I knew I would feel some deep emotions when reading this small collection of stories, but it still did not prepare me for the emotions that Fredrik Backman brought out in me.
The Deal of a Lifetime: and other stories is a small collection of three short stories written by Fredrik Backman. Each story touches on the basest of human want and love. I laughed, I ugly-cried, and I felt deeply happy and deeply sad.
The first story, The Deal of a Lifetime, talks about a man and a young girl who are both living on the cancer wing of a hospital. The man is presented with a question and must weigh the value of lives to find the answer.
The novella And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer tells the story of an old man and his grandson sitting on a bench. As they walk through the old man’s life, the way forward becomes clearer to him.
Sebastian and the Troll hit me harder than both other stories. It shows the cages we build around ourselves do an excellent job of keeping us down. Sebastian must learn to fight quickly before the nightmares drag him further into the cage of his mind.
I love Fredrik Backman’s writing style. Each sentence flows into the next in his own unique way. His use of convoluted timelines in his stories is so incredibly well-done, with no confusion or contradiction present. I’m always surprised when I reach the end, though the way he’s told the beginning and middle parts of the story, it’s easy to feel the depth of the emotion he’s trying to bring out at the end.
I feel that reading this small collection added to my life and my understanding of life. These stories show that no matter what is happening in your life, it’s important to understand that it is a gift. That we are placed here to feel deeply and strive to understand the meaning behind our lives and that is a privilege. I will always recommend this book and these stories to everyone, no matter what.
Not only was this collection a five-star read, but it easily beat out a lot of other books I’ve read this year for my top five. I’m so glad that I found this book in a thrift store a few weeks ago, and even happier to have read it. Thank you for reading this review and please read this book! It’s beautiful.
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