Review: Numb by Sean Ferrell

Numb by Sean Ferrell
ISBN: 978-0061946509
Fiction, 278 pages
Harper Perennial

FTC Disclosure: Review copy provided by publisher

This story is a lot stuffed into a small package. Don’t let the page count fool you, this book will make you think – and feel, like you’ve read a substantial tome.

The story seems simple enough, an amnesiac who feels no pain searches for his identity, literally and spiritually.

I watched a piece of cork float around in my wine. It clung to the side of the glass. Grabbed and carried away by the wine, it stuck somewhere else and hung there for a moment before swirling away again. I knew how the cork felt. I swirled the glass, to give it a chance to get away.

At some point in our lives, we may see ourselves as that piece of cork just like Numb does. So really, what is identity anyway?

Is it defined by ourselves, others, society? Aren’t identities merely varied perceptions of reality? Of all of them, which one is the most true and accurate?

When mulling over these questions, it becomes clear that in a sense, Numb’s story is the story of us all. Searching for ourselves, understanding who we are, defining our place in life and amongst society is an ageless theme.

Ferrell gives it a new face and twist in this intriguing story meant to leave you wondering about what really matters: in terms of who we are and how we live our lives — how important is it really to know where we came from or who we might be?

Doesn’t it matter more to simply be in the moment so we can see, and enjoy, what is right in front of us every moment of every day?

I was left with the thought (helped along nicely by the last line in the book), that life must be met half-way. You don’t chase it and it doesn’t come after you if you try to run from it. Most importantly, It takes effort to make it work and make it whole.

I loved this book and highly recommend it. This is one that will remain in my library. Just not sure I ever want to loan it out. Ever.

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