Ben Loory's Reviews > Half a Life

Half a Life by Darin Strauss
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Oct 28, 2010

it was ok

i feel bad for not liking this more than i do; darin strauss seems like a good guy and life definitely dealt him a shitty hand in the accident this memoir is about. but after the first 50 pages or so, it just felt like all the emotion leaked away, and then never really came back. leaving a hundred or so pages of what i would characterize as gentle rumination. which is fine-- it's certainly not a bad book-- but it's not the mind-blowing or heart-wrenching memoir one might expect from such an event. i never even had to go find the kleenex, and i cry at the drop of a hat.
26 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Half a Life.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

04/26/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Charlaralotte Hey, that's exactly what I wanted to say about this book. You say it much more clearly than I, though!

Reed Interestingly, that was the reason I really liked it -- his observations that life doesn't occur in epiphanies and heart-wrenching moments. It just is, often difficult to identify emotions and one's responses to them. THAT's heart-wrenching.

Cathy I agree with the 50 page comment. I was enjoying reading it and then it lost my attention and I found myself having to reread passages I'd glossed over.

Thomas i felt the same way

Francesca Miroballi Thanks for your comments, Ben, because I felt the same way - at first, I was drawn in and then I honestly lost track of what I read and was just...bored - which sounds horrible given what Darin had been through and how difficulty it was to put pen to paper on this subject. I wasn't looking for a heart-wrenching memoir but I still never really felt connected to what he was feeling.

Julie I felt the same way. And I do feel bad. I really wanted to love it.

Julie I felt the same way. And I do feel bad. I really wanted to love it.

Jane Great review - sums up what I thought of it.

Mandy Faust Ben wins most applicable and well stated review!

Katherine Maybe I should let this go - and I wish I could post this on every "negative" review, but you happen to be at the top, so you're getting the attention that you may not deserve - but you all just don't get it. This is a memoir. You are entitled to your opinion. I get that. Of course. But like all memoirs, this isn't your average novel. This has depth. It has truth. And it is beautiful. Maybe no one can understand it until they've lost someone in an accident, or until they have been in Darin's position, but this is a bold, brilliant work of courage. As I said before, all of your opinions are valid - but please think again before you criticize the extremely difficult and personal story of another. Yes, he was brave enough to post this online and offer himself up for the slaughter, but I would hope that the literary community would find the beauty that is here. And yes, I am biased - I have a similar story. But please. Think about others before you berate their efforts and the courage it took to get them to where they are.

back to top