OH MY GOD THIS IS SO GOOD.Loved it, darling. Loved it.It was short, but really packed a punch. It was tragic, it was sweet, it HAD SUBTLE NUANCES (I know, I know; perish the thought).It's short, but I get a really strong sense of the backstory.I see there are lots of reviews all over the board. I think for me personally, since I don't really read primarily for plot, I wasn't caught up in the "inauthenticity" of the plot. For this one especially, the main features are the character interactions and ambiance of the piece, which, imo, were spot on and masterfully composed. Nothing really seemed contrived or unrealistic to me.Sam is actually very much the ingenue. He's got at least a little bit of learned helplessness going on and it isn't necessarily his fault his psyche developed/has been developed this way.This actually brings to mind an analysis about the differences between European mentality and, say, American mentality. I think Sam got sucked into the whole European fatalism thing (as opposed to American optimism) and while he failed to fully learned the language, ended up absorbing (through cultural osmosis, lol) that fatalism, which ends up getting the better of him (makes sense, though, if he grew up with the whole American optimism thing that he might have issues incorporating fatalism into his life and NOT crash-and-burn'ing.)Anyways, that's part of my take on the whole thing and why I love this story so much.