The Painting of Porcupine City by Ben Monopoli
Published by: Ben Monopoli on August 29, 2011
Rating: 3 stars (★★★☆☆)
Fletcher Bradford is what one might call a free spirit. Aside from his best friend for years, Cara, and her boyfriend, Jamar, most of his relationships are shallow or short-lived. But when a mysterious new IT starts working at the company where Fletcher works, he is more than intrigued. And Mateo turns out to be freewheeling in some similar ways. It may well be that Fletcher has found his soulmate. But do they want the same things in life? When one is free spirited, can it ever work to be “tied down” to a single person? And does one’s soulmate need to share in one’s dream in order to keep the deep connection going?
On its surface, this reads quite strangely. At times, it almost seems just as aimless as the characters. The plot feels a bit like meandering down a winding path without always having an end in sight. And there are a few moments where things seem to transcend reality. But after finishing it and thinking about it some more, it hit me just how deep the messages of this book really are. It’s very much about finding yourself, achieving your dreams, navigating relationships, and understanding what people leave behind in our lives after they move on.