- Author: Daniel Hess
- Publisher: To Tony Productionss
- Publishing year: 2022
- Number of pages: 162 (kindle)
- ISBN: 978-0578285429
- My rating: 4/5
Focus Puller offers an insight into one man’s life over a span of decades, as he faces questions about life: family, relationships, sexuality, commitment, health/well-being and the choices we make. The non-linear and flashback sequence highlights the value of the seemingly small experiences of life and also reflects the imperfect nature of life experience. The book invites readers to think about their own lives; whether the oftentimes observations of others “through a lens” is ever applied to the self, and our own journey and life experiences.
As we read this book we get insight into the life of Ben, but not in a chronological fashion. We are offered snippets of his life, each chapter title referring to a movie or a girl that dated Ben.
We learn about his youth and his social awkwardness, we learn about his relationships that lasted a night or seven years… we get to see his love for photography and videography… we are introduced into his mind, his point of view on life and on how he struggles with many aspects of life. even being on the brink of mental health issues, Ben needs to address his issues.
We even see his openness and even a slight struggle with his sexuality and his sexual performances. Looking for a way to vent or express these, he doesn’t always make the right choices.
This is a book about Ben, but it could easily be a story you or even I tell.
I compare this somewhat with Normal People by Sally Rooney, only (unpopular opinion here) I found this story far more compelling and I was drawn more into it than I was with Rooney’s book.
I do feel like I was left in the dark for a few aspects of the story. As a reader we get a window on him potentially being bisexual but apart from a few nods to it, it’s not really further mentioned and/or addressed. (Maybe that’s me seeing what I want to see?) and even though I know life doesn’t give all the answers, and this book is a true allegory for life, it feels unfinished and leaves a few gaps I would love to see further explored. Maybe in a sequel?
But this was definitely a book I was completely invested in and drawn to. A surprise novel that came my way, thank to the writer himself, for which I am certainly grateful!
You can find Daniel on IG: totonyproductions or danhess90
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