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James Wilcox has commented on (1) product.

The Instructions by Adam Levin
The Instructions

James Wilcox, January 28, 2012

So this book clocks in at over 1000 pages. That's a lot of pages. Yet... it never feels like it. The book never drags, rarely gets bogged down in the tale it is telling, and the characters are fantastic, unforgettable, and, generally, fully fleshed out.

Gurion Maccabee is a great narrator\protagonist who displays an uncomfortable range of emotion, brilliance, and violence. By far one of the best I've ever read and easily the best book I read all last year. His conversations are always compelling, but begin to be more discomforting as the novel progresses. And just the same, you'll root for him.

You'll pick up the book and tell yourself, "This is a beast. I must read it." And then you'll get about two hundred pages in and find that you don't want to stop. But still... You put the book down. You walk away, eat a meal, go out with friend... whatever. But the book is there, gnawing at your gut. This is a hearty book, a monstrosity that begs to be completed.

And then there's Gurion... His parents give him a Messiah complex, his friends are dangerou and violent, with messed up lives, parents, and values, and Gurion himself is a deluded megalomaniac with revolutionary tendencies, but... you'll love them. Or hate them. But you'll feel with them, feel for them, and watch their struggles and sufferings with something bordering on gleeful curiosity.

So you'll pick it back up and dive back in.

After all, what's another eight hundred pages? You'll push through the first half and as the book reaches its crescendo (and you truly know the direction it has to take), you'll be hooked. About two hundred pages later, when you finsh... you'll be out of breath, tears, and maybe even hair. But you'll have finished it. And your life will be infinitely better for it.

This book combines fantastic prose, frightening ideas of youth in revolt, Jewish mysticism and religion, morality philosophy, wonder typography, and such a stunning sense of character that you'll have no choice to add it to your permanent collection and re-read it again and again. Easily the best book I read all last year (and I read it in January) and without a doubt one of the most intelligent, important, and wonderful novels written in the English language (or any language, for that matter!).

Buy it, read it, love it. And then tell others.
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