TLDR: beautiful story, engrossing, haunting. Long read. Frustrating characters. Recommended for patient readers.
A Little Life is not for the faint of heart, or the causal reader looking for a quick page or two before going to bed. Over 800 pages with long non-linear chapters make A Little Life a bit of a slog. The hardy reader enjoys an engrossing, haunting story of friendship between 4 college friends and, especially, the remarkable Jude. Yanagihara creates a narrative that explores the relationship between young friends through success, failure and dealing with the past. I had a love-hate relationship with most of this book; the writing is beautiful; the characters are engrossing and I reflected on the book long after putting it down for the day. The topics covered are not light, the narrative gets dark, and I got very frustrated with the limitations of Jude. This is a book that demands time and reflection while reading and is recommended. 4.5/5.