As the story unfolded I grew strongly attached to the main character, whose permanent web of thoughts seemed to be mostly woven around the recurrent image of his "estranged" wife. The "unexpected" outcome was nevertheless like a tremendous blow leaving a void to be filled.
Among the various memoirs I came across in the account of his life two were brought to my atention, because of both the similarities with my own, particularly in regards to the mother figure or what may be accounted for as relevant at a particular moment in time - the nothing versus everything.
"My mother (...) was the foundation stone that I based my stability on, like the pier of a bridge. If she seemed harsh sometimes when I was small, it was only a habit that had got a hold of her."
"The ingredients of nothing, maybe, nothing at all - but eveything, everything that at close of day we value, everything."
A book to be read by all accounts.
" A tender, harrowing, lovely book ... a story of frailty and regret, told in prose that is elegant, clear-headed and at times wringingly sad ... the main joy, notwithstanding the page-by-page entertainment offered by the fine writing, is in the slow built, fully human characters."
"Barry's elegant yet insistent rhythm becomes part of the reader's very breath."
"A heart-breaking portrait of one man's life."