In association with


Four books that may save your life

I am going to do another of these Deborama's Books specials where I review a set of books that seem to me to speak to each other. Normally, it just happens that I read two books simultaneously, or almost simultaneously, that happen to address the same or very similar issues. In this case, I read these books at widely distant times, and only when I read the latest one, A Visit From the Goon Squad, did I see the connection. I guess what happened was that I heard echoes of each of the three other books in it, although I had not consciously connected them before. The theme that they all share is modern life, or near future life, the alienation of individuals as they begin to use technology to communicate in new ways, the breakdown of the family, the persistence of family in the face of this breakdown, the persistence of our need to connect in the face of this alienation and the sadness in the juxtaposition of youth and age that underlies all the problems of connectedness and family.