Naïve. Super. by Erlend Loe

This is my second reading of the book; the first was roughly 10 years ago.

It's a relatively short story about a person experiencing an existential crisis. A young university dropout finds his day-to-day life meaningless and unfulfilling. He becomes obsessed with simple activities, such as playing with a ball and hammering with his newly acquired hammer-and-peg toy, all while creating lists to impose structure and meaning on his life.

Everything seemed meaningless to me. All of a sudden. My own life, the lives of others, of animals and plants, the whole world. It no longer fitted together.

I've noted the protagonist is a 25-year-old man. However, the beauty of the story, coupled with its simple language, lies in its universality. At various stages of our lives, we all find ourselves lost in the moment. I was lost when I first read it, and I still am now. Although the quest for meaning may differ with age, the underlying concept remains constant.

I’ve written a new list. It shows what used to excite me when I was younger. It’s quite long.

A decade on, I remain fascinated by the simple notion of the lists that the main protagonist creates. These lists are a tool to encourage reflection, mindfulness, and a thoughtful approach to aspects of life we might otherwise take for granted.

The most trivial things become attractive patterns. I am forced to reassess the way I see things, things that have become so commonplace that I’ve stopped noticing them.

Rating: ★★★★★ (?)

Tags: #book