This is an incredible piece of writing brilliance and a wise and often hilarious read.
Liam’s best friend is Aldo Benjamin, a force of nature who has more life packed into his thirty or so years than whole generations of people at a time.
Liam, a wanna-be writer, needs a subject and so Aldo becomes it, with Liam telling Aldo’s story – the failed businesses, time in prison, his drinking, his lost child, accusations of rape, his relationship with lover and wife Stella, his crippling disabilities and illnesses, and his eventual martyrdom and death on a rock as he begins to and eventually gives up setting up a new religion.
There’s no simple plot; rather snapshots of Aldo’s incredible life, told with such energy and a kind of joyful cynicism, if that’s possible.
What’s great about Aldo is he is constantly speaking unlikely or oxymoronic truths about life that read like aphorisms. In fact, knowing that Tolz’s last book was quite philosophical, it was easy at times to see Aldo like a twenty first century entrepreneurial, nihilistic Nietzsche, one raised on reality TV and art and poverty.