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Lethe Bashar’s Novel of Life by Lethe Bashar

 

Lethe Bashar’s Novel of Life is a work of fictional autobiography. The main character, Lethe, is the author’s self-proclaimed alter ego and former adolescent self. On three different weblogs, spanning 25 years, the reader is encouraged to read the text from any point in time and proceed in any direction.

Lethe in Spain follows Lethe’s adventures living abroad—at first with a Senora and then by himself in a pensione. Lethe in Vegas is a wild romp through the lower west side of Vegas, and the events which lead Lethe out of Vegas and back to an exclusive rehab center in Tuscon, Arizona, where he won’t stay for long.

Family in Decline traces the shaky beginnings of Lethe’s family unit as it highlights a self-absorbed artist-mother and a psuedo-spiritual father. The blog explores the stories behind each member of Lethe’s family, including his sister, and shows how Lethe evolved into an impulsive idealist and nascent drug addict.

Although subject matter deals with themes of drugs, divorce, rebellion, and disease, Lethe Bashar’s Novel of Life presents the youthful and somewhat foolish attempt to transform a world of suffering into a quixotic performance of self through art.


A novel, no longer online

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Listed: Aug 5, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

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Gritty Real Life Drama

By G.S. Williams, editor, author of No Man An Island

Aug 18, 2008: Lethe Bashar’s story is dark and dreamy. With a name like "Lethe," the river of no memory in Greek Mythology, that should be expected. He exists in a world of rough characters, dingy surroundings, and little hope.

The author is excellent at establishing atmosphere, as Lethe descends into this grim reality, exploring drugs and the seedy underbelly of Las Vegas. If anything, the writer succeeds too well at making the story-world seem forsaken, as it makes having sympathy for any particular character almost impossible. Lethe seems detached from reality, and at the same time trying to experience everything the world has to offer. This tension between detachment and experience, philosophy and material existence, is one of the themes playing out throughout the story.

All in all, the author has to be given credit for blending real life and fiction to create such a world, mirroring the sharp corners and cracked facets of our own.

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Complex, textured fiction

By Chris Poirier, editor

Oct 19, 2008: Lethe Bashar’s Novel of Life is an interlinked trio of webnovels about the life of the title character, Lethe Bashar—a self-deceiving, self-hating, and wholly messed-up young man who expects far more of himself than he is willing to put in the effort to obtain. Each piece is markedly different from the others, in terms of narrative focus, characterization, and even the quality of writing. Lethe in Vegas is, to my mind, the best of the set, and I have decided to base my overall rating on it, as it really [more . . .]

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Most Helpful Member Reviews

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Constant Discovery

By tessadaisy, member

Sep 25, 2008: Understanding the character of Lethe is a process that can take many directions with this unique format or medium. Sharing a life with the author puts me in an inimitable position as well in terms of analysis of The Novel of Life.

Reading these blogs has been comparable to getting to know someone for the first time. This experience caused me to struggle initially because I felt as if I knew the author too well to have a useful perspective for [more . . .]

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Lethe Bashar in Madrid:Review by Gretta Barclay

By gretta, member

Sep 21, 2008: When Lethe Bashar goes to Madrid, Spain for a semester of college abroad, he has no idea of the psychological roller-coaster he is about to embark on.

A self-absorbed neophyte, with both naive and grandiose ideas about himself and the world, Lethe lands in a place that is so uncomfortable to him that one wants to jump into the novel and save him from himself.

In Lethe’s behavior and activities, the reader [more . . .]

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