Saturday, May 17, 2014

Oh the Glory of it All

Oh the Glory of it AllOh the Glory of it All by Sean Wilsey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm going to start off by saying I don't usually like memoirs. They're too self-indulgent for me. Wilsey's Oh the Glory of it All passed the test. His narrative voice is self-effacing without being whiny and honest without being braggy. He is first to point out his own weaknesses, owning up to his downfalls and crafting the story around them.

I didn't mind the length of the book because I liked "hearing" Wilsey tell his story--the parts where I feel the story dragged on were excerpts from journals/newspapers/other people's accounts of a story. I wanted to hear Wilsey tell the story, not his mom, who just doesn't have his talent at storytelling.

Speaking of Wilsey's mom, at times it was hard to believe these people (his mom, dad, and stepmom, along with various other supporting characters) exist(ed)...but you can Google them all, and there they are, in all their glory.

It would be easy to compare this epic tale to Dave Eggers's A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. The two authors are friends, colleagues, and have several things in common. I prefer AHWOSG, but mostly because it came into my life at a time I really needed it. Oh the Glory of it All holds its own and I'm looking forward to reading more of Wilsey in the future.

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