I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.
Andrew Carter is a man in his thirties with a wife and child, greying hair and a tendency to go to bed before 10pm. His second book, THE THING IS, is a collection of charming and hilarious tales about all that went on before. From a childhood where he cheated in chess tournaments and tough kids stole his SNES games, he grows into an adolescence including dalliances with drink and drugs, attempts at punk rock stardom and an overwhelming desire to look cool in front of girls. Wanderlust takes him across the globe where there’s a spot of bother in Bolivia, Australia in a battered van, a police chase in the Greek mountains and a stint as a minor celebrity in Hong Kong. There are late nights and fistfights, Sunday league struggles, call centre hell, a campus love story and a whole lot more. Like a perfect conversation with your pals in the pub, you’ll feel fuzzy with nostalgia, wince in recognition and laugh out loud.
If you’ve stuck around with this blog for a while now, you’ll know how much I love memoirs, especially funny ones. Give me an entire novel about someone’s hijinks and I will eat it up AND ask for more. That’s why when Andrew asked me if I’d read and review his book, I was immediately sold. Here’s a book that sounded like it was right up my alley!
The Thing Is has two defined sections. In the first half, we get to hear anecdotal stories about Andrew’s childhood, a majority of which he seems to have spent high. You can already imagine the kind of funny antics he might have got upto back then.
About halfway through the book, he writes about his travels to Australia, South America, Thailand, and more, where he once again drinks a lot and gets up to shenanigans. Some of these–like stealing champagne from a warehouse and getting caught–were downright funny, while some, I didn’t enjoy as much.
The Thing Is is well-written, funny, and the first half will make you nostalgic about your own childhood. One of my problems with the book was all the names I had to remember–this dude had quite a lot of friends as a kid! And the other is that there are quite a LOT of stories and it can get tiring as you read through them all. Some I didn’t find as funny as I did the rest, but that’s how life is.
The Thing Is is a memoir with anecdotal chapters that range from funny to ones that will draw indulgent smiles from the reader. Read it if you like childhood hijinks, travelogues, and funny anecdotes.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5