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I Should Write a Book, Apparently

Clarion Review (2 Stars)

“I am using this book to bare my demons,” admits Andy W., author of I Should Write a Book, Apparently. He also admits that there isn’t really any moral to the story.

Andy’s troubles begin at the age of thirteen, when his mother runs off with a drug dealer, leaving Andy and his sister in financial straits. Even their hard-working father can’t salvage the mortgage. A bitter teenager, Andy refuses to apply himself at school. His dreams of becoming a police officer are crushed when he is involved in a car accident that not only kills his girlfriend but also destroys his self-confidence. He wanders from country to country for nearly a decade in an attempt to put his life back together, but it is only when he learns to rely on himself for happiness that he finally breaks through his “smokescreen” and grows into a confident adult.

Andy’s story is loaded with raw, uncensored emotion. The reader will feel true sympathy for him when his girlfriend dies and will probably laugh out loud when he feigns an asthma attack to get out of a lecture. Andy’s subtle sarcasm makes for a light, enjoyable read; but it is his courageous honesty that will earn his readers’ respect. He expresses both high hopes and deep despair when he pursues his passion to become a snowboarding instructor, only to fail his exams due to bad weather. He acknowledges that he wasted his chances to find meaningful employment in England, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and Denmark, confessing that he’d been a “right lazy bastard.” And he concedes that “years of partying, traveling, eating out and not doing any real exercise” made him “pluffsig” (the Swedish word for pudgy). These emotional lows do not conquer Andy, however. Ever optimistic, he finds unexpected solace in Sweden, where he currently resides.

A multitude of mistakes, including punctuation and spelling errors, dampens the power of this tale. Told in chronological order, except for a few flashbacks and side tangents, I Should Write a Book, Apparently is a nice memoir with no discernible plot and no themes or deep insights. Andy relays the story of his life through amusing anecdotes that ramble from one scene to the next. Furthermore, like many first time authors, he feels obliged to mention everyone he’s ever met, so the cast of characters grows too large to be memorable.

The market for this book is unclear, although there is no doubt that Andy’s friends and family will enjoy reading his tale and recognizing their parts. Perhaps others who feel they’re wandering aimlessly through life will find a kindred soul in Andy, as well as hope that all will work out in the end.

Emily Asad