Ever wondered what it would be like to get into your friend’s head? I’m not talking Inception (although that would be creepy yet interesting) or mind-reading. It’s the ability to understand–or at least know the full, raw train of thought they go through before what they say out loud comes out. What goes on before they bring out a smile, frown, or a puzzled expression that comes with a witty or expected statement. I still sound like I’m talking about mind reading aren’t I? But the thing with mind reading is, you don’t have your friend’s permission. They could be completely unaware or realize you’re in there and feel violated (mind rape!!).
What am I really talking about then? I’m thinking (and publishing online as I write this) I can read what you’re thinking, with your full permission. Only you choose to put it out there, without me probing inside. There’s slight editing obviously, but it feels raw and confusing still. But you’ve given me your permission to sift through and attempt to understand.
That’s what I’m reading with Dave Egger’s A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.
There are books you just can’t put down. There are those you can put down but intend to finish. You need to pause, digest everything–they’re a lot like life. You have to take a break to absorb what just happened and how it will relate to the rest of your life. That’s exactly what keeps you reading with Eggers. You can’t quite understand some of it at first, but you thread through, as you probe into his word vomit and clever, unplanned remarks. It’s a memoir that is uninhibited. It’s not a tried and tested structure, but that’s what makes you want to read it. Will it work? Sometimes it doesn’t. I get lost. Then I realize, that’s a lot like me when I think or go through an average day. We get lost, but do things to make sense of it. That’s why I write. That’s why I eat, why I laugh, why I sleep, and why I crack jokes.
Egger’s Pulitzer finalist will keep you guessing, wondering… but still reading. Look at me, I still am.
Hence, the half review.