DELUSIONS OF GRANDEUR by Jason Najum

DELUSIONS OF GRANDEUR

KIRKUS REVIEW

In Najum’s debut memoir, a disillusioned young man ponders why global society is in a downward spiral and wonders how to stop it.

This memoir, told in a confessional, stream-of-consciousness style, asks the question: In a digital society that’s increasingly distanced from human connections, when did it become acceptable to ignore what’s happening around us? The author, a Canadian man, grows up in the suburbs; his parents divorce, and he heads to college, where he spends his time having fun. He then gets a job, moves to a city, grows disillusioned with his job and society and starts writing. Najum zeroes in on his own secret thoughts: “I too burn with an innate belief that I am meant for something more, for something big and beautiful.” But what is that big and beautiful thing? Apparently, it’s hard to tell, especially when the world is collapsing. “Go to bed. And 150 species are driven to extinction. Gone forever….And tomorrow it happens all over again.” In this book, society is in tatters politically, socially and economically, but “in an era when all our needs are already satisfied…you would think that in our innate human quest for ‘more’ we would naturally gravitate to something other than this, something more...significant. But we don’t.” The author’s prose, spread out on pages with lots of white space, reads almost like a poem. There’s a narrative arc here, but Najum's passion provides most of the story’s value. The work spends a lot of time outlining what’s going awry in the world, but there’s also an optimism that reveals itself toward the end, as the author leaves us with several inspirational quotations. “Demand a bit more,” he writes. “It will do a lot more good than you realize.”

An earnest, soulful book about the world’s woes.

Page count: 135pp
Publisher: Manuscript
Program: Kirkus Indie
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