Book Review: “Darthmouth Park”: Can We Run From Life.

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( Mental health is a very important subject in our society. The effects of technology, consumerism, and the heaviness of life decisions have been slowly detrimental for some. However, one could question if there is anything that can be done as time is most certainly not moving backwards. It seems with every passing day we are more submerged in the things we might be causing internal suffering. “Darthmouth Park” by Rupert Thomson is a book that makes us question internal suffering due to sensitivity caused by the state of everyday living.

“If he suddenly found what surrounded him unbearable, it was because it was artificial”

Book Review: “Darthmouth Park”: Can We Run From Life.
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This is a story that, at first glance, might seem difficult to connect with. However, it allows the ready to ask the question: “Do I have the right to abandon everything, and everyone for the sake of my own peace”. Rupert Thomson has written a book, whereby anyone reading it can substitute themselves into the roll of the main character and ask if they would do as he does…or if they would even be allowed. We see this character have an unfortunate trigger to something that is a simple everyday occurrence, and he is never the same afterwards.

“Choice was one of the hallmarks of modern society

Choice was a kind of hell”

The reader is left to wonder what methods are available to the changes one has to deal with in society. Can we run from the technology? Can we run from social obligations? Are we allowed to lay down cultural obligations? And depending on the background of the reader, does the character(s) in the book seem to be allowed a privilege in the decision they choose that you would not be? This speaks to the right to run versed that right being taken away in some sense.

“He couldn’t explain his tears – or rather he felt he that to attempt an explanation would take him into territory he wasn’t certain of as yet”

This book has a noticeable unique style. It reads like a diary in a sense, but also like a continual internal conversation being had in the midst of life happening. Rupert Thomson has crafted a novel that allows the reader to stay inside the mind of the characters, and there is not a single period in the entire book. That speaks to both continual thoughts, and it can even be eluded as the idea that life is more commas than periods. When we think we’ve reached a point there a hard period can be placed…something happens [or doesn’t] that warrants only a comma. The style of the book leaves as much to interpretation as the story itself and compliments it well.

“He had been so excited by the prospect of a new, concealed life that he had blinded himself to the state of the place”

I would recommend this book for a good rainy day read even though it’s very different from my go to books. It is a society think piece in terms of how the direction of society can affect mental health, and how that breakdown can cause one to attempt to back away from life as they know it. The reader may find that given how they are seen in society they can’t even imagine deciding as this character does, or they might find that the text allows them to consider the “what if”.

Darthmouth Park” by Rupert Thomson can be found at your local bookstore, Amazon, and anywhere books are sold.

Staff Writer; Christian Starr

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