Book Review of Seize the Day (Penguin Twentieth Century Classics)

Seize the Day (Penguin Twentieth Century Classics)
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This novella, which took me longer to read than Pride and Prejudice, was not a quick and easy read. The picture depicted on the front cover of a man looking up at the very tall RCA Building (ominous/overbearing) and my memories of the phrase "seize the day" from the movie "The Dead Poet's Society" (suicide) set a tone to this novella - maybe unjustly. I felt the despair and desperation of Tommy Wilhelm from the start. His life was miserable and he could not seem to do anything right. The "answer" was not to be found easily. His strained relationship with his father felt oddly familar. He wanted his approval desperately. Their conversations which revolved around finances were reminescent of conversations I have had with my own parents. I even felt embarassment for Tommy when he was driven to write a note to his father asking him to pay his hotel expenses. I felt like he should have had "his life together" by now. Tommy is a man in his early to mid forties with a wife and two children. As the novella progresses, Tommy appears to be in a downward spiral. It seems to be heading towards a tragic end - I fear Tommy will commit suicide. Tommy's last $700 has been invested in lard at the advice of a new friend. The current price of lard doesn't look good. The final chapters really captured me - Tommy is at the stock exchange watching the prices and is tangled up in the consequences of his own decisions and character flaws, the value of relationships, his own coping skills and ability to express thoughts, emotions, concern. I look forward to reading this novella again.