It is an ingenious structure for a novel, which promises the reader the perfect angle for a panoramic view of the transversal currents of society at a time that is ready for a revealing confession. But basically, Durkee seems relatively uninterested in sociology. As the change in Lou’s marathon continues, fueled by stimulants, anxiety disorder and setbacks in various traumas, the increasingly tense encounters reveal much more about themselves, while their connection with their rates remains better ephemeral . By spending half the trip listing your shortcomings, you only have time to share a horrible background that should be viewed as intimacy. “Why bother?” Lou thinks. “They’ll be leaving in 20 minutes. It’s the right thing to do at work. No matter how strange or horrible it is, they’ll be leaving soon.”
For a while, it seems that Lou’s journey will take him from solipsism to solidarity and compassion. During his breaks, Lou reads his mad friend’s book on Buddhism and reflects on the wisdom of comedian Bill Hicks. Finally, he admits that others are suffering, that “someone on Earth, perhaps millions of people on Earth, is currently experiencing worse days than me” and that “life on this planet is difficult, all of you”. Fortunately, Durkee avoids being too involved in this simple excursion. The greatest act of kindness that Lou can show to a difficult passenger is to make him choose music, the most important experience of visiting Graceland. Which, fair enough. But “the magic doesn’t last long. Just that junction of errors before the bubble burst. A saying comes to mind: everyone forgets the sermon of the day as soon as he enters the church parking lot.
Instead of looking for a revelation, Lou goes deeper and deeper into a puzzle: “Is there a difference between hate and disgust?” Ultimately, Durkee’s goal is not to examine deep existential pain, but a byproduct that comes from occlusion and distraction, this sudden flash of extreme virulent anger, also known as street anger, which leads to driving around “my fellow citizens”. undress for conduct “violations that I have every hour”. In his seductive, energetic and acute prose, Durkee shows the justified resentment and indignation that fuel that behavior and diagnose it as a “yellow spirit”, a mental illness in which you find yourself, the world with you flows the flow to correct automatically consciousness. “This mixture of selfishness, judgment and sadness is caustic, like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to scream.
We are all fighting these days and for good reason. The question is what to do with this anger. Durkee, like any good writer, doesn’t give too many answers.
– Source: Samuel F. Nicholson – nytimes.com