Dark, controversial and enthralling, I have been (impatiently) waiting to review this book so let’s dig right into it.
There is something deeply exciting about reading a New York Times bestseller whose author would rather remain in the shadows, so I admit, the book had me at “anonymous”. However, it was the first line that truly caught me in a stronghold, “I liked hurting girls. Mentally, not physically”. Now it’s not specifically sociopathic characters that I’m into, but rather deep, interesting and well-developed ones, precisely like the narrator of this book.
I have read so many bad reviews about Diary of an Oxygen Thief and would want to make a clear disclaimer: the book is kinky, inappropriate and borderline sadistic. It’s not a young adult romance and, contrary to Fifty Shades of Grey, it was never meant to be regarded as one. There are no victims in this memoir, the protagonist meant to show us that both he and the other girl in the story are equally obscene, hence the quote “you are not punished for your sins, you’re punished by them.” Granted, some people may have to put the book down a few times, it’s a little raw and a little ugly but that’s exactly what it intended.
Throughout the first half of the book, readers peak into the mind of a disturbed drunk and the pleasure he gets from emotionally abusing women. It then follows his journey through sobering up and falling in love with the female version of his old self only to meet the same fate of all those women he hurt before. It’s very interesting to see him deal with the situation and although nothing is certain, I still believe the narrator is the author himself mostly because of how well he managed to delve into the character and communicate its thoughts.
Self-loathing is a recurring headline in this memoir, hence he is an “oxygen thief” because he deems himself unworthy of the very air he breathes.
Diary of an Oxygen Thief is a heart-throbbing, quirky and eccentric piece of work, and if you do end up reading it, I hope you would be able to do so with an objective eye.
Enjoy and always bring a book home. x