Published in 2015, this 720 pages long novel was long listed for the Man Booker award. Though dark and disturbing , this book will most likely change some perceptions of your life .It will leave you with more positive and compassionate attitude towards persons who have been subjected to physical and emotional abuse and trauma as a child. And you feel with some depth that a victim of child abuse has to live with scar and pain for the rest of his or her life. “Hyenas” in the shape of memories of those traumatic incidents torment him or her frequently.
Though , at the initial stages , the book gives an impression as if it were the story of four friends, it slowly emerges out to be mainly the story of an emotionally and physically damaged man , Jude St. Francis. The novel is an exploration of the depths of his pain and shame. As an infant,he was deposited in a bag near a monastery and was raised by monks. Over the years,he was subjected to repeated abuse by a number of sadists. He has scars on his back , and his legs are badly damaged.
Yes, it is also a book about Jude’s three friends and their friendship and support to him and to each other. His friend , Willem , gives him support and loving kindness. But there is a limit of what friends can do when you have the memory and shame of an abused childhood.
Jude excels in his profession as a corporate litigator. He has an excellent character , and his suffering is the foundation of his strong character.
Where does that leave Jude? He inflicts harm on himself by cutting his flesh with razor blade whenever the mental pain and shame become unbearable. And that seems to give him a temporary relief.
The novel is dark , sad and disturbing , but once you start reading it , you get hooked on to it , and you end the book by feeling the beauty of a little life that Jude represents.
I recommend you to read this book.