Review – Broken by J Matthew Nespoli

Imagine reading a book that tells you not one story, but 14 different ones, a varied mosaic of multicolored and textured pieces. What you would most definitely want, when traversing the sinuous curves that make up the complicated lives of each individual, is a base that connects them all and a ceiling that gives meaning to the stories. What we have then is a beautiful house, diverse on the inside with its many rooms, each with a different outlook on life, each with its own experiences, and each with a different scent that leads to different places. However, all these rooms would be connected with a perspective and a message that would be very obvious when you finish the book.

In short, they are like 14 short stories with a theme and the theme is something we all know and have heard over and over again, love. Since it is in fact such a common topic, it is even more difficult to write about it, in a way that is not mundane, stereotypical, or clich├ęd. The author is to be congratulated for his effort to speak about our favorite topic in a different tone. In fact, a mix of tones, with underlying undertones and notes that blend very well with the theme and give it a beauty that could not have been conjured up otherwise.

So in the beginning, there are three good things about Broken that good books generally must possess. The first are different characters. It is true that most stories have one or two protagonists. It is very difficult, from the reader’s perspective, to focus absolutely and equally on more than a couple of characters in a book. So how is this book different? In the words of the author himself, in one of the interviews, most readers will identify with at least one character in the book, since there has been so much generosity in his style in creating so many vignettes from the perspective of the present. Generation. The beauty of the book, therefore, is that the protagonist of one reader can be totally different from the other. This is healthy, both because of the interest the author generates in the minds of readers and because of the thought process that begins as readers attempt to make their own inferences from the story. The characters are not perfect. They are nowhere near that. In fact, some of them would be labeled failures in today’s society. The tone that describes them is dark and serious, with an undertone of drug abuse, sexual abuse, confusion, pain and strong memories. But if love can come out clean in such a situation, and repair to some extent, if not completely, the broken pieces of what was once a good heart, there is definitely hope for most of us, who fortunately do not possess such a scarred past. and terrifying.

The second good thing about the book is its theme. Over the years, when I have tried to analyze books and stories to discover why some have had success with readers playing a chord and others have not, I have observed that books that remind readers of themselves or someone they know very well. close up. they have been much more successful. The books that have gone one step ahead are those that make one identify with the many problems that exist in today’s world and that have given a ray of hope and have highlighted a ray of light to the cloud. ‘Broken’ falls into the latter category. This might surprise those who tried to guess the book by name. The title is not intended to highlight the pessimism that suffocates everything around us.

It would be gloomy, dark and depressing if I tried to do it. The title is only intended to give a theme that connects the mosaic, the fabric on which each of them fits, adding its own tint or hue, making the fabric always so beautiful. It talks about how love is the best healer and how human beings differ from the rest of the species in their ability to understand, share and balm for the pain of others. In the words of one of the characters, “We were two broken people who needed each other.” Without a unifying theme, that allows the reader to gain something, that enriches the thought process and the emotions of the reader a little more, a book would simply remain as a story that could be read to pass the time. A good theme makes a difference by creating memories, impressions, and reminders. Broken does it with its simple but beautiful message.

Last but not the least ingredient that makes this book a good read in my opinion is the narrative. How the characters talk to the readers makes a huge difference. Is it through events, is it through a story that someone else wrote about them or is it directly, like your own story, giving it a totally personal touch? Broken’s narrative is primarily first-person. Most of the characters speak directly to the reader. It feels almost as authentic as hearing it from a friend across a coffee table. The tumult of voices, considering that there are so many characters, each with their own failures, ambitions, dreams, nightmares, can sometimes be confusing. However, it was the only way the story could have been told. The honesty in the voice and the truth in the pain can only come if the characters speak to you. Examples of that could be seen in one of the characters, escaping with a child from a dangerous man, even when his feet were bleeding; and a guy accidentally bumping into his idol in a bar, unable to say anything smart to keep his attention. But it’s not all about disapproval or sadness. The story has many humorous sequences that would make the reader sit up and smile, maybe even laugh at some point. The description of two friends, one talking on the phone while the other turning up the volume on a song, finally tempting the friend on the phone to sing along, was a creative and sweet moment. It ends with the entire crowd in traffic joining the party. It was a beautiful ray of sunshine on a cloudy day, a sequence that could keep you upbeat and up high even on the toughest days.

Still, Broken doesn’t take away all the energy you have, as some heavy-themed books do. It doesn’t make you shake your head at the stupidity of the characters or the plot, as stories about troubled teens and youth sometimes do. It has a beautiful concept. The author has not created the characters, but has based them on several interesting people he met during his journey. This makes the characters real. This makes the tone authentic. I think this is enough to get readers hooked and finished without much preamble. I am sure that, in the end, your thoughts and thanks will be consistent and will not be broken.

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