to be unable to grasp life and hold on to it.
More than an exploration of mental illness or what patients go through, Zero puts words on thoughts we might have but never dare give a clear form to. The author pushes the boundaries, obviously, and as you go from chapter to chapter, you are sent to wonder about what life means, about what to expect from it, about what we do with the time that’s been given to us. We often say we have no control over it, but our character here has no control over anything. Scary, painful, spot-on and raw, Zero has been beautifully translated so more readers could jump in and run for a life high on happiness and high on lows. Low on forgiveness and reality.
There is no point discussing the plot as it is life itself. Not as most people know it, but as different minds see it, like water running through your fingers.
Get the novel on Amazon!
Gine Cornelia Pedersen (b. 1986) debuted with this explosive novel, which won the prestigious Tarjei Vesaas First Book Award. Compared, in its home country of Norway, with a ‘punk rock single’, the unique lyrical style and frank description of life with mental health problems have come together to create one of the most exciting works of fiction from Scandinavia in recent years.