Diary of an Oxygen Thief by Anonymous
Hurt people hurt people. Say 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 heartbreaking novel, but above all a very realistic account of what we do to each other and what we allow to have done to us.
Where to buy it: QBD the Bookshop, paperback $22.99
When can I get my hands on it: Now!
What can I expect: Love, hatred, paranoia, obsession
I’m a little confused with how I feel about this book. Firstly the blurb makes reference to Holden Caulfield and Lolita and I’m not sure why. I’m not sure if the characters in this novel are supposed to resemble these infamous fictional characters. Having finished this book I didn’t see any similarities so I don’t know why this has been used within the blurb. Maybe I’m missing something I’m not sure. If anyone does know, please enlighten me.
Anyway, the main story is about a recovering alcoholic who, when drunk, loved hurting women. Now that he’s sober and has his life on track he meets a women who does the same thing to him. Our narrator is very paranoid, narcissistic and overly confident in what he has to offer the world. We follow his journey as he retells the story of his heartbreak.
I enjoyed the voice and felt like it made for a great narrator. I enjoyed the different levels of paranoia he gives with each situation he recollects. Overall, the writing actually wasn’t bad and the story line was interesting. There are a few social observations I appreciated and I liked that the struggle to remain sober was evident throughout the entire duration of the book. It was a more realistic representation of a recovering alcoholic.
Now the things I didn’t like. The pace really slowed down in the end and I got a little bored of hearing about Aisling and how much she resembles the Virgin Mary. Yes you read that correctly, the narrator actually compares her to the Virgin Mary. I didn’t really understand why he loved her. The main thing seemed to be that she was young and beautiful. I also didn’t really understand why he felt the need to hurt so many women. I din’t find his story heartbreaking; however, I did find it quite funny at times.
I’m on the fence with my feelings for this book. It was enjoyable to read but mainly because the voice was so great. The over arching story of hurting people and being hurt fell a bit flat. For me, it was more about a self centered man who is insensitive to women’s feelings and years later he pays for all his mistakes by having his heart broken. Although, after finishing this I think it was his ego that was broken not his heart.
This is an enjoyable read but definitely not a literary masterpiece. Richard Nash has hailed it as the “F. Scott Fitzgerald for the iPad generation”, a.k.a, a dumb version of a literary classic. While the writing is good, it is in no way comparable to Fitzgerald. It’s a fair effort, it just needed some editing to improve the pace and the significance of the over arching story.
Final Rating: 3/5