Diary of an Oxygen Thief by Anonymous (2006)


L: 5.5/10

M: 5/10

Analysis from a stripped screw, never budging:

I have read several books claiming to be written anonymously. I enjoy the format. There is an added level to the story, something forbidden. It’s something you’re not supposed to be reading. Something that was meant to be private. I tried keeping a diary before, but I hate hearing myself dictate myself. I always felt as if I was trying to make the mundane important, trying to meet a word count that didn’t exist.

This story that unfolds within this “diary” is gripping at points, but it’s beginning and end leave the reader a bit out in the cold. I was very put off by it’s beginning, really hating the narrator. That was the point though, you’re supposed to hate him. Mission accomplished. A long-winded second chapter brings the reader back around and back into the story. A constant build-up takes place to an inevitable disaster drawing you in and making you rapidly turn pages towards the reveal. Then the book is over, and you’re left wondering what the big fucking deal was.

The narrator was my biggest problem with this story. He’s continuously alluding to what is in store, to an annoying extent. Just tell the story, stop breaking the fourth wall to tell me what I’m about to read. It’s a real shame too because the middle section builds a compelling foundation, there just wasn’t enough to bookend it into a good story.

Analysis from a Golden Girls binger:

I started off loving this book. I couldn’t talk it up enough. I’m not a terrible person, nor do I seek to destroy men around me, but I’ve dated these guys. A LOT. Also, to some extent, I have been this person. There comes a place in a single adult’s life when you’ve been hurt, and your self-esteem is depleted, and you can look past the guilt of going against common decency to promote your self-worth. I’ve been there. I’ve led men on to prove to myself that I still had what it takes to reel them in and then let them go with a sick pride in knowing that there is a pain in losing me. Twice. I’ve done this twice, and reading this book makes me want to call them up and apologize. Matt and Dan, if you’re reading this, then I’m in total shock because you both thought this was a weird thing to do, but still, I’m sorry.

Now back to the book. This prick isn’t charming. He has literally no redeeming qualities, and it just gets worse as the book goes on. It works, though. I rooted for him when I shouldn’t have, I hated him when appropriate, and I so empathized with the draining loneliness he feels and how sometimes to escape it, you build something out of nothing. A beautiful face becomes your future even when you can see that the face holds no regard for you.

I was at a steady 8 until about the last 50 pages. I picture the writer at a coffee shop. He came in that morning and ordered a regular black house blend. He sat down to write, and before he knew it, he had spent 8 hours in the same chair. He looks up, realizes he needs to get going but is almost done with the story. He waves over the waitress, gets a latte with two espresso shots and her phone number looks at his Apple watch, and gives himself 15 minutes. If he can finish it by then, he promises himself he’ll take her to bed tonight. If he can’t, then he’ll throw the number out with the cup. He’s already hard from reliving the words on the pages, and it’s a shame to waste it, so he starts to write. Feverishly. Who cares if it doesn’t make sense or is not at all in keeping with the rest of the book? A semblance of closure is all he’s looking for. There. Done. Time to fuck. (I feel fairly confident I spent more time and mental energy in describing his lack of caring about the end of the book than he did in writing it.)

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