Saturday, February 12, 2011

Happy - Alex Lemon

This is a book I think Oprah's book club would love in terms of the subject matter. Alex Lemon is a student at Macalester College, playing baseball and getting drunk with his friends when he begins to suffer from seizures that require brain surgery. If this trauma weren't enough, it becomes evident that the author is also a sexual abuse survivor and has a somewhat unique relationship with his mother. In terms of writing-style, however, I'm not sure Oprah and her club would approve. Lemon is vulgar - and obsessed with drinking, drugs, and sex. In short, I suppose, he is a college male - understandably angry and frustrated given his circumstance in life. The narrative is pieced together in a fashion that is somewhat difficult to follow - I found it irritating, though I suppose it probably also reflects Lemon's own view of the world in fragments given his condition. Despite being so young, Lemon has clearly lived a full life and had much to talk about in his memoir. For me, however, the presentation left a lot more questions than it did answers, and I found it to be a promising, but ultimately unsatisfying read.

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