Marin Preda's style is unique in a way that manages to comprise both the rural world at the beginning of the 20th century and the new modern world- seen in fast developing Romanian cities. The novel, which would mean "The Great Solitarian" is the story of a young man trying to construct a life after he has been rejected from his political activity in the communist party. It tell the story of Niculae Moromete, the son of Ilie Moromete the main character in Morometii. It actually is an account for the years spent by Niculae Moromete from his childhood in Morometii volume 1 and Morometii volume 2. We see Niculae as a grown man, working at the royal castle, taking care of the garden(a gardener on the course of taking his final exams to become an horticulture engineer).
Niculae is portrayed as an egocentric individual which sees his seclusion from the outside world as a form of clarifying his view of the world around him. Of course solitude cannot teach about how you could prescribe a great life for yourself or others, and he is trapped in the course of his life events, falls in love with an painter and finally after she dies he resumes his desire to create a new religion for all men.
He finds out, in the course of the book that sometimes people are unpredictable and can do unexpected things just out of sheer fear of not wanting something bad to happen to them(the case of the murder done by Pecingine Ioan). The author tries to put a mini crime story in a Dostoievskian style, but to me it seems to much polished, like he has put to much effort in it, and by doing that he lost some expression of the facts, only to gain some small clarification on the mobile of the crime.
The novel is a complex one, combining different narrative styles, the one in which the characters present their thought and the one in which the author is only the observer in presenting the facts. Its a different novel, and maybe the others will manage to achieve a greater deepness in one perspective. I think that this might be what I seemed to miss from the book: a complete deepness of the facts.
But, because this comment is posted after two days have passed since I finished it, I can realize now that maybe this is the new style in which the author wanted to present the facts. In a manner which might resemble most to an extensive reportage on the brief sequence of two years in the lifetime of a person. If my hunch is correct that these technique might be fruitful, but nonetheless it seems to leave me with a sense of wonder, like something is missing from the book, like the author created something at a time and then decided not to speak about it for the rest of the book. Maybe it's just me..
Anyway, it's an interesting account of how one can lose sight of the important things which gave him/her a purpose to grow/create, and then after some unfortunate events he/she can return to a new state of considering things. After all, in the end Niculae did went back to be a political activist, but now he had his diploma as an engineer in horticulture.