I usually share reviews about books I have been able to download through the platform Booksirens.com but today, things differ a little bit. In February 2020, I received an e-mail from Grzegorz Kunowski. He reached out to me in order to ask me to write a review on his latest book, Ubiety. I accepted as I felt from the title only and the summary he sent to accompany the book that it would be a rather “philosophical book”. You guys know how much I love “deep” and complicated books! I was not disappointed and my first impression ended up being the right one: this book is definitely complicated both in style and topic. Let me share with you my Goodreads review!
I would like to start by saying a big thank you to the author for having reached out to me and asked me to read and review his book.
I usually do not dwell on the author himself, but to understand the book, I think that saying he is very young is meaningful. If I had been able to write about topics so deep when I was his age, I would have been really proud and I think he can be.
As the book is short (92 pages in PDF), I don’t want to give information about the plot as it could ruin the experience you future readers have of the book. I’d rather write about the style, because it suits perfectly the topic: it is « complicated ». The style of the author is very intricate. To some extent, it reminds me of Milton’s style in Paradise Lost as the syntax does not seem English at all. Nevertheless, I think it is a good thing and not a fault of the book. The numerous biblical references (I mean, the main character is called Adam!) also remind me of Milton, so maybe that’s why I see this connection between the two authors.
The structure of the book is as complicated as the style and in such a few pages, everything matters: have a look at the epigraphs. I like the fact that they all come from very different realms such as politics and philosophy, but all more or less discuss the same topics. I read in some reviews that the complicated style of the author could be seen as « showing off » but I don’t think so, it is his style and even though I sometimes think the sentences are a little long (I needed to re-read a lot of them to be honest), it is a personal style, not a “problem”.
This complexity of style can obviously be disturbing at times, but I want to mention the fact that most «well-known authors » were qualified « too complicated » in the beginning (Malcolm Lowry, to quote only one).
I really liked the way the author treated the philosophical topics of Life, Death, Free Will and Quest for meaning, but I would have liked a story line a little « deeper ». The only real reproach I could make to this book is that I can’t really classify it: it is neither an « essay » in the strict sense of the word, nor a « philosophical novel » in the sense that the plot is a little too « light » in my eyes. However, I really enjoyed reading it and would recommend it to those of you who are not afraid by a style sometimes hard to decipher.
I hope this review made you want to read that book. I am not an eminent critic at all, but I sincerely think that this still very young author may become a Classic of our century in the decades to come.
Sending you lots of love,