Review: It’s not my fault. Self Discovery & Admission ~ Wendi Bear

Not my faultPrepare to laugh out loud at this politically incorrect novel full of short stories that are just plain wrong. You will be shocked, humored, amused and aroused. A provocatively original must read. Based on the popular blog, “It’s not my fault.” A brutally honest account of obsession, sex and the abuse of alcohol.

WARNING:  This book is not suitable for readers under 18, and those with blinkered opinions.  It is not a book that is intended for everyone, a fact the Author makes clear from the start in her own words, but it will definitely make you think.

3 Thumbs-UpMost of the tales in this book are funny, but shockingly so as the Author takes the reader on a journey through the train wreck of her life, in her own words.  As this is a compilation of random events, fuelled by alcohol, sex and drugs, there is obviously no character development; and there are no moments in this book where the light goes on for the writer, and she thinks to herself ‘why am I doing this?’  In fact, as I read on through this book, it didn’t have the shock value I assume the Author was hoping for, it actually made me sad and wonder why the writer allowed themselves to be treated in such a manner.

Each disastrous relationship, drink induced destructive act and drug propelled incident is written in excruciating detail in this book, but while it may seem just an exercise in self-pity on behalf of the Author, it is actually someone writing something cathartic that may help themselves, or others who suffer this kind of life, to come to the realisation that this is not all life has to offer.  I could forgive the horrible grammar, and badly put together phrases, as this is not and most likely will never be a great piece of writing, as I felt that these errors actually added to the overall feel of the book.

The Author has a heart of gold when it comes to the under-dog, be it an injured animal or a fellow human in need of help.  In this we see that, despite everything else that is happening to her, and she is letting happen to her, she is trying to do some good to others in some way in her train wreck of a life.  This leads the reader to see that the Author is consumed with her own needs to make a difference, to feel wanted in any way possible whether that be by depending on men who just use her or avoiding many of the real life issues that we all face by hiding behind her substance abuse.  Whatever, the reasons for writing this book it is apparent by the time the reader turns the last page, that this Author is losing the battle she is fighting on all fronts; or is she?  To discover this you have to read the last chapter to discover the answer to this question.

Whether you agree with these kinds of life choices or not, this is a book you need to read to help you understand that your life is probably not as bad as you think it may be.  I would recommend this to the more mature readers, as I feel that they would have a greater understanding, if not acceptance, of the driving forces behind the Author and not be as quick to judge her.

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Review: Enon ~ Paul Harding

EnonThe next novel by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Tinkers, in which a father’s grief over the loss of his daughter threatens to derail his life.

Powerful, brilliantly written, and deeply moving Paul Harding has, in Enon, written a worthy successor to Tinkers, a debut which John Freeman on NPR called “a masterpiece.” Drawn always to the rich landscape of his character’s inner lives, here, through the first person narrative of Charlie Crosby (grandson to George Crosby of Tinkers), Harding creates a devastating portrait of a father trying desperately to come to terms with family loss.

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If you are looking for a read that is full of plot twists and turns, feel good characters and a happy ending, then you would be well advised to give this tragic book a miss.  If you are prepared to dive into its pages, you may be surprised at the emotions it evokes in you.

Without revealing spoilers, this novel is a journey into hell via the grief and anguish of one man.  We see how this duo enables his year-long addiction to alcohol and drugs, alienates those he loves and are trying to support him, and generally takes him on a downward spiral few of us could imagine going on. This novel takes the reader to the brink of the character’s madness, as we are trapped inside his head during his periods of hallucinations and flashbacks while he struggles unsuccessfully to come to grips with the destroying loss he has suffered.

To pull no punches, this is a grim and almost depressing book, but the Author has written it beautifully and with great assurance; bringing to the page something that needs to be read to understand that we, although of the same species, do not cope with grief in the same way.  The book is written in the first person narrative, and this style is  very effective in making this novel believable as we drift with the main protagonist further from his hold on reality.

I did find in some places that the book was a little disjointed and rambling, whether or not this was intentional on the part of the Author to play into the whole mind of the main character I don’t know, but it was a little distracting at times and pulled away some of my enjoyment in this read.  Also, not being a voyeur, I found this book to give me an uncomfortable feeling as if I were intruding in a place I really should not have been, and this again detracted from my enjoyment.  The unending flow of misery and isolation really began to pull me down in the end, and I was relieved when I finally turned the last page and was able to set this aside.

Although the book was definitely not for me, I gave it a three thumbs rating because of the way in which it is written.  It is rich in prose and the visual landscapes of settings and emotions the reader encounters as they ‘journey’ through the book, were written in such a way as to demonstrate the command of the pen this Author appears to have.

If you enjoy reading about another’s pain, be it self-induced or inflicted on them by forces beyond their control, this is probably a read you would enjoy, other than those in this area I really couldn’t recommend this novel to readers of any one particular genre.

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