Pharricide by Vincent de Swarte
Anyone looking for something dark, evocative, and quickly read.
In a nutshell:
Lighthouse keeper Lefayen is not doing well, folks.
N/A. Not because there wasn’t anything particularly interesting or moving; I was just so caught up in reading it that I didn’t stop to underline anything.
Why I chose it:
The cover drew my attention, and then the description on the back made me want to read it.
I didn’t close this book thinking ‘what did I just read,’ although that might be the reaction some will have. A few sections are a bit … much, but overall it is an enthralling book, one that I started and finished on a three-hour train ride. It’s the perfect book for when you’re going to have a couple of hours of undivided attention, which is what you’ll want to give it, because it’s pretty short (160 pages) and you’ll want to … not STAY in this world, but see it through.
Lefayen tells the story of his time at this lighthouse (the oldest in France) via journal entries, which get increasingly erratic. Something — or things — has happened to him in the past, which we don’t necessarily learn the full extent of (or maybe we do) but which have clearly has an impact on him. He is excited to take on this particular lighthouse keeping exercise, even though it will be through the cold of winter and he will be completely alone, save occasional resupply visits.
I’m not saying anymore, but the author is a talented writer who created this small world for us to inhabit – both the tiny lighthouse and the mind of someone who is perhaps not doing so hot.
Keep it / Pass to a Friend / Donate it / Toss it: