Monday, November 30, 2015

A Beginner's Guide to Paradise - by Alex Sheshunoff: Book Review

I requested this book in hopes of reading something different. Well, it was different. It took me about three weeks, if not longer, to finish it. Long story short, I didn't like it.

The book is Alex Sheshunoff's telling of that time he quit his job in New York because he wasn't happy and decided to move to the Pacific. OK, I can roll with that, although we know this is not what people usually do. As expected, life in the Pacific is not always roses and sunsets, one can't befriend the people over there as easily as the movies let on, the neighbors are um, singular, but hey, you're on an island in the Pacific, aka Paradise. It was somewhat interesting to see how he tried to settle it and get involved in the community, but not over the top interesting. My favorite parts were after he met Sarah. Once she was a more active part of the adventure in the Pacific I became more curious about what's next because she proved to be more down-to-earth that Alex, her eventually boyfriend.

Sure, this is not one of the favorite books I read this year, but I give the guy the due credit for being brave enough to break the soul-sucking routine and try something else. I enjoyed the author's funny remarks and word choices throughout the book; the funny tidbits saved the book. I wondered if it was really necessary to tell this story in almost 400 pages. If you are someone who enjoys reading about other cultures, or are an anthropologist, whether by profession or an amateur, this is a light reading on the peculiar people of the islands in the Pacific, and I assume you want details, hence the 400 pages that will probably appeal to you. Besides, all the peculiarities can't be overlooked so there are a lot of words on many pages. I can’t say I have any anthropological curiosities, so I wasn't the public for this book.

I received a copy of this book via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.

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