(Author: Tom King) + (Year: 2016) + (Goodreads)
From the moment I started reading The Vision, I felt that something was creeping in on me. I knew that this was mostly supposed to be a dark comedy, at least from most of what I had read or heard about it. However, that was not the feeling that I got from the volume itself.
First and foremost, there is something that I really enjoyed: the ominous chill running through the entire volume. From the very beginning, I felt slightly disturbed by the characters, perturbed by their way of interacting and of viewing the world. Most of all, I was always, to one degree or another, unsettled by Virginia. This part is clear enough from the very, very beginning of the story, with the little “At the end of the story… will happen.” remarks.
However, the more I read, the more I felt like I’m missing something. I was trying to get why this family bothers me so much. It took me a couple of attempts at guessing, until I realized that what really, really bothered me, is that The Vision is not a story of a family. It’s a story of a lonely man who feels so disconnected from his world that he makes a new one for himself. It’s also the story of an orphan. A man, or a little worse than one, who has been brought to this world but feels no connection to it. He has no roots, no family, he didn’t grow, didn’t become, he just was. Also, one who is very powerful, but also deeply misunderstood. One who will always be out of place.
If you choose to see The Vision as I do, you’d realize that this is a coming-of-age story. Just a very unconventional one. And also very beautiful, yet tragic one. And I say tragic, because, in this volume, at least, I don’t think that the Vision achieved what he wanted to. Despite all of his efforts, he stayed on the outside looking in. There were many great moments in the volume, to illustrate how sad it actually was, from Viv‘s talk with her lab partner in the courtyard, to the Vision’s first lie and the reasons behind it, and most all, the entire “The Villainy You Teach Me” chapter. I absolutely loved this one, both the parallel between the story and the Shakespeare quote, and the choice of the quote itself.
And, by sheer coincidence, I happened to be listening to the Hamilton musical while reading The Vision. Which was the one part of the story that came out of circumstance, but gave me a totally new viewpoint. I realized that the two could be compared so easily. If you feel I am going way out there, please bear with me.
How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a
Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a forgotten
Spot in the Caribbean by providence, impoverished, in squalor
Grow up to be a hero and a scholar?
And every day while slaves were being slaughtered and carted
Away across the waves, he struggled and kept his guard up
Inside, he was longing for something to be a part of
The brother was ready to beg, steal, borrow, or barter
Then a hurricane came, and devastation reigned
Our man saw his future drip, dripping down the drain
My name is Alexander Hamilton
And there’s a million things I haven’t done
But just you wait, just you wait…
When he was ten his father split, full of it, debt-ridden
Two years later, see Alex and his mother bed-ridden
Half-dead sittin’ in their own sick, the scent thick
Moved in with a cousin, the cousin committed suicide
Left him with nothin’ but ruined pride, something new inside
A voice saying “You gotta fend for yourself.”
“Alex, you gotta fend for yourself.”
There would have been nothin’ left to do
For someone less astute
He woulda been dead or destitute
You could never back down
You never learned to take your time!
When America sings for you
Will they know what you overcame?
Will they know you rewrote the game?
The world will never be the same, oh
If you want to experience The Vision, Vol. 1 the way I did, you can head over here: