Apathy and Other Small Victories


This book, Apathy and Other Small Victories, had screamed out to me for a while because of its snappy cover.  Something about the droll sense of humor behind it and the title led me to believe that I should read this book.  And for the first fifty pages or so, I was rewarded.

It was funny in just the right way.  It reminded me, actually, of one of my best friends and former roommates Ryan O’Flanagan (currently doing standup in LA.  Go catch him now before he’s famous.) – it was the right side of offensive and I loved it.

Then it just got… depressing.  Maybe it’s the fact that I’m preemptively miserable about probably having to continue the job search, maybe its that I’m actually a little more nervous than I let on about this move, maybe its a lot of things… but this book just took a really dark and depressing turn that didn’t suit its early humor.  Quite like the play Trust, actually.

There were some great comments – Shane, the narrator, is a funny creation – but everyone in the book is unhappy and strange and that doesn’t change.  No one is someone you want to hang out with – they’re all just… really shitty people who you don’t want to spend time with.  That includes reading about them.  Even the potential murder mystery ends up just being something rather blah and feels like a leftover sadness, just like everything else in this book.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars.  The only thing that saves this from being a one-star is the early humor.  Seriously, the first fifty pages have so much promise and are laugh-out-loud funny.  Then it just gets you down and keeps you down.  Must go read something more entertaining and enjoyable now – perhaps Stardust.

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