COLOSSUS is dark. Very dark. With that being said, it is also fairly well written, which just makes it very very fucking dark; harrowing even.
My first reaction was to stop reading it and go throw up on or in something, or perhaps drink and then go throw up on or in something. It took some time to push myself through it. In the end, I questioned myself for finishing it and sought solace by trying to find a justification for reading it and for it being written in the first place. It is a common practice for individuals that feel victimized to seek out a reason for their plight and a validation for their suffering. In this case, I was actually obligated to suffer – the result of which was the cover for this book.
There is a unique perspective gained by those of us that suffer. Some individuals are better at coping with it than others. The ones that survive it (perhaps the more pragmatic among us) attempt to turn their suffering into something useful, like a justification of continued existence or a path to self-discovery. I have come to see this book and the characters within it as an experiment in that regard. The book posits the question, “How much suffering can a person endure, and to what end?” The characters are the experiment set in motion by the reader, and the reader is the department head running the experiment. How far you decide to carry the experiment is up to you, but unlike myself, you get a forewarning: The further you delve into this experiment, the harder it becomes to cut your losses and back out, because the difficulty of finding meaning in the words and actions contained within can only be diminished by your proximity to the completion of the experiment. Back out too soon, and you might find yourself feeling cheated by your lack of resolve and time/money spent. Back out too late, and it will simply chew away at the edges of your ventrolateral frontal cortex until you’re unable to function properly and addled with anxiety. Finish the experiment, and you might be able to find your own means of justifying what you just put yourself through to your own self-rationalized betterment. Or not. Self-discovery can often be paved with spurious pit-falls and Byzantine passages.
With that said, I hope you find yourself able to lean towards the former.
COLOSSUS is now available as a Kindle eBook from Amazon: