Title: Lethal Dosage of Life
Author: Vladas Golambiauskas
Publisher: Independently Published
Genre: Psychological thriller
First Publication: 2019
Major Characters: Solie (The protagonist), Jim (His only friend), Furcifer (The mafia head), Libida (Furcifer’s daughter), Malum (The shadow)
Narration: First person
Theme: Hell is way closer than one might expect, once he gives up the idea of heaven
Book Summary: Lethal Dosage of Life
How much exactly can a human bear? How much suffering can he endure, how much time can he spend burning in the hellish flames?
One thing is for certain – it’s a lot. Some things aren’t – why does he choose to do so? Does he choose to do so? Why is it so often that the most terrible things happening to men are the ones they bring upon themselves? How far down is hell, when one decides not to aim for heaven anymore?
These and other difficult questions are being tried to answer or, at least, explored in this book. It’s not a walk in the park though as these topics are examined through a lens of a very lost drug-addict – both in the world and in his mind.
Lethal Dosage of Life is a story about a young man who decides to kill himself, but through the help of a stranger with heroin, he is saved. What he gets launched back into though is not a life one would find sufficient to justify avoiding death.
Throughout the book, the protagonist, due to his own ignorance and resentfulness, finds himself in deeper and deeper mess. Once a dead man, now faced with the task of saving not only himself, but others he got into trouble – his sister, mother, friend. An inner dialogue between him and his dark self keeps unravelling, yet the awaiting climax of the conversation isn’t for the faint of heart.
Book Review: Lethal Dosage of Life
Lethal Dosage of Life is a poetic, disorienting book about semi-criminals, heroin addicts and idlers squandering their lives on the fringes. The narrator is a study in contrasts: irresponsible, irrational . . . and yet gifted with moments of almost mystical clarity.
Lethal Dosage of Life is not a charming story, but a very well-written novel by Vladas Golambiauskas about a guy who self-destructs through a series of bad decisions and drug use, yet performs a balancing act, trying to redeem himself by maintaining a tenuous bond with his friend and family. This is the story of Solie and the downward spiral his life takes once he decides to dance with “the monster (Malum).” The protagonist, Solie, is not an especially likable character at the beginning, but I enjoyed being a part of his thoughts, his views, and his haphazard journey through life. Maybe it’s because I have empathy for addicts and others who live on the edge.
“There is no evil in the world, there is no evil in the nature. We have seen it, it was said before me, too – the evil itself resides precisely in the human heart – not to ever be seen elsewhere.”
This was the book that showed how far you could stretch your prose and still have it sound dynamite. Reading Lethal Dosage of Life by Vladas Golambiauskas is like navigating a string of dreams, both blissful and bad. The spectrum of theme is considerably wide, and the narrative draws you into worlds where you can feel as uncomfortable and out of place as the characters themselves. This is a book that actually makes you feel ‘high’ in some spots. The shifting line between chemical-fuelled fantasy and uneasy reality isn’t just blurred, it’s burned down.
There is a cloud above the skies,
Above all men, who rage and fight and die.
There shines a light, yet not have seen before –
A glimpse of it will blind you of the world.
It touched my skin, I swear, one time –
Now sun shines rays of nothing but pitch dark.
And all the beauty which surrounds me every day,
Is beauty I can never love again.
Everything from love and loss to happiness and sheer horror is covered in Lethal Dosage of Life. One moment the writing is slick as oil, the next it is jagged as broken glass. It’s downright chaotic in places where the mental state of the protagonist is in question. You know the main characters in this book are all unreliable narrators, but you still believe every word they say, because the story Author Vladas Golambiauskas tells is just that convincing. He’s a wonderful writer, balancing poetic passages with crisp, visual prose.
A book like this is an eye-opener. It’s a hard look at addiction, it’s an artistic peek at altered perceptions, and it’s a clever way to highlight humanity when set against the stuporous default settings. Highly recommended.