5 out of 5 stars: "An original story and a profound reflection upon life’s meaning." Review by Bookblogger Tili.
Nefarious is a rather complex novel. It evolves around the world of racing boats, specifically it spans the time of one race, lasting a week. It is a full immersion into an environment drenched in alcohol, sex and rough behaviour. Nonetheless, within the kaleidoscope of characters pictured by the author, there is also space for love, poetry and a reflection upon the significance of life.
I am not passionate about boats, so at the beginning I found it a bit difficult to dive into the narration, also because I have very little to share with many of the people populating the story. However, my perseverance has paid off. As I mentioned earlier, this book has many layers and many stories interweaving. Three characters, in particular, are truly captivating: the two tacticians, Ortun and Kevin Jonson and, of course, the devil. Kevin Jonson represents mystery, what is ancestral, immutable and powerful, regardless of all the transient and trivial everyday situations. Ortun represents poetry, music, grace. He is the depth of the ocean and the lightness of a feather. While the devil needs living beings beside him, to fill his eternal hollowness, Kevin Jonson and Ortun are whole, they are one with all the existent, therefore they stand above the circumstances in which they choose to act. And the devil, well the devil is a masterpiece. The author makes a truly original portrait of this figure. He features as himself, relating to the people around him in the most natural way. There is nothing threatening surrounding him; of course, some prefer to keep him at a distance, avoid his ambiguity. Nonetheless, I would say that more than cunning he displays a sort of cynical sense of humour which is rather enjoyable, especially when it is considered in the light of his inner speculations, about his own nature and the nature of his dealings with living beings. This philosophical/psychological aspect of the book is the one I prefer. I delight in stories exploring the essence of things and the inner thoughts of people, and in this novel I found some valuable pages to kindle my interest, pages that are also written in a very poetical style. One of the passages I have preferred is the conversation between the devil and a snowflake, a moving sparkle to ignite a reflection upon the intimate value of beauty and the overwhelming power of life. Another memorable passage comes at the end, in the last conversation between the devil and Dan, the skipper of Nefarious. I leave it for you to read and enjoy. Naturally, together with all of this, there is the actual story, the action, the race, and a little final riddle. I would like to conclude this review with a recommendation: read this book at least twice. As I said at the beginning, it is not a simple and linear story, there is so much to it, the language is rich and there are many characters to be discovered. Too much to be fully taken in during the first read. Follow my advice and you’ll see there are some gems to be found here. ... mehr sehenweniger sehen