Book Review

Review: Everything I don’t remember by Jonas Hassen Khemiri

everything I dont remember Title: Everything I don’t remember

Series: /

Author: Jonas Hassen Khemiri

Edition: paperback edition

Pages: 224 pages

Language: Read in Dutch

Genre: fiction, mystery

One of Sweden’s most celebrated young writers and activists spins an exhilarating, innovative, and gripping murder mystery reminiscent of the hit podcast Serial.

A young man named Samuel dies in a horrible car crash. Was it an accident or was it suicide? To answer that question, an unnamed writer with an agenda of his own sets out to map Samuel’s last day alive. Through conversations with friends, relatives, and neighbors, a portrait of Samuel emerges: the loving grandchild, the reluctant bureaucrat, the loyal friend, the contrived poseur. The young man who did everything for his girlfriend Laide and shared everything with his best friend Vandad. Until he lost touch with them both.

By piecing together an exhilarating narrative puzzle, we follow Samuel from the first day he encounters the towering Vandad to when they become roommates. We meet Panther, Samuel’s self-involved childhood friend whose move to Berlin indirectly cues the beginning of Samuel’s search for the meaning of love—which in turn leads Samuel to Laide. Soon, Samuel’s relationship with Laide leads to a chasm in his friendship with Vandad, and it isn’t long before the lines between loyalty and betrayal, protection, and peril get blurred irrevocably.

In this Swedish novel, the death of a young man named Samuel in a car crash is investigated. An anonymous writer tries to figure out what happened using interviews with friends and family: an accident, murder, or suicide. The first pages are confusing to read because you don’t know who is talking. The author also doesn’t give a lot of clues that show who is who but the focus is mainly on his best friend Vandad and Laide. Different people tell contradictory things about Samuel. This makes clear that different people can interpret things in different ways. But is Samuel seen in different ways by different people or is Samuel acting differently with different people? The answer to this question begins to come clear when the story evolves.

The title ‘Everything I don’t remember’ can refer to the problems Samuel has with his memory making him to write a lot of things down. But it can also refer to the fact that different people have different memories about certain events.

The first pages were difficult to get into the story. But this was a book that before you know it, you were half way through. It was written with a lot of intrigue but in the end, I had a feeling that you didn’t know the real Samuel because everything was written from the perspective from other people. Maybe the many notes Samuel made could be intertwined in the story, making it possible to also know his feelings and thoughts with certain events.

I though this book was an enrichment to read because of the surprising writing style. And it isn’t a book I would normally read.

I received this book from the publisher in return for an honest review.


I am a book depository affiliate and I receive a small commission if you use my link

Buy at Amazon: Everything I Don’t Remember: A Novel
Buy at Alles wat ik me niet herinner (Dutch) / Everything I don’t remember


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