Good Will Come From the Sea by Christos Ikonomou,
Want to know what 'austerity' feels like? This book tells the tales of city folk forced back to the 'home' islands to scrape by.
Solidarity and justice, that's what finally took Tasos. Solidarity and justice – empty words that poor people say, not because they believe in them, but because they're poor.
The ordinary Greeks have been bashed about and their lives have been boiled down to $$$.
All those motherfucking politicians, Greeks and foreigners both, are going to send us back to caveman days. We'll all be living in caves, with clubs and animal skins. We'll be lucky if we still have fire.
These stories show you how austerity hurts, kills, and emotionally scars people. This whole generation of young Greeks is fucked.
...then we said how scary it all was, how scary to struggle to build a life for yourself all over again from the beginning, trying to banish the greatest of all fears, which isn't the fear of death but the fear of life, the fear of living, the fear of living a life in fear, the fear of life that makes us die a bit every day.
I wish I could find a copy of this book in Greek. I want to feel the rage, and frustration of these Athenians. Sold out by the politicians, their futures sacrificed to balance the budget.
Sometimes I think, we lost our jobs, our homes, our lives – why can't we lose our memory, too? Why? Why did they take everything else but leave us our memory? Why couldn't they take that, too, while they were at it?
Becoming poor isn't what breaks you. What breaks you is remembering that you didn't used to be poor. That's what breaks you.
The author has a powerful writing style.
This place is to blame. No doubt. The island is to blame for sure. On an island there's nowhere to hide. In a city you're a stranger among strangers but don't feel like one because everyone is. Here, on the island, everyone knows you, you know everyone, and yet you feel like a stranger because that's what you'll always be.
Though the quotes may make it sound like a dark, and depressing book, there are moments of humour in there too. The author wrote another book about the stories of other humans stuck in the meat grinder of history, “Something Will Happen, You'll See”.
Money. The alpha and the omega. Where everything begins and where everything ends. All the rest is small print. And whoever won't admit it is a fool or a liar. That's why poor people are eternally cursed. Because they don't hate money, only those who have it. They hate money not because it exists, but because it isn't theirs. That's why they're cursed forever, that's why they'll never gain any power. Because what they want isn't to stop being poor, but to be rich.
This book will stand as a testament to the pain inflicted on the people. Some books are tough to read, but we need to read about the plights of our fellow man to empathize with them, and (hopefully) learn from our mistakes.
...how did we end up like this, how did we sour on one another so much, how can it be that on a tiny island like this we can't live together, just a drop of a place and we're at one another's throats, you call us rats and we call you foreigners, and then I wonder if we were always like this, if the fact that we could cheat one another, steal from one another is what kept us together all these years, if it was the lying the cheating and fake money, if that's the only reason we put up with one another, that's the sort of stuff I think about when I sit here late into the night and my soul hurts, because I don't know what's worse, to love your country because you're ripping it off or to hate it because you can't do that anymore, and I think how now that the money is gone we have to find something else to keep us together, but I can't think of what, I can't see that there's anything left, there's just nothing, nothing, nothing...
(I had to write comments between each quote to break up the quote formatting)
Rating: ★★★★ Book #66 in my My 2020 Reading Challenge