A stream-of-consciousness kind of book could be very hard to tackle. Yet when you prevail, it often rewards you well for the efforts.
“Man Gone Down” is no different. Frustratingly absurd at times, it simply refuses to be read as your usual bedtime story. I had to read it in a full-concentration mode to fully appreciate it. Oh yes, in some lighter passages you can let your attention wanders, but you would risk missing some beautiful thoughts which more often than not, lurks masquerading behind some imageries and powerful allegories.
Using metaphors heavily, Thomas takes us to a journey deep into a mind of a 35 year-old man who is in some crises in his life. Broke and broken, the unnamed narrator gropes desperately for some grip to salvage his spirit for some serious survival. Granted, this is a classic, maybe even overused, theme for a book; but Thomas daringly twisted it into a searching mental quest, questioning the biggest myth of all : The American Dream.
I will not pretend that I was able to comprehend this book wholly. A work of this scope needs several re-reading to hit you as hard as it was meant to be. Hell, my edition of it even has a set of reading guides at the end of it. One thing I do know is, Thomas is a strong user of words. At some of this book’s best, his diction makes my arm trembles.
This book can be read online here.