One of Sweden's most celebrated young writers and activists spins an exhilarating, innovative, and gripping murder mystery reminiscent of the hit podcast Serial . Read more...
One of Sweden's most celebrated young writers and activists spins an exhilarating, innovative, and gripping murder mystery reminiscent of the hit podcast Serial.
A young man named Samuel dies in a horrible car crash. Was it an accident or was it suicide? To answer that question, an unnamed writer with an agenda of his own sets out to map Samuel's last day alive. Through conversations with friends, relatives, and neighbors, a portrait of Samuel emerges: the loving grandchild, the reluctant bureaucrat, the loyal friend, the contrived poseur. The young man who did everything for his girlfriend Laide and shared everything with his best friend Vandad. Until he lost touch with them both.
By piecing together an exhilarating narrative puzzle, we follow Samuel from the first day he encounters the towering Vandad to when they become roommates. We meet Panther, Samuel's self-involved childhood friend whose move to Berlin indirectly cues the beginning of Samuel's search for the meaning of love--which in turn leads Samuel to Laide. Soon, Samuel's relationship with Laide leads to a chasm in his friendship with Vandad, and it isn't long before the lines between loyalty and betrayal, protection, and peril get blurred irrevocably.
Everything I Don't Remember is a gripping tale about love and memory. But it is also a story about a writer who, by filling out the contours of Samuel's story, is actually trying to grasp a truth about himself. In the end, what remains of all our fleeting memories? And what is hidden behind everything we don't remember? Told with Khemiri's characteristic stylistic ingenuity, this is an emotional roller coaster ride of a book that challenges us to see ourselves--and our relationships to the closest people in our lives--in new and sometimes shocking ways.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-05-23
- Reviewer: Staff
Khemiri (Montecore) won Sweden’s most prestigious literary honor, the August Prize, for this compelling novel about Samuel, who was born in Sweden but is of North African descent, and whose last day alive is reconstructed by an unnamed narrator who wants to write about the young man for his own introspective purposes. Was Samuel’s death in a car crash an accident, suicide, or murder? Through tantalizing fragments, the reader learns of the dead man’s various relationships: with Laide, the woman he was dating, who wanted to provide a safe house for abused Muslim women; with Vandad, Samuel’s roommate, with whom he had a falling out; and with Samuel’s grandmother, who allowed Laide’s abused women to live in her house, until somebody burned it down. In this painful novel about youthful optimism gone hopelessly wrong, Khemiri dramatizes such immigration-related issues as failures in elder care, unemployment and dead-end jobs, drug abuse, and racial prejudice. Agent: Astri von Arbin Ahlander, Ahlander Agency (Sweden). (July)