Sunday, January 12, 2014

Absolutely Fabulous (Book Review: Fabulous Hell, Craig Curtis)

I picked another physical book from my pile: Craig Curtis' "Fabulous hell."  I remember the exact moment i bought this: for a dollar at a second hand book shop. As I touch the book, I notice that the pages have all yellowed. A great touch, since the novel, set in the 90s, now sounds like a period piece. A young man, just having found out that he is HIV positive, lives life in the fast lane, seemingly ambivalent to the consequences it could give to his life. The novel is meant to be provocative, and int he context, it is.  A young man is thrown a wrench as he lives his fabulous life, while he struggles to find himself in the world. Nowadays, while it is still a deal to get the same diagnosis, HIV infection is seen more as a chronic disease, akin or even less grave than diabetes. The older and wiser man in me now is strangely not as judgmental to this character, perhaps because I know this guy, from my generation. I don't even struggle to find the heart of the piece.  As I turn the last page, I even wonder where this person would be now: has he grown older and wiser as well, or did he get stuck back in the vicious circle of his lifestyle?  Either way would be fabulous.

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