The First Fifteen Lives of Harry AugustThe First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Caught it in audiobook format.

I was expecting something in the vain of Replay, the book that, so they say, inspired the movie Groundhog Day. In Replay, the protagonist goes over the same ~25 years again and again and lives the period between the ’60s and the ’80s countless times. Here, it’s the period between Harry August’s birth in 1918 and his eventual death in the ’90s of the same illness every time (I forget what it is) that goes over and over and over.

Clearly, if you cannot see the point of time-loop stories such as these, the premise might sound boring. And in the case of Harry August it did get boring at some point. I thought character development was rather shallow for all the lives they had gone through; yes, they, because—minor spoilers ahead—Harry isn’t the only person to have the gift of apparent immortality in his world. There’s a whole club of them, in fact, but at no point during the story did I feel as if the lives and storylines of the other characters really matter. To top it all off, the bad guy’s motive was very hazy and his relationship with Harry could have been more meaningful and intricate. It was an opportunity lost, especially at a point closer to the end of the book when everything, or so I thought, pointed to Harry having actually fallen in love with the bad guy. Claire North didn’t go through with that, though.

I realise it must be very difficult to write characters that are immortal in the conventional sense while managing to weave a narrative that makes them neither amazingly powerful on the one hand— still somewhat relatable—nor too much like a mere mortal in their wishes, desires and motivations on the other. Harry August and many of the book’s other special characters seemed to fall closer into the latter part of the spectrum above—they had all this power, yet could do so relatively little with it to break their curse of what the Buddhist would call samsara, the pains of (repeating) earthly existence.

What’s more, the world itself didn’t change almost at all between Harry’s different incarnations (if you exclude the plot-related accelerating technological progress), which disappointed me a lot since half the reason I read books like this is for the alternate histories and timelines that emerge. Replay, again, did a better job.

All in all Harry August was an okay book. I found Claire North’s rationalistic, deterministic, somewhat strict writing style enjoyable and quite fitting, and props go to her for writing a book such as this in her ’20s. Regrettably though it fell short in most other respects. It didn’t use its own material sufficiently well, I found.

In other words, I would recommend Replay before The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August if you want to read about a character who goes through time loops.

PS: I went back and read my review for Replay. I seriously remember I had enjoyed it more. Well if you look at that!

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Invisible CitiesInvisible Cities by Italo Calvino
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Zenobia, the city on stilts.  Vitoriana first told me about this book and sung its praise by describing the mental picture of this city in particular.

Invisible Cities is another of those difficult-to-review books I’ve been going through lately, although perhaps “trudging through” would be a more accurate description. Another one enjoyed in audiobook format, too, and another one I couldn’t concentrate on and retain as well as I would have liked. I have walking, running, wandering through wheat fields, traversing rocky capes and enjoying less-or-more-than-imaginary landscapes in Samothraki to blame. Or it could just be my complete inability to focus on three things at a time—in this case my ears, my visible eyes, and my inner eye. It does sound just a bit too much, now that I mention it.

What I can say is that Invisible Cities turned out to be a very interesting idea of a book—or is it a book of an idea? Marco Polo visits Mongol leader, tells him of his travels to incredible cities far and wide—most of them named curiously similar to ancient-sounding Greek and Latin female names, some rather common in Greece even today—and proceeds to have deep discussion with the Mongol leader (sounds a bit oxymoronic as I’m writing it) on the nature of language, experience, travelling, story-telling… the general business of empire-ruling and noblesse.

Those invisible cities of Marco’s all have some distinctive fantastical characteristic: one’s buildings have no walls, the pipelines defining the cityscape; Zenobia, pictured above, is built on stilts (like Venice, just without the water—Venice, as Marco Polo’s hometown, also plays a rather central role in this book, perhaps as the archetypical invisible city bar none, just as big a mystery to Kublai Khan as the rest of this book architectural and cultural urban menagerie); another still is a meeting place for merchants who trade stories instead of wares. One city is special in that all visitors remember it perfectly just by visiting it once, while another is its visitor’s memories of it. And so it goes.

Invisible Cities is highly structured yet defies usual narrative conventions; it is abstract, exploring imaginary realities through the kind of what-ifs I’ve most often found in science fiction, yet it does so by looking at human history and existence as a whole, rather than at just its future. Calvino’s language is descriptive while being poetic and profound, inviting the reader’s inner eye to see the Invisible. In all honesty, the vibe I got from this book is that of a geometry-twisting, meta philosophical indie video game in the vain of Fez or The Stanley Parable.

Would Italo Calvino have been a genius game developer had he been a millennial?

Invisible Cities is just one of these books that stands out just from how different and unique it is and how ahead of its time I perceive it today to have been. Or maybe it wasn’t ahead of its time at all: we’ve just internalised precious little about the intellectual zeitgeist of the ’60s and ’70s and the early days of radical postmodernism in literature. Could it be that instead of them being ahead of their time, it’s us who are lagging behind and have progressed less than we think we have, perceiving our intellectual maturity as greater than it actually is?

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Conversations with God: An Uncommon DialogueConversations with God: An Uncommon Dialogue by Neale Donald Walsch
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What would a holy book—a supposed hotline with God—read like if it was written today? Would it be enough to jump-start new religions the way the Bible or the Quran did in their time?

What would God have to say about marriage? Child rearing? Aliens? The nature of the individual soul and how each one is an instance of God, of creativity, of consciousness discovering itself and who it wants to be? How about sacrilege? Sin? Free Will? Life after death? Can God be insulted? What is the divine dichotomy (I love this concept)?

Instead of the typical, monotheistic concept God we’re used to who is worshiped as if He/She/It was a vengeful, entitled asshole, God here appears as the real deal, the creator full of compassion and love the Big Guy from the Bible is supposed to be, and it’s incredibly refreshing. Next to this Creator, I can’t believe what all kinds of mass religion crap is passed off as ultimate truth. There’s just no comparison. It’s staring at the sun on the one hand—impossible without looking away lest you go blind—and having one of the warm light LED lamps on the other.

In fact, I can easily see pieces of Conversations with God be used 200 years from now in the same way the Bible is quoted today, with the difference that the former draws from profound sources and delivers meaning and advice that can be useful to people living in the 21st century instead of the trite, hollow, more traditionalist than insightful Old Testament passages that so often make their appearances in American media and try to pass themselves off as spiritual—and which frankly annoy me to no end.

To drive the point home, even though I did thoroughly enjoy CwG#3 in audiobook format unlike the first two which I read on my Kindle, I must say I would recommend reading the books instead of listening to them. If audiobooks are your thing then the audio is also great, especially the fact that God was voiced by a woman as well as a man taking turns in the conversations. Τhe actors were excellent to boot—I imagined the male God as a cross between Morgan Freeman (damn movies!), Dumbledore and an aged Eddard Stark (what a sense of imagination! /s) and the female one as President Roslin from Battlestar Galactica. However, not being able to highlight incredible insights that appeared every other “page”, it seemed, was a problem, and that alone would count as reason enough for me to actually get all three books in paperback—just to underline the hell out of them! Literally? Heheh.

Deciding whether to give this four stars, as I did for #2, or five, as I did for #1, took me all of about 80 seconds. “Feck it”, I decided. I’ve recommended this book already to pretty much everyone I’ve talked to about books with whom I share even a remote interest in spirituality or anything transcendental. At this point, that it’s just more of the same, which was my main issue with #2, isn’t a problem. While there’s little really new “content” here, only reiterations of the same basic teachings, don’t they say that repetition is the mother of knowledge?

In case this review didn’t manage to convey my enthusiasm and my belief that this book can only enrich your life in some way and that anyway you should definitely read Conversations with God, here are my respective ones for #1 and #2.

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Sapiens: A Brief History of HumankindSapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another good read I went through in audiobook format. The nature of the book made me feel as if was actually following a series of superb university lectures on our species as a whole instead of reading a book on the topic, which, incidentally and as the title states, is precisely the ambitiously broad, sweeping topic of Sapiens.

Mr. Harari’s choronicle of humanity is marked by the pivotal moments in human history, what we understand today to be its big turning points: the cognitive revolution, when our ancestors seemingly started to communicate about ideas and common myths and create art; the agricultural revolution, which brought private property in the picture, kickstarted civilization (life in the city) and effectively”caged in” our forefathers (more on that later on); the scientific revolution, which shifted our belief system to the result-oriented materialism of the scientific method, and the industrial revolution which has recently resulted in the fundamental shifts we are going through right now, the kind of changes that have made it possible for me to write this review and you to read it.

Fairly standard issue up to this point, right? What you’ll really find in Sapiens, though, is no ordinary retelling of our myths of history; the fact that one of the book’s central themes is that the agricultural revolution was actually “history’s biggest fraud” should give you an idea of what we’re dealing with here.

I’ll shamelessly quote The Guardian’s review of the book — where, by the way, I first found out about Sapiens through Mr. Harari’s article/promo for this book –also tellingly– titled Industrial farming is one of the worst crimes in history” (isn’t it?)

It’s a neat thought that “we did not domesticate wheat. It domesticated us.” There was, Harari says, “a Faustian bargain between humans and grains” in which our species “cast off its intimate symbiosis with nature and sprinted towards greed and alienation”. It was a bad bargain: “the agricultural revolution was history’s biggest fraud”. More often than not it brought a worse diet, longer hours of work, greater risk of starvation, crowded living conditions, greatly increased susceptibility to disease, new forms of insecurity and uglier forms of hierarchy. Harari thinks we may have been better off in the stone age, and he has powerful things to say about the wickedness of factory farming, concluding with one of his many superlatives: “modern industrial agriculture might well be the greatest crime in history”.

There are plenty of interesting ideas to write about off of Sapiens. You may read the rest of The Guardian’s review for the gist, because I feel there’s just too many of them to mention here. But there are three in particular that I found exceptionally intriguing:

1) What seemingly sets humans apart from our faunal brethren and sistren is our ability to create fictions and myths–anything from religion to ideology to stories–and group around them, team up around them, live for them, die for them.

2) Imperialism is a nasty word with virtually zero positive connotations today. However, If you look at human culture around the world, from language to cooking to music to politics to art, empires and imperial activity have been responsible for most of what we recognize as the common and not so common heritage we treasure so. How come I’m writing in English right now and you get to understand my thoughts expressed on this screen? Alexander the Great spread what’s deemed today as enlightened Greek culture in what was then the known barbarian world–by conquering, butchering and intermingling loads of different peoples, of course. Same for the Romans, British etc.

3) It follows from the above that if there is a single one-way trend in human history is that we’re moving one step at a time from separate communities to larger, more complex organisations to a single, planetary consciousness, and it’s not just the invention of global telecommunications that’s led us here.

Consider, for example, as Mr. Harari invites us to, that in most cases what we recognise as individual, uniquely national dishes and cuisines is what’s left of global empires of the past: Italy had no tomatoes, no pomodori, before the 16th century; chili isn’t at all native to India, and so on.

Sapiens is full of such insights that in my opinion more than deliver what is promised on the cover: a brief history of humankind. I can safely put it next to Christopher Lloyd’s What On Earth Happened or Bill Bryson’s  A Short History of Nearly Everything and add it to my core list of mind-expanding, impossibly broad works of non-fiction, and I wish I could mention everything I agree on with Mr. Harari in this review and his input I think is very significant.

The reason I’m giving Sapiens just four stars is that I find the book did not place too much emphasis on the way humanity is being detrimental to the health of its environment and planetary ecological balance (ancient sapiens killing off megafauna everywhere on the world nonwithstanding) and how this fact can and will mess everything up for us. Harari seems to envision as rather more possible a future where people as a species will become obsolete by emerging artificial intelligence or enhanced homo sapiens 2.0 godlike biotech creations that would be even more alien and incomprehensible to us than what we, the sapiens of today, would look like to people of the ancient world.

If any of this comes to pass, the greatest revolution yet is still ahead of us. But honestly, what’s most probably heading our way is somewhere between the technological dysutopia (no sp) imagined by the author and the ecocidal nightmare we’ve been moving into for a while. What’s interesting is that we’re going into this with an unprecedented feeling of unity: a global consciousness, as can be shown by the mere existence of Sapiens as a book, is reaching species. rather than national, racial or whatever, levels. Provided we stay alive for the show, it will all be incredibly exciting, not just impossibly depressing.

Wait a second: we’re already living it, aren’t we?

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Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the CrematorySmoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I believe I first heard of this book on Mysterious Universe, if I’m not mistaken, and read it in audiobook format narrated by the author herself, which by the way is a medium of delivery which I believe is in fundamental and intuitive ways superior to the printed word. Having the author narrate her stories, thoughts and observations directly to you can create a powerful emotional connection, the non-verbal qualities of which should not be underestimated. The effect this one had on me was that of a profound book, which it is, but with the attributes of a captivating, paradigm-shifting motivational speech, TED talk or the like. I’ve had this experience before with The Power of Now and others that don’t readily spring to mind but are likely sitting somewhere on my audiobook shelf.

What makes this book special? Well, all I can say is that listening to what Ms. Doughty had to say about death and “our” relationship with it really made me think. We don’t cremate people in Greece, nor do we embalm them, but the fear of death is still something that governs most people and our lives to a degree we’re too scared to even consider. The way we treat our elderly and rob them from the right to a “good death” is definitely something we have in common in many globalised cultures. At some point, she said something close to “in 19th century Britain, nudity or sex was taboo; today, in what we consider our free-minded and progressive society, it is death is the greatest taboo of all.”

I’m writing this review from an internet cafe in Ioannina and I’m running out of time, so keep this: if you want to have your attitude towards death in general questioned and think deeply about the ailments of our necrophobic society, don’t miss Smoke Gets in Your Eyes. The writing was captivating, too; it took me just 4 days to finish.

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Fahrenheit 451Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another post-war American dystopian classic scratched off the (small) part of my to-read list that’s dedicated to… *pensive look*… older books.

Fahrenheit 451 impressed me. I expected it to be good, but, dutifully as I do when the proper time comes, I made all the right connections that proved in my eyes how a 70-year-old book might as well be speaking about today.

They say that “the past is a foreign country”, yet at some unique moments of lucky insight we can get to realise how much we do share with the people from foreign countries, who at first might seem distant, locked away by the fences of culture, yet at some point we take notice that there’s still the gap between the bars through which we can see the other side. Replace the Parlors with tablets and the Firemen with… I don’t know, the NSA, and there you have it.

While it would be a wild stretch to say that books are even slightly hated or feared in today’s society, I would argue that they’re increasingly insignificant. No, actually, it is not books we’re talking about here—just as Faber told Montag that it wasn’t the books themselves, as in the scrawled, bound sheets of paper, that he wanted to save. What we, in the company of Montag and Faber, are talking about, is books as symbols of mindful dedication, a capacity to pay attention to detail and a thinking or intuiting mind behind the scrolling eyes able to connect with what it reads and care about it.

Some minor spoilers ahead.

In the scene where Montag and Mildred go through the books Montag has saved, try to read them and find they are unable to understand them, I was reminded of young Greeks today unable to understand ancient Greek or even Katharevousa, or me trying to read Dostoyevsky a couple of years back and giving up because “I can’t stand the classics.” Beatty’s admission that books were essentially banned (or, to phrase it more precisely, reading was slowly abolished by the government by discouraging literacy) in order to avoid conflicts of opinion that could make people invested in some idea or its counterargument, brought to mind how there exists now a dominant mainstream narrative that requires from people globally to accept it more or less at face value, while every discordant (rational?) opinion is painted as crazy. It’s got to the point where if one does not believe the official story, they are a conspiracy theorist, which seems to be the broad-brush contemporary insult of substantial equivalence to “communist”.

You can go to Reddit these days to get an idea of what’s allowed and not allowed to be discussed in mainstream discourse, although I like the idea that the more taboo a subject is, the closer it is to our cultural blindspot, what people in the future will laugh at us (or curse us) for failing to see, and in a way to the truth—if we can speak of such a thing without missing the point.

I can’t say whether Bradbury was ahead of his time—this would imply a linear, rational process of how the progress of humanity works I don’t agree with—but what I’ll say is that in certain respects, the times themselves have not changed all that much since when Bradbury was fresh out of school and was typing away in the basement of UCLA on penny-operated, time-constrained typewriters. In certain respects. And that includes man’s (and woman’s! {and genderqueer’s! {{[and other terrestrial and extraterrestrial sentient beings!}}}]) thirst for meaning, and the survival, or the continual re-imagining in the aftermath of disaster, of what truly matters.

In short, yes, you should read this book—as another step to protect its family and heritage from their slide to insignificance. Alternatively, you could listen to the unabridged audiobook like I did. It’s just over 5 hours long and the narrator is good.

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William Shakespeare's Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope (William Shakespeare's Star Wars, #4)William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope by Ian Doescher

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

HAN: —Nay, not that:
The day when Jabba taketh my dear ship
Shall be the day you find me a grave man.

GREEDO: Nay oo’chlay nooma. Chespeka noofa
Na cringko kaynko, a nachoskanya!

HAN: Aye, true, I’ll warrant thou has wish’d this day.
[They shoot, Greedo dies.]
[To bartender:] Pray, goodly Sir, forgive me for the mess.
[Aside:] And whether I shot first, I’ll ne’er confess!


I’m not a fan of Shakespeare. I don’t think I’ve never seen or read any of his plays. Since forever I’d thought that I would find the language or the story boring or something. You know how it is with some things; they rub you the wrong way once and you keep having an unexplainable prejudice against them for years thereafter.

Verily, I stumbled across this work while looking for Expanded Universe publications. At first I was skeptical for the reasons above but it didn’t take me long to discover the brilliance of this here tome. By the way, I read/listened to it in audiobook form, which felt much more like watching the play with the script at hand.

I shall try to be brief. William Shakespeare’s Star Wars not only is a masterpiece of genre mash-up, being something more than the sum of its parts. It made me laugh out loud (for real) with its deliciously tongue-in-cheek yet very serious and perfectly executed Shakespearean interpretation of the story we know and love: for instance, it’s written exactly like the script for something that would be put up in the Globe Theatre, with acts, scenes, entrances, exits, monologues — even Chewbacca and R2-D2 get a few [!!], plus it’s completely written in iamblic pentameter — quite an achievement in itself — and follows various classical drama tropes sublimely. It gave me new insight to the motivations of Han, Luke or Darth Vader; it even made me stop and think why I haven’t read Shakespeare before. In fact, the epilogue by writer Ian Doescher made me realise just to what extent good story-telling has been based on what Joseph Campbell’s introduced and explained in his work
The Hero with a Thousand Faces
, and how a cross between Star Wars and Shakespeare ultimately makes a lot of sense and can prove thoroughly enjoyable and illuminating.

If you like Star Wars, the English language or simply seeing how far-fetched yet creative ideas can strike gold when done right, I cannot recommend this audiobook enough, although apparently the printed edition comes with some clever and beautiful illustrations (check the cover).

Here’s a little snippet I’m posting here I couldn’t post on Goodreads. Just listen to Vader sharing his inner thoughts and motivations with the audience.

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7 Habits of Highly Effective People, The: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change7 Habits of Highly Effective People, The: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Another one of those books I enjoy in audiobook format but due to my natural absent-mindedness I miss a lot of the details while listening. A great part of the book became the soundtrack of my random thoughts and observations I had while walking, but what I can say is that I have had audiobooks inspire my undisturbed attention (such as The Power of Now), therefore this lack of ability to listen with concentration prolonged period of time is not merely a problem of the medium and how I interact with it. Maybe I should try listening to books purposefully, sitting in a sofa or something. Maybe even while doing chores.

For the record, these are the seven habits:

1.Be proactive,
2.Begin with the End in Mind,
3. Put First Things First,
4. Think Win-Win,
5. Seek First to Understand, then to be understood,
6. Synergize
7. Sharpen the Saw

They are useful to remember and keep to heart. I’m sure that if I internalize this list and put it work, I’ll become a better person. Doing the work is the hard part though, isn’t it?

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The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the WorldThe Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World by Michael Pollan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Got this from Audible. Actually, no: I got it for free as a kind of gift for being a subscriber but got tired of Audible and its DRM bullshit so I downloaded and listened to a pirated version of this and subsequently unsubscribed from Audible. Ahem.

In this surprisingly old book (it was written in 2002) journalist and plant aficionado Michael Pollan takes the well-worn trope of humans using the evolution of plants for their own benefit (i.e. agriculture) and turns its on its head: what if plants have actually used the evolution of humans for their own benefit?

Just to clarify, and Mr. Pollan was well-aware of this too, anthropomorphising evolution or nature and endowing it with such properties as intelligence and design (or intelligent design) is a figure of speech: as far as we know evolution is as purposeful as the flowing of the rivers and the burning of the stars. I’ll leave that one to you.


Botany of Desire
Botany of Desire

So, Michael Pollan’s idea was to take four species of plants–the tulip, cannabis, the apple and the potato– and examine how not just we humans have used them for our own needs, but also how the plants themselves, in an evolutionary tango with our own species, played on our desires and took advantage of us, too. The book has four chapters, one for each human desire responsible for the propagation of each of the four species of plant: sweetness for apples, beauty for tulips, intoxication for cannabis and control for potatoes.

“Great art is born when Apollonian form and Dionysian ecstasy are held in balance.”

In the first part of the book, I enjoyed Pollan’s comparison between the Dionysian and the Apollonian; chaos and order; female and male; yin and yang; nature and culture; the apple’s story and the tulip’s story, which both hold the sperms of their opposite inside them, in true dualist nature. I found this quote particularly interesting: “Great art is born when Apollonian form and Dionysian ecstasy are held in balance”, and it becomes more and more relevant as one goes through the book, seeing in every plant’s story the art manifesting itself through the tug–which at the same time is a balancing act–between human structures imposed on nature and nature’s tendency to defy control. Then there’s structure in nature’s chaos and a part that is natural in human structures and so on.

The chapter on cannabis was a little more daring, given marijuana’s legal status (which is, however slowly, changing around the world) and Mr. Pollan shares his insights on that topic and how human societies brought a species underground, where it’s found new life, too. The Apollonian has won, even though the desire itself is Dionysian. Hm. Are all human desires Dionysian, I wonder?

The last chapter was about GMOs and Monsanto’s control on patented potato seeds, including many many other agricultural plants of course. It’s amazing and telling that this chapter, written 12 years ago, seems to sketch the current situation so eloquently. Even though I come from a family background which is 100% anti-GMO, the arguments posited here about the pros and cons of GMOs as well as the pros and cons of organic agriculture seemed very well balanced and neutral to me, and most of all well-argued; in a few words, as close to an objective view as I could hope for. It’s still pro-organic, but cleverly so: it adds an interesting twist from a philosophical, pragmatical and experiential perspective–e.g. the story of the writer’s own batch of GMO potatoes. I would even suggest reading this chapter alone for a nice eagle’s eye view of what’s wrong with GMOs, what they’re supposedly trying to solve and why they’re most probably not going to solve it, creating other unforeseeable problems along the way.

Pollan managed to blend personal experience with journalistic research quite seamlessly and enjoyably, and I feel as though I came out of this read listen more complete and with a greater sense of appreciation for agriculture. Cause you can’t have agriculture without culture. I’m not giving it five stars because… oh I can’t come up with a reason, but hey, I don’t have to give you one, it’s my gut score! It might have to do with the reader of the audiobook whose voice and intonation sometimes annoyed me. I’d give it a 4.5 though, easily.

Thanks go to Karina for first telling me about this book two years ago or so.


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Tough Shit: Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did GoodTough Shit: Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good by Kevin Smith

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I first came into contact with Kevin Smith’s work many years ago when I watched Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back with my old friend George. It took me many more years still to listen to the same friend’s advice and actually watch Clerks, the film that launched the guy into the biz head-first. I did so a few months ago and greatly enjoyed its quirky and hilarious direction and script but also somehow profound message. After that, getting to this book wasn’t a step so far removed, especially since I had marked this as to-read after reading Anelis’ review. This time following her advice, I found it on audiobook form and listened to Kevin Smith narrating his little biography of sorts for almost six hours.

I enjoyed Tough Shit and Kevin Smith’s writing style, just like I enjoyed his first film. I appreciate it when people are this honest about their life and work. There’s something to be said about leaving pretensions this far behind. Sometimes, only sometimes, I thought his style was a little too much like something I would enjoy more if I was still in high school, but this is precisely this man’s appeal. I did laugh out loud at his retelling of the first time he had sex with his wife and the pains of dry-humping, the plane incident, or his experience of what a complete cock Bruce Willis is and what it means to work with such divas of the film industry. Talking about the film industry, I thought it was also a great candid look into the innards of what’s often portrayed as a great monolith of a business. So who am I kidding? I gobbled this shit up, man. I’m not better than that. Thank the gods.

Kevin Smith is equal parts funny, vulgar, down-to-earth, a source of inspiration and a valuable voice reminding you what’s important in life and living out your own role in it, not an imaginary one or somebody else’s. I think it’s time I watched more of his movies or looked into Smodcast.

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