Tuesday, August 9, 2016
Review - The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko by Scott Stambach
This is a unique story about a boy's life in a hospital. His physical handicap does not take away from his sharp mind and unique sense of humor. Ivan Isaenko, while stuck in the hospital, builds himself a routine and mind games to get him going through the days. Day in and day out everything turns like clock work, but when a new beautiful incomer, Polina, disturbs his routine, his fascination with her increases. He then embarks on a journey, always inside the same hospital, to try to defy fate with all that his frail body allows him to.
The story is told through the manuscript written by Ivan himself in the hope of immortalizing Polina and her story. The way the novel is presented makes it seem so real and authentic. I truly thought Ivan Iseanko existed until I read the author's web page to find that Ivan is a fictional character inspired by the Chernobyl children.This does not take away anything from the brilliance of the novel. It is a fluid read with vivid imagery capturing the attention of the reader from page one.
If I had to critic one thing, it's the excessive sexuality in the story, but it's inevitable to show how uninhibited Ivan was in writing the manuscript.
Still, it is an amazing novel about a group of children hurt and forgotten by the world. This novel sheds the light on these forgotten souls and brings them back to life.