Reader, this is one of those books that comes along and leaves you reeling. It's a deceptively short book, but I suspect that someone could reread the book every year for years and years and never hit the limit on the possibilities for symbolism, or get tired of pondering the main character's actions. This is one of those stories that leaves me incoherent and babbling, and wanting to write a long paper for a college-level class. There is just so much here to think about and discuss.
After some quick research, I learned that the events in the book are actually somewhat based on the author's life, which adds yet another dimension to it. I want to say this grounds the story, but it also provides a canvas on which we can extend the events into a character study of the main character. The strangest thing is that most of what occurs in the book is actually rather unpleasant; but the main character's actions, while often unpleasant, deserve scrutiny for how they relate to his inner turmoil.
OK, now I know I am making no sense; I apologize, I am having a hard time articulating my thoughts. I suspect I'll be thinking about this one for a long time. Recommended.