I give it a 3.5 and I'll give a proper review later. The book was enjoyable. There were some misogynistic and racist jokes and comments made, most of...moreI give it a 3.5 and I'll give a proper review later. The book was enjoyable. There were some misogynistic and racist jokes and comments made, most of which were about women of the "dat ass, dem titties" variety. Of course, a cis-white dude wrote the book so I expected as much given how he prefaced with book. As far as content goes, it's good. It's subjective but good. I liked that he talked about immigrant workers and their struggles but sometimes, he'd distract away from that and would get somewhat self-centered or vanilla hero-y. He's in no position to talk as if he knew of their struggles but he can mention it, which he did. And then he'd digress which was a problem. Anyway, it's a quick read and helps people understand the business of waiting as well as the personal strife waiters and waitresses must suffer under. I'd really love to hear about the same topic through a different perspective, preferably of the women of color variety. But again, it's good if you wanna get the basic gist of how much it stinks ass to work as a restaurant slave server.(less)
PROS: → Easy read. → Poignant storytelling. → Engaging from the get-go. → Incredible prose. → Every single character in her life had p...more*Goodreads Giveaway.
PROS: → Easy read. → Poignant storytelling. → Engaging from the get-go. → Incredible prose. → Every single character in her life had personality and made a significant contribution to the book no matter how minor their role. → Audience was shown things, not merely told.
CONS: → Some grammatical errors in the second half of the book; it's not enough to hinder the storytelling. → This is a personal thing but I didn't like how minor ethnic groups were pointed out. For example, "the black woman in a pink coat" versus "the woman in a pink coat."
COMMENTS: I won this book as a Goodreads Giveaway and I'm so glad I did. I rarely ever read memoirs and when I do, they're usually about privileged Caucasian folk with nothing to do except a) wallow in their misery, b) talk shit about the world, c) pull purple prose out of their asses, d) sit around and do absolutely nothing to mend their "horrible" situation, or e) a combination of all. They are a huge waste of time for the audience to read and for the author to write. However, I was very happy to find that The Memory Palace did not fit in any of these categories nor was it a waste of time.
The beginning of each chapter usually tells a fun fact that's relative to the entire section. In the end of each chapter, it always circles back to the fact. The facts and the way she applied it to situations that occurred in her life isn't like anything else I've ever read. I'm glad for Bartok's powerful memory and incredible writing style because it taught me a lot about the homeless and the ill. Bartok's memoir was incredibly engaging and evoked so many emotions people don't normally feel throughout a novel—joy, fear, warmth, sadness (made me cry several times), confusion, grief, empathy, etc. Usually novels only provoke one or two emotions out of me but this was just a plethora of powerful feelings. Her life is very exciting, terrifying, depressing, and most of all, beautiful. I personally think this should be a literary classic and made into an official high school reading requirement. I believe it could teach people a lot about compassion and inspire action.
I was also given the great honor to meet Ms. Bartok and found that, just like her book, she is witty, wise, and wonderful. She is talented in the art of literature and fine arts—this, you are guaranteed to see upon reading and finishing The Memory Palace. It is the best and most brilliant way Bartok could have dedicated something to her mother and the memory of her mother. I thank her for gifting us with this literary masterpiece and am definitely going to be recommending this book to others.(less)