Hi Shoji,

hope you are well!

I started browsing through the book we talked about in our meeting. The author is Miki Liukkonen and the title is "O". There is no clear idea on what the title represents - is it a symbol for nothing, a zero, or the alphabet O. As the interpretation on the title is rather diffuse, I presume it as such represents the time we are living. No common, clear understanding but rather everyone has their own interpretation on how things are. On the title page a meaning is added. It says: O - novel (or a general study about the state of affairs). Following the title page there is an endless (ok, 4 pages) list of characters in the novel. It would be easy to see that as an allegory on how everyone and everything is somehow connected, although on the surface it might seem they are all separate from each other. The characters are described with somewhat eccentric features: one is obsessed about aubergine, one is seriously afraid of round glass surfaces.

Stylewise, the proceedings in the book are described in somewhat traditional sense - the text is flowing nicely and first chapter deals about this swimmer guy. A normal boy. What makes the book different from others is the contents of the narration. The text describes in a beautiful and implicit way the neuroses of a contemporary person. Everything is analyzed to the bone, and people aim for optimizing things to the fullest.

I did not want to dig too deep into the novel before our events but hopefully you get something out of this little analysis. Lately, I personally have been thinking a lot about how we often miss the beauty of life as we want to plan everything beforehand and optimize everything, aiming for full utility in all our action. Therefore, I read this book strongly in the same context, with underlying criticism to the current condition where we have lost the ability to discover miracles and instead always look for a logical explanation to everything.

And few words about the author (maybe we discussed him already): 28-year old shooting star and the potential saviour of Finnish prose literature. Not only a writer but also musician. Style hero. Arrogant and insecure at the same time - easy to love or to hate!

All the best,
Maija