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Thursday, September 1, 2011

"In Youth Is Pleasure", teen dreams and traumas

In Youth Is Pleasure- Denton Welch

Honestly, it's my fault. One has to be very careful when reads a critic that compares a book with "The Catcher in the Rye", or a review that qualifies Orvil Pym, the starring character, like a "Holden Caulfield written by Oscar Wilde". Because the majority of times, this sort of "great expectations" will only make the disappointment much bigger.

"In Youth Is Pleasure" is not a bad book. Far from it. But is one of these readings that satisfies only a type of readers. The ones that need an exuberant prose to enjoy a book. The ones that find pleasant to describe in detail the smell of the food, or how a dress looks like. In my opinion this is a book for critics, the sort of (some) critic that mention Proust among the comparisons... Well, they are pretty right. And that's the issue. It's not my cup of tea.

This is a book of extreme sensitivity, in which we follow a peculiar British teenager, Orvil Pym, on his summer adventures. But the adventures, pretty trivial on the surface, are more relevant in an introspective way. He is discovering himself in this trip. Probably. And I say probably because it is hard for me to say whether he achieves something or not. Denton Welch, a cult status author completely unknown in Spain, is able to evoke the feelings of melancholia, isolation, loneliness and incomprehension with brilliance, but also makes Orvil a weirdo (these dreams and surreal passages doesn't help), childish character, that makes it hard to connect with.

Being 100% sincere, this book has been, at times, a real torture to read. In my opinion, in "In Youth Is Pleasure" style is more important that content. It might be very well written, but the only exception of the final chapter on the train, it says nothing to me.

SCORE: 3,25/10

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