Bridgette Redman's Reviews > Selfus Esteemus Personalitus Low

Selfus Esteemus Personalitus Low by Leon, III Goss
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's review
Feb 13, 12

it was ok
Read in February, 2008

I read Leon Goss III's Selfus Esteemus Personalitus Low after two other books he released at the same time: In Your Seat, Mr. Pete and By the Light of the Moon. My delight with those two books set me up for a disappointment with Selfus Esteemus Personalitus Low.

It started out with some of the same quirkiness that made Leon Goss' other books so enjoyable. They succeed on the strengths of creative twists to highly recognizable experiences and people. This holds true with this book.

The two main characters are delightfully named: Copernicus Worrius and Dr. Artemis Pessimist. Such names immediately take us into the realm of fable. We're not asked to believe in the realism of the events, merely in the realism of the message. It opens the door to an expectation of humor and fun, something that is mostly delivered.

Copernicus Worrius is convinced he's ill because of how horrible he feels about himself. Dr. Artemis Pessimist examines him thoroughly and then declares he has Selfus Esteemus Personalitus Low. He prescribes a mirror and a rhyme which Copernicus is supposed to use frequently throughout the day.

It's not long after leaving the doctor's office that Copernicus gets opportunities to use the prescription. He immediately meets people who challenge his self esteem by trying to tear him down and insult him. He doesn't notice what the reader will—that each of these people seem to be wearing some sort of disguise, a disguise that upon close examination seems to be hiding Dr. Pessimist.

Copernicus takes the prescription, repeating his positive affirmations until by the end of the book he is cured of his low self esteem.

The humor and little jokes throughout the book are a great deal of fun, as are the clever twists. However, this book lacks the light and subtle touch that characterized the other titles. It became too heavy-handed and difficult to relate to.

Perhaps the worst offense was in the affirmation that is prescribed to the boy. Clarity is sacrificed in order to achieve a rhyme. It doesn't work. You really have to bend your mind around the poem to make it work and I can't see it being something that will stick with a reader to help boost their morale in tough times.

I like the book's idea, but I failed to be charmed by its execution. I’d love to see it polished a little more and re-released.

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