Expansive…that might be the perfect word for this book. The time span that it covers isn’t very long but the depth to which it goes makes Necessary Errors feels like an epic.
The setting of Prague is wonderful. Czechoslovakia is struggling to find it’s way after the Velvet Revolution that took place there in late 1989. Jacob and his band of expat friends are able to view history as it happens, they are able to be part of a city that is coming to grips with a new way of life. It’s quite fascinating.
If I had small issue with this book it was the analytic tone. Jacob seemed to consider and evaluate every gesture and sentence. On the other hand, I remember being that age and doing much the same. Perhaps I have less tolerance for such evaluations now that I’m at a more mature age?
The characters in Necessary Errors are intriguing. They are on the cusp of adult life. They are at the age when being unencumbered is wonderful but mostly taken for granted. Even though these were fictional people I could imagine them looking back at this time of their lives and wishing for the freedom, the adventure.
Necessary Errors is a splendid debut. I look forward to reading whatever Caleb Crain writes next.