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Honey, St Helen and St Katharine

Long Way Down

Long Way Down is a unique book. The emotional journey the character undertakes happens on a lift going down a few floors. Reynolds manages to pack a lot of meaning into this short space of time which, I think, can be quite tricky. It’s poetic style and use of calligrams -otherwise known as shaped poems- also sets it apart from a lot of novels.
In the book there are some anagrams. When Reynolds describes the definition of anagrams, he says the words can be connected. Then he writes anagrams like ‘cool=loco’. This makes you think a lot about the two words, what they mean and how they are connected. I think it is very clever to do this and it makes the book feel more complex. In the book Reynolds creates a lot of characters that have an in-depth conversation with Will, the main character. Sometimes when the conversation between the two stopped, I wanted them to talk a bit longer. With one or two of the conversations, I wanted more of a back story or further detail about the relation between the two.
I think the lift is a very important factor of the book. Not only does the plot happen in one, the lift also fits in perfectly with the title ‘Long Way Down’ which is also very fitting to the concept of death. When I first heard of the book, I wanted to read it because of the captivating title.
The ending was one that surprised me. I won’t give any plot away but what I will say is that the ending is very open for interpretation. I was confused by it at first but now I like it as it is mysterious, something I like to find in books.
Overall, I would give the book an 8/10 because of its complexity and its great, satisfying characterization. It could have used a bit more description and detail but apart from that, a gripping read that I would pick up again.

Posted on: 23rd April 2019 at 09:46 am

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