We know the list. We have heard it so many times it does not mean anything.
- The poor
- The hungry
- The weeping
- The hated
- The ostracized
- The insulted
- The scorned
In Veins, the list means something.
The narrator of Veins is a man who meets six of the seven beatitudes found in the Gospel of Luke. The author begins by emphasizing the generic humanity of the main character, a man who is suffering
My name is M.R. I hate it when people use my first two names, or my first name. I didn’t get to pick them so every time someone says Michael its like my dad is yelling. So if you want to talk to me, you can say Hey Man, or M.R., or you can just say Dude. I like Dude the best because it automatically means you’re cool if someone calls you Dude.
Veins is a sad book. Very sad. At times it is a novella version of Pedro the Lion’s song, “Big Trucks“:
Just remember that the next time you’re in a car and you go around a mail truck. If the driver says “F— mail truck,” tell them “There’s a real person in there, and he doesnt’ want to go that slow either.”
A major theme in “Veins” is that M.R. is fascinated by slogans, sayings, and aphorisms. One of the most meaningful lines in the entire novel is a play on the expression, “That’s life”:
“If good stuff happened to use until we died, it wouldn’t be called Life. It would be called Great.”
The one beatitude M.R. does not match is weeping. Just as the list of beatitudes come meaningless with repetition, so are the instructions in the very next verse
- Be glad
- Leap for Joy
M.R. feels his suffering too much to leap for joy, but his optimism is far brighter than many who are rich, well-fed, and well spoken of:
That’s why they call them goals.” If you already did them, they’d be called history.
Microsoft didn’t take my slogan either, but they said “Thanks for trying.” when they wrote back. That’s really nice, and it makes me want to get Windows and use it a lot. I just wish that when I turned it on it said, “Think Microsoft is small and soft? Think again.”
The sorrow of Veins would be unapproachable without comic touches, and here the novella does not lack. Veins is written by “Drew,” the hilarious author of Toothpaste for Dinner.
Veins is the most haunting piece of fiction I have read in some time. Highly recommended! Buy it for the Kindle today!