At the opposite end of the apathetic is the kind of person who feels everything so deeply and overwhelmingly personal that living the everyday life seems not only impossible, but morally irresponsible as well. Jonas is one such person. Unfortunately, it is just this type of personality that is easy prey for extremists, cults, and religious fundamentalists. Jonas sees an unjust world of pain, materialism, corruption, and indifference and he feels compelled to do something of consequence to “wake people up” and demand change.
To those closest to him, Jonas is known to be very sensitive and empathetic with a proclivity towards depression, so when he is suddenly out of touch and unreachable, his mother, girlfriend and family become concerned that something is awry. As the title implies, in just 31 Hours something is going to happen and Jonas’s family have only a short time to find him.
We are introduced to an amalgam of interesting characters whose fates are linked by a ripple effect of choices and ill-fated circumstance. I particularly enjoyed the juxtaposition of this young man from a good home with everything going for him who feels he has nothing of significance and this older man who is homeless and has very little yet feels he has enough.
The book is fast paced, succinct, and frightening because of its plausibility. It was most disturbing to have the omniscient perspective and see that Jonas thought what he was doing was an act of pure altruism. 31 Hours is certainly one of those books that you keep thinking about long after you turn the last page.