Friday, July 19, 2013

There are Reasons Noah Packed No Clothes

There are Reasons Noah Packed No Clothes by Robert Jacoby
Cloud Books, 10/1/2012
Trade Paperback, 342 pages


You need your eyes, don't you?
So does Richard Issych. Two weeks ago he overdosed. Now he's fighting for his life, finding threatening notes like that one on his nightstand.
"There are Reasons Noah Packed No Clothes"is the story of 19-year-old Richard Issych, who wakes to a harsh new reality inside an inpatient unit. Now Richard's journey turns into one of revelations and struggling through his own reasons for being as he discovers new meanings for redemption, sacrifice, hope, love-and the will to live.
In the end, what are the reasons Noah packed no clothes? Richard can only imagine. But it has something to do with a size 3XL bowling shirt with the name "Noah" stitched over the pocket.
There are reasons . . . everyone uses his own dictionary.
There are reasons . . . some new heavens come from some new hells.
There are Reasons Noah Packed No Clothes

My Thoughts:

There are Reasons Noah Packed No Clothes by Robert Jacoby introduces us to 19 year old Richard Issych, a young man whose failed attempt at suicide has left him committed to the psychiatric unit of a hospital. We are privy to Richard's internal dialogue as well as what he actually is saying to those around him. Richard feels disconnected and alienated from everyone, including his family.  Richard, however, knows in his mind at least, that he is not crazy and doesn't belong in with the other "nuts".

In presenting Richard's thoughts, Jacoby uses a stream-of-consciousness style of writing that mimics what is going on in Richard's mind, so the writing left me feeling discombobulated, anxious and weary.  it is not an easy story to follow along because Richard's thoughts are so scattered and his grasp on reality can be tenuous at times. His whole experience is viewed through his eyes and his perceptions of the other patients and the situations. We actually never really know how skewed Richard perception of reality is from the truth of his situation since he is an unreliable narrator.

There are Reasons Noah Packed No Clothes begs comparison to other novels that feature characters locked up in a psychiatric unit. For me One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest immediately came to mind, although there are other novels that may come readily to mind for others.

While I found There are Reasons Noah Packed No Clothes well written, I must admit that it was hard to read and extremely hard to become engage with Richard at first because his thoughts are so scattered and confusing. At first I wasn't even sure what had happened to him and what was currently happening to him. The story, such as it is, moves along rather slowly and what was reality always seemed to be in question for me. Recommended, with caution.

Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Cloud Books via Netgalley for review purposes.

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