I've recently finished reading 'a guide to becoming distinctly average' by Amy Elliot-Smith. (Crooked Cat Publishing)
I didn't find this book easy to read at first, wasn't even sure if I could continue after the first 20% or so, but I'm glad I carried on.
At that early point of reading, I didn't find the snippets of daily life particularly appealing and nor were they LOL to me- but then, I have very little sense of humour. I'm pleased I carried on reading, though, since it seemed to grow on me after that point. I will never be able to say I thoroughly enjoyed it, since I'm not sure how anyone could, given the subject matter, but I very much repect the writing.
How much is truly autobiographical, and how much invented, may only be divulged by the author, though I think there is a little of that loneliness in everyone. It's how we deal with it which makes the human race such varied characters.
The gregariousness of some people may be hiding a nature that borders on manic depression, yet, it's what they do to pull themselves out of 'the slough of despond' that makes them the person they are, and loved by whomever does the loving.
In 'a guide to becoming distinclty average' I interpret that even 2 years of adult therapy may only impact on the attendee's bank balance, and am glad I've never had to fork out those expenses -f though I've never needed to. that's not to say there ahve not been times in my life which have 'sucked' or that I've never felt a tad depressed. We all do, but it's the matter of how much we allow it to rule our other daily actions which seems paramount to being averagely depressed...or worse.
I'm very glad never to have been in situations as are depicted in the novel - though I do have to be honest and say as an adolescent I remember contriving to be in certain areas just in case a boy I'd taken a 'fancy to' might just be somewhere near. As a thirty something, that is likely to be construed as an event of an entirely different nature!
My thoughts as expressed on Amazon, Goodreads and in the Crooked Cat Publishing Bookstore:
This is an excellent piece of writing, the language flowing around a deeply disturbing subject. Parts of it are humorous and others are downright cheerless. I'm truly not sure what to say about the two years of therapy sessions - were they just time and money wasted? The journey through life seems like it really needs to be ridden on the open top deck of a bus, and not the back seat of the downstairs area. Witty, cringingly sad and ...in a very poignant way ...it has what seems like a pointless ending. Though, of course, it's not!
I gave it 5 stars
This award winning book will appeal to many, and I challenge you to read it for yourself. (Beryl Bainbridge Prize).