The Art of Impossibility

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 12 Jan 2020

Member Reviews

Great read. The author wrote a story that was interesting and moved at a pace that kept me engaged. The characters were easy to invest in.
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"Ah, look at all the lonely people
Ah, look at all the lonely people
Eleanor Rigby
Picks up the rice in the church where a wedding has been
Lives in a dream
Waits at the window
Wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door
Who is it for?
All the lonely people
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people
Where do they all belong?" - Paul McCartney

The Art of Impossibility is a deep insightful book about misfits who wander through life without many social connections.  The story is in particular about one Michael Wilson who lives by himself, trades commodities from a computer at various Starbucks, and has specific routines he follows.  He is also an expert at beers and ales.  One day he goes to renew his driver's license and not knowing the routine brings all his identification documents with him including his passport, his birth certificate, etc. and his car is stolen on the way back.  And now how can he prove who he is.  He needs the birth certificate to get a passport, etc., sort of a catch-22.  He's lost, adrift, getting lost on the way home.  

A helpful bureaucrat at the Department of a Vital Statistics is fascinated by Michael's story (okay, she's hopelessly infatuated with this polite well-mannered man) and finds an old regulation that allows identification to be based on the affidavits of three well respected members of the community.  But who does Michael know?  A few guys at a local pub who may not know his name.  A masseuse named Mary who stays the night and lives in a van and is kind of out of her mind.  His landlady' overweight loser son who lives in the basement playing heavy metal for his new internet radio station with a listenership of zero.  A drunken bum in the park who is rumored to have been a famed philosopher in a previous life.  That's pretty much the list.  

All these people are broken and twisted and Michael is no different.  This is a tender quiet book about Michael and his quest to reclaim his identity.  A fascinating case study.
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