I have tons of books and I read when I have the time. I’d like to read more. I always tell myself I should read more, but there are always times when I just hit a dead end halfway through a book. It just happens every single time. Even with books I really really like. That’s the reason why I read less then I think I should. Simply, because I cannot start another book when I haven’t finished one yet. I have read some amazing books so far, but whenever I have to list my favorite book, I keep coming back to the same one: AM Homes’ This Book Will Save Your Life.
The book is about a lonely man in his 50s: Richard Novak, who lives in LA and has surrounded himself with everything people wish for, except for friends and family. He leads a super healthy life: he works out regularly with a personal trainer and eats a macro-biotic diet that is hand-picked & delivered by his personal dietitian. These are the only people he pretty much sees. His ex wife lives in NYC with his estranged son and he doesn’t know any of his neighbors. Life is good, until Richard is struck by a heart attack. This turns Richard’s life around and gives him a completely new perspective on life. On his way home from the hospital, he stops by a donut shop run by an Indian immigrant and has a donut. That is completely evil according to his diet, but he decides to just go with it and the man running the shop gradually becomes his friend and sort of mentor to finding himself again.
The novel pokes fun at the absurdity of LA’s rich people’s life styles, where colon cleansing, saving horses from potholes with helicopters and narrowly escaping a fire by sailing away on a raft with your dog, seem to be the norm. Richard may be a 50-something-year-old, but it is only through his new found friend that he fully experiences life for the first time. To his friend, everything is new and exciting. America is the land of hope and where dreams are fulfilled and anything is possible, as long as you try. So from the moment the two meet, one after the other absurdity keeps happening to Richard. It’s like he’s sucked into a vortex that just won’t stop spinning and sucks him in deeper and deeper. Just a few of the things that happen: the pothole behind Richard’s house forces him to move and therefore he meets other people again. Because of the heart attack, he decides to get his own groceries again and falls in love with a woman he sees in his supermarket. He gets a dog, something he’d never even consider doing before the heart attack, and he reconnects with his son.
All in all, this book is a great ‘coming of age’ novel that seems to have the message: ‘live life to the fullest’ at its core. It’s a quick read, a real page turner and the absurdity of the LA lifestyle will certainly get a few smirks from you.