“It took a long time for me to admit I had failed,” Anastas begins. Broke, his promising literary career evaporated, he’s hounded by debt collectors as he tries to repair a life ripped apart by the spectacular implosion of his marriage, which ended when his pregnant wife left him for another man. Had it all been too good to be true? Anastas’s fierce love for his young son forces him to confront his own childhood, fraught with mental illness and divorce. His father’s disdain for money might have been in line with the ’70s zeitgeist - but what does it mean when you’re dumping change into a Coinstar machine, trying to scrounge enough to buy your son a meal?
Charged with rage and despair, humor and hope, this unforgettable book is about losing one’s way and finding it again, and the redemptive power of art.
The audio book was free with Kindle Unlimited. When something is free, I tend to be a little more generous. If I had used a credit, I’d’ve probably given it 2 stars (it was okay).
Good writing, a fast and easy read, not a memoir about something really tragic, e.g., your entire family is wiped out by a tsunami but you survive; held hostage and tortured by __________ (fill in the blank); rape; the Holocaust or other genocides. You get the picture.
At first I thought it was just a “normal guy” story. When I realized the author had actually published 2 works of fiction (I had never heard of him despite the fact that I read/listen to a couple hundred books a year) taught as an adjunct professor, wrote for magazines, AND lived in NY, I was both more interested and less interested. While I enjoy reading about something that I can relate to, I could see this was the “insular writing world” and not the writing world that many other writers inhabit. That his ex was also a writer…I started to wonder about her side of the story and how much was the literary truth as opposed to the literal truth and that leeched some of the enjoyment for me. It started to feel like a “celebrity” memoir, which I generally don’t like—Janis Ian’s was an exception!
Like the last memoir I read, the tone was a little too flip for the emotion to come through (except for the parts about his son). Tone aside, I couldn’t feel too badly for the guy because he seems to have dug his own grave in many cases and was completely inept when it came to getting out of it. I mean, really. If you can’t make your living as a writer (and not many can), do something else. Not everyone gets their dream career.
Still, it was interesting enough that I was never bored. It probably deserves the 3rd star for that alone.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
This is a story of a man's "failure". Perhaps I prefer failure to be a bit more grand....... I kept thinking to myself, "if this is your lowest low.....".
0 of 2 people found this review helpful