by: Nico Laeser
A seven-year-old boy is hit by a car and momentarily separated from life. When his eyes reopen, he can no longer discern the boundaries between reality and delusion, or perhaps between this life and the next. After a childhood spent battling mental illness and nightmares that blend with waking life, he will spend the rest of his life within the periphery of society, displaced, discarded, addicted, and desperately searching for a place in this world, fighting against an intensifying downward-spiraling current.
A tragic tale…darkly realistic
- by Melanie P Smith | Author
I will admit that I do not normally read this type of book. When I sit down to enjoy my downtime, I tend to gravitate towards romance, suspense or paranormal genres. Books that are light and entertaining. Infinity does have a paranormal element, but it is basically a dark tale of a tragic and disturbed child and his journey to adulthood. The author captures the attention of his readers in the first sentence. “I was seven years old the first time I died.” An intriguing statement that makes you wonder…where will the author lead us from there?
The reader is taken on a journey of mental illness, abuse, heartbreak, drug addiction, desperation and acceptance. We first see the world through the eyes of a seven year old child trying to understand the monsters all around him. As he learns to cope with mental illness and struggles to discern between reality and imagination, he becomes more and more dissociative and withdrawn. The book progresses and we are allowed a glimpse into his adolescence and ultimately arrive at adulthood. Amidst the dark reality of a life filled with addiction and abandonment the child becomes a desperate man who slowly fades into the background of life, then struggles to become ‘normal’ again. I found it interesting that as the character moves further and further into an anonymous world of homelessness and desperation, the main character is also anonymous. We never learn his name, only experience his journey.
This book is dark, tragic and at times depressing. The reader feels both anger and frustration as we learn of the difficult path this child must take to become a man. The one saving grace throughout, is the character’s love of art. It is a positive light in a world of despair. The author does an excellent job of describing characters, paintings and the world this child/man lives in. Whether that is the confining room of a child, a playground bully or the cold, dark recesses of a homeless man’s shelter; the imagery is stark and vivid. The emotions feel real and the journey personal. Nico Laeser includes a quote from Leonardo de Vinci; “a work of art is never finished just abandoned.” This is also true of Infinity: An Anonymous Biography. This book was definitely not a lighthearted beach read. It is a thought provoking, multi-layered tale of discovery. If you are looking for something with depth, check out Infinity, I think you will like it.
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Wow! Just WoW!
- by R. Coulson (July 7, 2018)
Wow! Just wow! What more can I say about this amazing book? I shall try. Infinity begins as a tale about a seven-year-old boy who dies in a road accident but is resuscitated. This begins a life where he sees shadow people and light beings and seems to live half beyond life in a state of mental ‘illness’. An abusive father and a sedated mother drive him from home and he’s taken in by boys a bit older than himself, who introduce him to drugs, but help him stay alive. Throughout the story, I was willing ‘kid’, that’s the only name this kind, generous, loving, mixed-up and misunderstood boy has, to get clean, to benefit from his therapy, make something of his artistic talent, and have the life he deserved. Christine was the vehicle through which he grew as a person and an artist. I don’t pretend to understand quantum physics, or the duality of light, but the searching for meaning ‘kid’ does is fascinating and thought-provoking, as is the symbolism.
The writing is superb, the language evocative and heartbreaking, the situations and experiences resonate deeply, and the characters are real and alive. I’ve loved all Nico Laeser’s novels, but I think this one has just become my favourite. Thank you, Mr Laeser for another stunning read.