I’ve tried and tried…given it a month.. but I got to 55% and I just cannot keep reading this book. If books could be read in monotone, this one would be. I very very rarely give up on a book and have not written a review like this in forever – but truly, this was not a pleasant experience!
The title itself is what caught me. That and the fact that it was an Amazon ‘first’ – pre-release opportunity to read. I pictured the sort of book that could be written with this amazing title and I was keen to get started and find out what this book would hold… disappointment was the answer.
The average goodreads raiting for this book is 3.50 stars which kind of indicates where I’m going with this review. It’s biographical and it’s always hard to criticise someone writing about their own life but it could have been done so much better, honestly. There’s something about this author… her author page on goodreads has only one book that she ‘wants to read’ and… it’s her own. That’s how this book goes… Someone else has coined it perfectly as a self-indulgent misery ‘fest.’
So what’s it about? Hard to say really. I mean the primary character (Ira the dog) is more enthralling than the humans in the book but he hardly gets a look in other than at the start when he’s dying but buys himself an extra year and some months. (No spoiler, she genuinely does start the book by telling us…there’s the ONLY surprise gone). That year and some months is what we’re supposed to be following Balbirer through but she goes back and forth all over the place and if she started her paragraphs with ‘this one time…at… ‘ I would not even be shocked.
The toxicity oozing from this book overtook the underlying theme – a dying dog – come on people! A bitter taste was left in the mouths of many readers I’m sure when trying to navigate Balbirer’s wordy, lengthy exploration of the demise of her marriage. I feel it’s unfortunate she chose to write about a marriage in dog years because it really did have to be strung out – perhaps she could have chosen another unfortunate animals life span to save us all the trouble. Here’s a suggestion – ‘A marriage in drone ant years..’ Three months. BOOM. Done.
Some books need to be written and maybe Balbirer got a lot out of writing this and it was good for her, but equally some books just need to stay as a lightly edited manuscript in the bottom drawer for reading when you’re keen to indulge yourself in a pity fest. Balbirer – put the bad years behind you, rescue a cute dog, find a nice man and please for the literary worlds sanity, don’t print your memoirs again.