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Book Review: Equilibrium by Tonino Guerra

28 November 20 words: Ashley Carter

We checked out the debut release from Notts' newest indie publisher, MOIST...

The debut book from new indie publisher MOIST, Tonino Guerra’s Equilibrium is a fascinating, eclectic exploration of post-traumatic stress disorder through the eyes of a nameless graphic designer. Known primarily to film audiences for his collaborations with some of cinema’s greatest minds, from Antonioni and Rosi to Fellini and Tarkovsky, Guerra, who passed away in 2012, was also an accomplished poet and author. His prose tactfully muddies the waters between the past and present, exploring how the horrors of the former affect the latter.

Haunted by the memories of being interred at a concentration camp – an event true to Guerra’s life – our anonymous protagonist struggles with a life that grows more and more unbalanced, descending into a surreal nightmare that combines the sharp, manic prose of Bukowski with, as Samantha Morton rightly endorses in the cover notes, a ‘trip worthy of Hunter S. Thompson’. In many ways, Equilibrium is the antithesis of Hemingway’s ideals of masculinity, showing that the modern man can, after all, be broken. Powerfully written, and endlessly mesmerising, it’s a story both timeless and incredibly resonant in 2020.

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