5 / 5 Stars
When Pierre-Anthon realizes there is no meaning to life, the seventh-grader leaves his classroom, climbs a tree, and stays there. His classmates cannot make him come down, not even by pelting him with rocks. So to prove to Pierre-Anthon that life has meaning, the children decide to give up things of importance.
The pile starts with the superficial —a fishing rod, a new pair of shoes—. But as the sacrifices become more extreme, the students grow increasingly desperate to get Pierre-Anthon down, to justify their belief in meaning. Sure to prompt intense thought and discussion, Nothing —already a treasured work overseas— is not to be missed.
I’ve read this book multiple times and every time I reread it, it hits home in a different way.
I braced myself for the horrifying scenes and the tragedy these kids faced. And then I dove in. Two hours later, I had finished my reread and came away with an exhale, as though I had been holding my breath the entire time.
This book is so powerful and overwhelming, I am so moved each and every time I open it. There is so much woven into the pages, and I know that this book talks about whether life does or doesn’t have meaning but it speaks so many volumes where the plot argues against meaning and you come away from it appreciating everything so much more.
I loved this book, and have loved it for so many years. As horrifying as some pieces of it are, it’s worth the read every time.
With every bit of my heart. Brace yourself.