by Johan Twiss
Having read the novel SIM 299 by the same author and really loved it, I was intrigued to see he had released another novel. I couldn’t wait to get started even though this was a bit different than the previous novel. In 4 Years Trapped in My Mind we follow Aaron, a young boy with a rare form of meningitis. He is paralyzed from head to toe and everyone thinks he’s unable to see or hear what goes on around him. His parents have sent him to be cared for in a sort of retirement home where he spends his days trying to cope with the fact he’s trapped in his own body without any way to communicate. That is until he receives a roommate, an elderly jazz-musician with dementia who for some reason can hear his thoughts. The reader gets to tag along as Aaron learns more about his new friend Solomon’s exciting life and as Aaron begins to break free from his prison.
This story is as much a story of growing up as it is of what life is all about. It’s heartbreaking to imagine what kind of life Aaron must have had before his friend came along. Abandoned and alone, forced to witness the world pass him by without being able to do anything. Reading this novel gave me a lot to think about and I couldn’t stop reading once I got started. I wanted to know what Aaron would do and learn and I wanted him to get better.
Johan Twiss has managed to capture the lives of the two characters in such a great way and they feel so real and genuine to me. You can picture yourself knowing these characters in real life, and I think that is why this story is so good.
Being in Aaron’s situation makes for a bit of a monotone setting for a novel perhaps, he’s trapped in his bed in his room, but the author makes this work so well and not even once do I feel bored about the surrounding. A big part of the book is when the reader gets to tag along into some sort of weird dementia dream that Solomon pulls Aaron into. Here we learn more about Solomon’s early life and it’s most definitely a very exciting one and I love how vivid the settings are described in this part of the story. It’s as if the author himself was present at the events in Solomon’s past.
When I started reading this book I wasn’t aware of the fact that a bid part of it would take place in history, or rather show events from around the 40’s and 50’s. I’m far from a fan of history and I have to admit I found these parts to be quite boring, but I can see their place in the story and appreciate them despite my own preferences.
Even if I liked this book, there are a few things that bring down the rating for me. First one being that I totally do not like the ending of the book. I find that we were given so many questions in the end that never got resolved and I was stuck with a big question mark in my mind when I finished. Second thing is that it’s not a particularly memorable book. It was great and all that, but after completing the book it also left my mind (unlike his novel SIM 299 who stuck with me for days after reading).
You can get the book at Amazon