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Wow. I'm so glad that this book was on my syllabus this term.
BS Johnson's The Unfortunates has the most interesting format of any novel that I have ever read. It's essentially a book in a box, and once you open the box up there are a bunch of separated sections, which can be shuffled in any order as long as the section marked "First" and the section marked "Last" are read as such.
The fragmented format, though it may be difficult to adjust to, is incredibly engaging once you embrace it. I thoroughly enjoyed the writing style, the narrative, and the way the the unique form of the novel enacted its content.
On a basic level, this story is about a narrator, who seems to be a fictionalized version of Johnson himself, and his struggle with the death of his friend Tony, due to cancer. I really loved the way that the fragmentation of this novel enacted not only the narrator's struggle to remember his friend's life correctly, but also allowed me, as a reader, to experience the narrator's doubts about whether or not life has any meaning.
I'm still having a little trouble articulating my thoughts about this book, but suffice it to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the reading experience and would recommend it to anyone willing to tackle a unique novel format.