I'm sitting here, turning towards noon as I've been awake again. Another night of fitful sleep haunted by my own breathing and heartbeat, but, I finally put it aside.. Peace, that is, the book, not the concept.
I found it strange and bizarre as a book, shattered images bouncing through times, Hallucinations of a memory asking you to think of stories about pictures, telling the stories about stories, with recollections tied inside them.
It paints a family tree of relations, and a mans growing through them, his life in flashbacks and notes, the central role of the story is almost never in the story. Odd flow of thought mixed with vivid language and recollection.
"A tricky, evild, deep and remarkable novel...."
Was how Neil Gaiman started out about it, and yes, that sort of sums it up. I found it a difficult read, not because of language or emotion, but to keep track on who and where, we were. Was this a musing recollection about what manner of creatures would eat a make-believe stag, or was this a memory of a story once told? After a while I gave up and just read the book, cover to cover, and let it paint a picture of a man in my head. And it wasn't an alltogether pretty picture. But the way it was painted, was pretty indeed.
Ach, I can't make it justice in words, but a small quote will do, perhaps.
"I have sometimes thought that the reason the trees are so quiet in summer is that they are in a sort of ecstasy; it is in winter, when the biologists tell us they sleep, that they are most awake, because the sun is gone and they are addicts without their drug, sleeping restlessly and often waking, walking the dark corridors of forests searching for the sun."
-- Gene Wolfe, PEACE