BOOKS THAT SHOULD BE KEPT IN A MUSEUM
The one thing that rendered my interest so intricately towards Coming-of-Age Genre is how the metamorphosis or evolution of the character could be narrated so distantly as a third-person figurative and yet, lived through first-hand, as an audience.
When it comes to “grows on you” examples, Call Me by Your Name is at the prime, on a personal level.
But, to go out on a limb, I decided to scratch the surface and find out even better versions of a genre, which compensates for my selfish intuition of self-care.
And, undoubtedly, I found the gems, painted in different versions and narrated through indifferent lens of variations.
So, here it goes…
My four personal picks with PLOTS so GOOD THAT IT SHOULD BE DISPLAYED IN A MUSEUM!
- BARON IN THE TREES by ITALO CALVINO
This 1959 novel by Italian writer, Italo Calvino, is an interesting fictional story of a boy who spends his life on a tree being an inhabitant of an arboreal kingdom. Being Calvino’s best selling work, Baron in the Trees represents the metaphorical epitome of independence. For a young italian man to rebel against his parents, climb up a tree and spend the rest of his entire life there is a story relatable to a whole generation.
Who had not wanted to pack and run away or, almost decided to live for the rest of their lives in bathroom tub, because their parents scolded them too harsh or things didn’t go their way, right? But, Calvino’s Baron in the Trees is not all that funny. Not to spoil the climax of this fictional ride of all the bibliophiles out there, the protagonist meets a tragic end. Yet, this story has an intrinsic sense of introspection and speculation of a young man’s journey, who stood by his decision till the end, regardless of how absurd and immature it was perceived.
2. THE LAST SAMURAI by HELEN DeWITT
DeWitt knew how to make an entrance and The Last Samurai is a prime example. Debuted in 2000 with The Last Samurai, DeWitt’s work deserves a standing ovation for as long as the vibe goes.
Although I have read several negative reviews, for me, personally, this book has grasped the nerve of a culminating tug of war of relationship; and here, it appears in the form of a single mother raising her kid in the most intellectual and boldest way possible.
If you have heard about mothers being the spine of a child’s growth, this story essentially solidifies that idea! By grooming the prospect of both human consciousness and the potential opportunities in life through a relationship, which is equally fragile and fortuitous, DeWitt has created a playground for complex emotions to grow and comprehend their existence amidst the chaos of the world.
3. THE ADVENTURES OF AUGIE MARCH by SAUL BELLOW
If there’s one distinct masterpiece of Coming-of-age genre, which is too discreet to discover while standing on the other curve of character development, it is Bellow’s The Adventures of Augie March. Having been described as a modern crossover between Huck Fin and Tom Jones, Augie March is an impact on a generation which has sustained The Great Depression, and is recalled as The Great American Novel.
Discovered through one of the internet anecdotes, this book is simply the “chef’s kiss” of contemporary picaresque, for there’s this young man who is caught up in his consciousness, and still somehow in control of consequential arch of his life, with each step.
Augie knows how to dribble!
THE BELL JAR by SYLVIA PLATH
Is there ever going to be a list of Coming-of-Age Classics, without mentioning The Bell Jar?
Sylvia Plath’s life is, in itself, an exhilarating core of the introspection and comprehension of state of minds.
“How does a protagonist gets so close to oneself to be this far at the climax?” — A lingering question I have had, when I first read Plath’s The Bell Jar. Interestingly, Esther Greenwood is alter ego of Sylvia Plath, which justifies the blunt deliverance of the most complex mental elements by Esther in the novel.
Hanging between the two extreme cords of vulnerability and dark humor, The Bell Jar speaks of the psychological suffering of a girl, but commends this resemblance to millions, around the world, grappling onto this silent disaster.
Find your pick!
And, if you stumble upon a story that can reflect your evolved self in a wider, but intimate ensemble, join me at Dreamers’ Avenue.
It’s all in the pursuit.
- Midnight Nerd (me!)