The Spear Cuts Through Water
The Spear Cuts Through Water is not a book for the faint of heart. I honestly have no idea how to evaluate my experience of reading it. The first hundred pages were *really* difficult to wade through. This book is *chewy*, dense, and extremely difficult to focus on. The prose is unusual enough that you can't predict what the next sentence might contain, ever. Which is, sort of, genius, but also means you're always at least a little bit not-immersed because it's all so splintered. This book is *work* to read, it's, like. It's graduate-level.
This doesn't sound like a recommendation yet, so let me explain.
This book is like nothing else you've ever read. Quite likely you'll never read anything else exactly like it, ever again. It is daring, and gut-wrenching, and soaked with gore. It is, in the end, a love story, a story about many different kinds of love: brother for brother, father for son, mother for child, worshipper for god. Man for man. It's heart-crushingly gorgeous.
There's also a whole entire framing story written in the second person, set inside a dream about a folktale about a theater, which hosts a performance, which is also about a folktale. Which sounds terrible, but then at the end, I cried about the main story, and then I cried a little bit about the framing story, too.
I can't say I recommend The Spear Cuts Through Water. It's so unusual, and it really does take sustained effort to read, and if you're not in the right space to recieve it I can totally see not being willing to put in the work. But it is 100% an inspired work of art. I really, really appreciated it and am deeply glad I read it.