Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

The Oxygen Thief Diaries #1

Diary of an Oxygen Thief

Rate this book
Hurt people hurt people.

Say there was a novel in which Holden Caulfield was an alcoholic and Lolita was a photographer’s assistant and, somehow, they met in Bright Lights, Big City. He’s blinded by love. She by ambition. Diary of an Oxygen Thief is an honest, hilarious, and heartrending novel, but above all, a very realistic account of what we do to each other and what we allow to have done to us.

143 pages, Paperback

First published May 10, 2006

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author


408k books3,027 followers
Books can be attributed to "Anonymous" for several reasons:

* They are officially published under that name
* They are traditional stories not attributed to a specific author
* They are religious texts not generally attributed to a specific author

Books whose authorship is merely uncertain should be attributed to Unknown.

See also: Anonymous

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
5,639 (12%)
4 stars
7,705 (17%)
3 stars
11,979 (26%)
2 stars
10,176 (22%)
1 star
8,900 (20%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 6,784 reviews
Profile Image for Alissa Kowalski.
130 reviews17 followers
June 18, 2016
Without a doubt one of the worst books I have ever read. The narrator is a pretentious asshole with zero redeeming qualities. The whole "story" is 95% him complaining about how horrible his life is while the other 5% is how horrible he was treated by the girl he loves (and by love I mean obsesses over, thinks about hurting her, and then condemns her for doing the same thing to him that he's done to countless women before with very little remorse). Comparing this book to Catcher in the Rye and Lolita is insulting to both of those books. I'm worried about the impressionable young adults who will pick up this book and think that this is a story of love and redemption. Spoiler alert: it isn't.
Profile Image for Iliana.
46 reviews4 followers
August 14, 2016
I loved how, throughout the book, the author said something along the lines of "if this gets published" or "if this ever sees the light of day" because really, how did this get published?
Profile Image for Lara.
10 reviews9 followers
April 24, 2017
Local Man Absolutely Cannot Take What He Gives, Spends Two Hundred Pages Trying To Convince You It's Everyone Else's Fault
Profile Image for leah.
264 reviews1,832 followers
August 15, 2021
Alternative title: diary of a raging misogynist
Profile Image for kat.
46 reviews71 followers
December 25, 2022
at least i got out of a reading slump trying to finish this as fast as i could
1 review
November 13, 2008
This is an honest, real, account of the legacy of pain, neglect and abuse. What was done to us, what motivates others to harm us, and what we allow them to do. The opening line "I liked hurting girls." grabbed me and the following pages made my heart pound as I realized that what was done to me in my lifetime was all documented in this diary. An alcoholic's account of his misogyny is brutal and hard to take at times but the author makes it easy to read because of his honesty, grace, introspective remorse, all interlaced with humor. I read it in an afternoon. I laughed out loud, I cried and had to put it down to stop my heart from beating so hard. I've read it twice since first picking it up six months ago. This book has a blog where the writer gives more detail and the delicious experience of peeping into someones private diary continues.
Profile Image for Scott.
39 reviews8 followers
June 4, 2022
self-absorbed, masturbatory 'catcher in the rye' ripoff.
Profile Image for Jup.
114 reviews6 followers
December 27, 2021
Fiction is fiction.
Work through your pain.
Live your life.
Profile Image for Marissa Kepple.
4 reviews4 followers
August 16, 2021
I have everything and nothing to say about this book. Did I enjoy it? No. A couple things; First off, to the author on the back of the book who compared this to F. Scott Fitzgerald but for the iPad generation, SHAME ON YOU. How dare you compare this garbage to one of the greatest authors of all time? Pitiful. Second, this is sort of to the parents. I work at a bookstore and was informed that the main age group buying this book is 13-15. Please for the love of all that is good, monitor your children. This book is NOT, I repeat, not for children. It is incredibly explicit, and unless you want your 13 to be reading about at 30 year old's sexual exploits and drunken escapades, I say steer them away from this one. The author of this book is whiny and annoying from the beginning and this book does nothing but romanticize the idea of hurt people hurting people. This book is on tumblr/twitter for the infamous first page, but the rest of the book is boring and oddly paced until the very end. This book paints a picture of the most screwed up idea of love and shouldn't be idolized by anyone. The summary describes the author as an "alcoholic Holden Caulfield" and I would say that they're right because Holden Caulfield is a spoiled brat and so is the author of this book. Don't waste your money.

**2021 Edit: I still get notifications about this review so I felt it appropriate to edit. I wrote this review when I was 17 LOL. I probably would’ve been more succinct now and not so pretentious. On the other hand what 17 year old doesn’t think they know everything? Still hate the book though.
Profile Image for Edwardcullensgf.
21 reviews4 followers
June 6, 2021
i really really enjoyed reading this book. i think a lot of people dislike this book so much because they don’t understand that you aren’t meant to like the main character. i’ve seen people say it’s poorly written and i completely disagree with that, i think that it has been expertly written to make the audience hate the main character. i’ve also seen things saying “it’s something someone with a superiority complex would write” and that is completely the point. a lot of people who have read it have completely missed the point that he is narcissist and he is an unreliable narrator because he is so paranoid, which is caused by his overwhelming victim complex. the book tells the perspective of such a horrible person very well. in my opinion, this is a very good book.
Profile Image for abigail ❥ ~semi-hiatus~.
244 reviews554 followers
January 6, 2022
4 stars
“Hurt people hurt people more skillfully. An expert heartbreaker knows the effect of each incision. The blade slips in barely noticed, the pain and the apology delivered at the same time.”

Okay, what can I say about this book? Well, for starters, it's 4 stars but not a good 4 stars. I liked it because it appalled me. I just really enjoy reading about psychotic and disgusting people. It intrigues me and being inside his head and taking a look around was just something else.

The first third of this book was the best, then it got incredibly boring and annoying just hearing the mc whine about his life and constantly complaining, but it started to pick back up in the last third when he was getting a taste of his own medicine.

“I’m not looking for sympathy. I'm far more interested in symmetry.”

I can't deny that this man is funny though, and that at points I found myself relating to him and his opinions. I guess that comes with being human so he got the symmetry he desired from me a few times.

He is a raging misogynist (I am not just to clarify), and so I can understand why people don't like this book. THAT, however, is the exact reason why I DO. This is fictitious work but written as if an autobiography, so we as the reader are reading his thoughts and how he views things. All of his opinions, second guessings, paranoia, excuses, and the justifications he makes to hold up against his actions. Some are just so flabbergasting that it's humorous.

“I see now that I was in pain and wanted others to feel it too. This was my way of communicating.”

All I can say to end this is that it made me think, feel, and watch my back for fuckers like this man that I may encounter in my lifetime.
Profile Image for Sarah.
184 reviews400 followers
January 5, 2022
Here’s the thing: I don’t normally review or rate the books I dislike. I don’t like bashing them. Especially if the author is still alive. This one, however, is an exception. You may wonder why and I’d tell you because this book pissed me off. Like. Really. Pissed me off.

I came across the very first lines of the novel by accident and it immediately caught my attention:

“I liked hurting girls.
Mentally, not physically, I never hit a girl in my life. Well, once. But that was a mistake. I’ll tell you about it later. The thing is, I got off on it. I really enjoyed it.
It’s like when you hear serial killers say they feel no regret, no remorse for all the people they killed. I was like that. Loved it. I didn’t care how long it took either because I was in no hurry. I’d wait until they were totally in love with me. Till the big saucer eyes were looking at me. I loved the shock on their faces. Then the glaze as they tried to hide how much I was hurting them. And it was legal. I think I killed a few of them. Their souls, I mean. It was their souls I was after.”
I wanted to know the reason behind anyone being that way. I wanted to know why people would set out to hurt other people, why people would hurt the people they love.

And boy oh boy, did he answer, the answer was quite simple actually;

“Why would anyone set out to break the heart someone they loved? Why would anyone intentionally cause that kind of pain? Why did people kill each other?
Because they enjoyed it

He tried many times during his narration to give excuses on why he was the way he was.
Whether it was the fact that he was sexually assaulted or that he was neglected by his father as a child. I am terribly sorry, but that does not give you a free pass to have the freedom and break away other people’s hearts.

“Hurt people hurt people more skillfully”. Yes, this might be true sometimes. But You have a choice for goodness’ sake. Pain is always there for most of us. You don’t have to inject it onto others so you feel better.

I believe that once you experience hurt and heartbreak, you should try to be a part of decreasing its occurrence, especially around the people you care about the most. Apparently not to Mr. Anonymous.

What’s most disturbing is that he realizes all of that, and he’s well aware that the shit he did will most likely catch up with him.
“What you do comes back to you with twice the force, fuck it, three times the force. We are not punished for our sins we are punished by them.”. He did it anyway.

Even after he got what he deserved, which by the way was extremely sick too, I failed to sympathize with him. I only pitied him.

Now, aside the fact that the book was narrated by an insensitive, inconsiderate bitter misogynist, I vehemently disliked it for its style; the writing was terrible, inconsistent and repetitive.

Mr. Anonymous, please get some help. You seriously need it.
Profile Image for Mareeva.
354 reviews4,592 followers
January 13, 2022
2.5 stars

I mean it quite literally when I say this....but I think the fact that this was the first book I ever read is the reason I am completely fucked in the head today.

This story circles around one of the most disgusting men I've encountered so far. And I'll be damned if I say I wasn't curious.

It's mostly the knowledge that I've met at least a dozen of men like that in my short lifetime. I could never understand why they do what they do.

This book though, this book explained it clear as day. In the beginning, I thought the anti-hero is a pile of human trash, now I just find him pitiful. Pathetic is the best word to use.


The first time I stumbled upon Oxygen Thief was in my middle school library. British schools and all, don't ask. Being the rebel that I was, I stole it because I was bored. A fitting way to obtain such a book, methinks. I actually still have the stolen copy. I'm currently alternating whether I want to burn it or frame it on a wall.

My question is.....how in the seven hells did I actually read this as a 12 year old?? I don't think I even understood half the things this man was talking about and the other half.....well....it was filled with this:


🅐 Oh wait he already was but he actually liked it. Yes, the man started off his days by getting drunk, then calling random men homophobic slurs that start with the letter F. The goal was to cause a rise out of men and be beat up. Thankfully, or should I say, unfortunately, he almost died once while playing that game, so he moved on to the next.

🅑 The next game being this:

I liked hurting girls.
The thing is, I got off on it. I really enjoyed it.
And it was legal. I think I killed a few of them. Their souls I mean.

Those were actually the very first sentences of this book.

Perhaps this man's most interesting personality trait is his fetish for emotionally abusing women.

His strategy goes as follows:

➱ Always keep spares. Once one of them leaves, he can start working on the other.

➱ Charm, date and listen. Have sex as if he loves them. Make them feel wanted and share their deepest secrets, desires and history.

All those intimate moments, every little sigh, those gentle touches, the lovemaking, the confidences, the orgasms, the attempted orgasms, all mere fuel. The deeper in they were, the more beautiful they looked when the moment came.

➱ Make them fall in love

➱ Once they are fully in his trap....he would start destroying her with words.

“This is what I look like when I’m pretending to listen to your boring conversation.”
I froze my sweetest expression with my innocent blues eyes widening in pseudo-interest,
“This is what I look like when I’m pretending to be in love with you.”
I gazed at her lovingly, but respectfully, the way I had done so many times and meant it. I even meant it then but only because I wanted it to be convincing.
“Hang on. What else? Oh yeah. Here’s what I look like when I’m pretending you are even slightly witty just so I can get laid later on.”

Gauging every emotion of pain, sadness or even anger. And if she tries to hide it, he pours even more salt on fresh wounds.

“Your cunt is loose.”
“Let me put it another way. Your vagina is baggy…feels overused.”
“To get a hard-on I have to think of some girl I’ve seen on the bus.”

The worst part is that this was the woman he had been in a relationship with for four years. His first victim, which he somehow blamed. After her came a string of dating with different torture methods but the same outcomes.

➱ if you're more special to him than others, then he will probably manipulate you so he stays around in your life. Not romantically, but always on your mind.

🅒 Narcissist. The anti-hero is extremely paranoid. To the point where he thinks everyone is out to get him. He imagines the world revolves around him.

Any misfortune to ever happen to him is instantly blamed on his vengeful exes. He flatters himself with delusional scenarios that everyone is out to get him.

The word is paranoid. Another word is self-centered. I don't like that one as much, though. Doesn't sound medical enough.

I think that addition to his personality was interesting. He was the most untrustworthy narrator I've ever read. His paranoia reached pretty obsessive levels which caused me to question the validity of some of the future scenes.

🅓 Constantly victimises & pities himself.

🅔 Tries to excuse his disgusting behaviours with some of the trauma he experienced during childhood.

I don’t want you staining my newly published pages with your salty eye-droplets so I’ll get off this topic now. I will say this though. Seeds were sown.

Sir, I literally could give less of a shit about pervy Brother Neddy or your daddy issues. So please take your shitty excuses and shove them down someone else's throats.

🅕 Of course, he is an alcoholic. And of course, he blames that for everything as well. I think that's his second biggest addiction after hurting women.

🅖 body shames🤑

She also had hairs on her arse. That was crime enough but crime number two? She really liked me.

When men basically have the amazon jungle growing out of their assholes and then have the audacity....

🅗 Slut shames😎

I’ve never thought much of a girl who swallows. Don’t get me wrong it feels fantastic and I’m aglow with gratitude at the time but only a slut would ever actually do something like that.


🅘 physically assaulted a woman once🥳

She slapped him so he punched her. Fair is fair right? WRONG.
Was it wrong of her to get physically abusive first? Of course it was, she acted like a cunt.
Did he have to punch her back? NO, HE DIDN'T.

Now, I don’t know about the rest of you irreligious fucks but in Ireland we don’t stand for that kind of behaviour.

Oh right. But I guess Ireland stands for being a dickwitted asshole😊

He really does get progressively worse, doesn't he? Now let me ask again....WHO THE FUCK LET MY 12 YEAR OLD ASS READ THIS???

All that continued until he quit drinking, remaining alcohol & women free for five entire years. His career skyrocketed & life was great. Of course he still complained about it because he's a swine. But I guess I'm not allowed to say that since he's a depressed swine. Since mental health being used as a shield for shitty behaviour is okay n all🤪

Either way...life is great.

Then he meets Aisling. A young beauty from Dublin, with innocent eyes and an intelligent mind. He fell in love. Real hard. Obsessively hard.

Of course, at the time he didn't know that she is the female version of him. A woman who manipulates and prey's on the pain of men. Lures them only to ruin them.

He also didn't know he was her next victim.
If any of you reached this point in my long ass review, I can already imagine your faces after reading whatever the fuck that was. Maybe even questioning why the hell I gave this 3 stars when every other person seems to hate this book.

I went from being amused, to outraged, then slightly disturbed, back to amused and outraged all over again. Mostly I just wanted to send this book to my ex💀 He and H got a lot in common. Two slime balls in the room....they might kiss😗 (I couldn't resist, I'm sorry)

Thing is I didn't enjoy this but I didn't hate it either. There was something morbidly fascinating about this story, something in the way this person thinks, acts and talks. Plus I actually quite liked the writing.

When I found out this book was a fictionalised memoir, I didn't know whether I should feel excitement or disappointment.

Disappointment because some of this was probably real.
Excitement because well....some of this was probably real😈.

PS: the anti-hero kinda reminded me of Jonathan Rhys Meyers in Match Point. Same sleazy guy energy.
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
77 reviews4 followers
August 29, 2016
No stars. This book is absolute trash. I really try hard not to be so damning with reviews but this is honestly the worst book I have ever read. I think I am responding so intensely because I saw the demographic of people (read: impressionable young teens) that frequently requested this book and I am seriously appalled that so many of them have read it. It's an unapologetic and even romanticized account of a manipulative and narcissistic garbage dump of a person who hurts people without remorse and paints himself as a victim (which, by the way, is bullshit). This is not a story of a damaged soul who needs to find love. This is the story of a damaged person that chooses to hurt people in retaliation for being damaged, and wants you to feel sorry for him. Do not give this book to your sons or daughters. Or your friends. Or literally anyone.
Profile Image for Heidi The Reader.
1,372 reviews1,419 followers
July 16, 2018
Did you like the emotionally disturbing/psychological train wreck that was Gone Girl? You may really enjoy this one. The Oxygen Thief may be the male equivalent to Amy Dunne.

Diary of an Oxygen Thief is written as an actual diary by, as you can see above, Anonymous. The story starts in London. He's an alcoholic who discovers that he loves emotionally abusing women.: "... I realized I had found my niche in life. ... They say the sea is actually black and that it merely reflects the blue sky above. So it was with me. I allowed you to admire yourself in my eyes. I provided a service. I listened and listened and listened. You stored yourself in me. Nothing had ever felt so right to me. If I'm honest, even today I miss hurting. I'm not cured of it, but I don't set out to systematically dismantle like I used to." pgs 6-7 ebook

I don't know that I've ever disliked a character in a book as much as I despised this 'Anonymous'. That's saying something: "Why would anyone set out to break the heart of someone he loved? Why would anyone intentionally cause that kind of pain? Why did people kill each other? Because they enjoyed it. Was it really that simple? To achieve a soul-shattering, it is better if the perpetrator has been through the same experience. Hurt people hurt people more skillfully." pg 9 ebook. I didn't know if I was going to be able to finish this book, given how much I hated the beginning, but, just like the numerous women in his diary, I was drawn into the Oxygen Thief's lair and then (gasp) began to feel sorry for him.

Partially, it was because he manages to clean himself up in AA. But, the other part, is that he moved to the American Mid-West and experienced some serious culture shock, which I couldn't help but find charming: "American lawns are loaded with social and political meaning. There is a law somewhere that says you have to maintain your lawn or the neighbors can force you to. I knew nothing of this and immediately reveled in the possibility of allowing my front and back gardens to return to nature. A polite knock on my front door changed all that." pg 34, ebook. He calls lawns, "gardens". I can't...

I also learned something about the physiology of love and heartbreak: "I read somewhere that when someone is in emotional shock, the area around the heart loses some of its protective fat and is therefore dangerously exposed. One well-aimed punch is not just painful; when the person who has been in shock starts to put the weight back on, the heart remains bruised, and this can lead to aortic fibrillation. It's not life threatening, but it is uncomfortable. pg 85 ebook Who knew?

There aren't any likeable characters in this book, but it is impossible to put down, so I had to give it at least three stars for its readability. I was absolutely shocked at the terrible ways in which the Oxygen Thief behaved and then was treated. No wonder people are cynical if there are people like this in the world. I tried to do a bit of research to discover who this "Anonymous" really was, but failed to come up with anything. Maybe, as time passes, his true identity will be revealed.

Recommended for the serious fans of psychological warfare tales or for those who have survived a very nasty relationship and want to compare their battle scars. The author of this book was recently paid for the film rights so we may see a movie made out of it.
Profile Image for mae 🍒.
19 reviews
December 4, 2015
"Romance has killed more people than cancer. Okay...maybe not killed but dulled more lives."

Profile Image for clownin’.
168 reviews21 followers
July 15, 2021
Profile Image for *TANYA*.
1,002 reviews286 followers
December 25, 2016
I really enjoyed this book I was rooting for the villain in this one, hoping he would mend his wicked ways....great book!
4 reviews2 followers
May 14, 2017
Possibly the worst book I have ever read. The narrative viewpoint is fun as its like an internal monologue; however, the storyline was tedious and drawn out.
Could comparatively make 50 Shades of Grey look like high brow literature.
Profile Image for عماد العتيلي.
Author 6 books549 followers
February 6, 2017


This was a terrible waste of paper!

I thought there would be some kind of philosophy behind all of those psycho thoughts and doings! But it turned out to be just that: a silly childish mindless dickhead bully venting about his obsession of hurting innocent girls! No more!

Profile Image for jules.
106 reviews147 followers
August 22, 2021
I cannot express enough how much I detested this book. This may have been the easiest 1 star rating I have ever given, and I regret wasting my time reading it.

You know how sometimes when you’re telling a story to someone and you get off-track a couple times and switch topics but then forget about the actual story and then try to go back to it? That’s the best way I can describe this book. Diary of an Oxygen Thief is about an ex-alcoholic, narcissistic man who likes to hurt and control people, mainly women, for no reason other than his own pleasure. He also expressed many times how he wanted to be hurt back because then it showed that those women loved him enough in order to get revenge on him. After getting out of a 4 year relationship with a woman named Pen because he was bored (and also after insulting her body, saying he cheated on her and saying he never loved her) he spirals into alcoholism and thus begins torturing women psychologically just for fun. He proceeds to make them fall in love with him as he pretends to be interested in them, and once he sees he completed his goal, he ends it off and repeats the process. Flash forward a bit, and he enters into AA and moves to Minnisota to improve his career only to hate everything there, from his house to the people to his job, and this complaining continues on for AGES. Flash forward again, and he goes on a business trip to New York where he meets a woman named Aisling, with whom he falls in love with immediately. They pursue a short relationship, though she treats him coldly, and he moves to New York for his job and also to be closer to her as he thinks she convinced him. In the end though, he realizes she actually hates him and she humiliates him by using him as a subject for her art and photography.

For my thoughts, I’d like to say is that I deeply deeply hated the main character, and I felt no sympathy whatsoever for him in the end. I would maybe understand if there was a REASON behind why he enjoyed hurting others, but there wasn’t. It saddens me that there are people like this in the world and I wouldn’t even know. He complains about his life for about 95% of the book even though he is the reason behind all the bad things in his life, and the other 5% he is fawning over Aisling. The relationship was barely developed and, unless I read it wrong, he was told about her and her ways by a redhead from an AA meeting but continued to pursue the relationship anyways.

Now I understand why a few people may like this book; I think if I read this book two years ago, I would’ve thought it was a masterpiece, but then again two years ago I was naive. This book explains the mentality of an abuser and an actual deranged person, and so some people might think that the psychological aspect of this character is interesting. Others might like the story due to the theme of karma, and how he got what he deserved at the end. But the plot was a mess, the character was horrible, the writing was mediocre, and so many parts of the story didn’t even make sense or connect to the main idea. I read this book because it appeared on my fyp on booktok three times today, and I decided to give it a go. Let’s just say I really regret doing so.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Nefeli S..
25 reviews10 followers
April 11, 2016
How did this book get published? Seriously.
I only read it because i came across the first page of it on tumblr and i thought well, the person who wrote this must be sick but i want to find out if there is a reason behind what he's doing.

I like hurting girls. Mentally not physically, i never hit a girl in my life. Well once. But that was a mistake. I'll tell you about it later. The thing is, i got off on it. I really enjoyed it.

You understand what kind of book it's going to be from the first paragraph. I knew i wouldn't enjoy this but i still needed to find out what was all this about. And after reading this i'm in loss of words. I'm not sure if this is 'fiction' or non fiction but either way it's sick.
We got promised that the main character would eventually get punished for everything he has done to girls and although we got something it was nothing compared to all the awful stuff he had done and said.
The only aspect i actually enjoyed in this book, is that even the author was wondering if this would ever get published.

We don't get punished for our sins, we get punished by our sins
Displaying 1 - 30 of 6,784 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.