Debbie's Reviews > Half a Life: A Memoir

Half a Life by Darin Strauss
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's review
Oct 09, 2016

did not like it
bookshelves: memoir, review-copy, 2011, non-fiction, dead-tree
Read from May 08 to 09, 2011

I knew I should have been moved and blown away by this book. I was not. I should have felt emotionally connected to the author. I did not. I should have sped through this book without stop - well, yes but that was because it was short. I feel oddly guilty that I did not love this. But a large part of it was Strauss's detached writing style which never quite convinced me of the impact Celine's death had on him. Yes, intuitively I knew that he was affected but I never felt it.

But considering that he mainly wrote this book for himself, that is okay. I hope he found whatever he was looking for in this book. And yet... I found the entire book a bit crass. The one moment that stuck with me was when Strauss's date berated him for thinking about himself rather than thinking about Celine. I think that if she had read this book, his date would say the same thing again. While it was very introspective about his feelings and guilt, and how the accident impacted him, there was very little thought given to how the accident affected other people other than when those other people directly interacted with him. The whole thing came off as rather selfish, and the publication of the book very self-serving. Strauss talks about how he could never open up in therapy, so he took to writing it down. I understand that writing is cathartic and healing. But then to publish it just strikes me as profiting from Celine's death.

Review copy courtesy of the publisher.

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04/08/2016 marked as: read

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