Book Review | A Cure for Suicide by Jesse Ball

a cure for suicide jesse ball book coverA Cure for Suicide begins in a utopian style village (think The Giver) where “a claimant” is being rehabilitated by “an examiner”. As the book progresses, cleanly focused on daily events and dialogue, the reader begins to understand the rehab structure. After a strong dose of brain erasing medicine, claimants are shipped to a numbered village with their assigned caretaker to relearn life skills and human interaction. The protagonist is a middle aged man who is revealed through the text at various times during his reprocessing.

I enjoyed Ball’s writing style and clarity. I see how his stylistic departure from the norm could be considered effective, but for me it didn’t enhance the text. Contrary to other reviewers, I found this book a bit flat. While emotional situations occurred, they were almost glossed over and left me feeling untouched. Though the novel held some original ideas, it seemed to be more of a melding of storylines that I’d previously ingested. I should note that this book was long listed for the National Book Award. Check it out from a library near you.


About amy de simone
Amy is an active volunteer, traveler and photographer. She is interested in art, libraries, museums and nonprofits. She holds an M.A. in Library & Information Studies and a B.A. in Italian Language & Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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