The Conqueror by Jan Kjærstad
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Some books defy ready reviews. This is -- and so are the other two in the trilogy -- one prime example. Just imagine you have a singular event in this person's life. It could easily be told in a few pages with complete detail, and then you stop.
This COULD have been the case with these three novels, but NOOOOOO instead we have a story and all the life's events of Jonas woven out of order like some grand linkages of a DNA chain.
The first book will always be about the golden boy and his magical penis, all the things he succeeded at. The book centered on tragedy, but more on MEANING. The second gave us a super dark spin thanks to a different narrator and we are reminded of Dante's Inferno. Jonas as a void, an emptiness that others fill because it is their nature. Of mediocracy with just a tinge of talent. Of striving to defeat the mediocracy at all expense, to conquer it.
And there's an even darker turn... of being conquered. Over and over. Not just getting beaten up, but being thrown and locked into a grave, of being ... ah, but let's not spoil it overmuch. Let's just say Jonas has had evil done to him and has let evil be done to others. He's not so much a golden boy now despite the picture we were painted with his same life in the first book.
And then there's the dragons, the pearls, and the breakdown. :) I pretty much loved all of these motifs. Really rounds the guy out for me since the first book. And the third? No idea what to expect, but I can probably expect another DNA chain. :)
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