4 expansive Stars
What happens when a man is forced into the paces of a mid-life crisis when his wife takes his daughter and leaves with no warning? You get a whole lot of filter-free honesty, laced with a huge helping of profanity, highlighted with a bit of sexual frustration, all of which is balanced by good humor and a new lease on life.
What you get is Non Friction. It starts out as a stream of consciousness rant by a man whose entire life has been turned upside down. He’s lost his 12-year marriage. He’s lost his daughter. He eventually loses his job. He finds himself ruthlessly stripped of every single piece of his identity until he doesn’t really have any clue to how to figure out which way is up. So in an effort to boil it down to simple needs and wants, he starts with his sex life. And he discovers that dating now is a far cry from what it was 12 years ago. And through exploring all of the new tools social media has dictated people use to get to know other people, he discovers that he has a book in him. And as people discover this book, he discovers that he has more than one book in him. And thus a new identity begins to be born.
Walking through this book with Morgan is every shade of pain, humiliation and stress. And yet being given such a direct conduit to his journey is also extremely enlightening. Not only to his character but also to life in general. It’s not often that you get such a no holds barred view of a person going from everything to nothing to a whole new life. And the fact that it is presented in such a boldly honest way just increased my buy-in right from the very beginning.
Morgan Parker has written a book in Non Friction that I wasn’t sure I was going to like a quarter of the way through. But then in the midst of the venting and the chasing his tail in circles, change started to happen. Growth started to happen. And the story started changing with it. Suddenly there was depth where before there was only bitterness. There was humor instead of spite. There was self-reflection instead of only drama. This is a book that can only be fully appreciated as a complete package. The writing is so subtle that you think it’s not going anywhere until all of a sudden you’re right there with the characters, facing a huge shift in awareness.
When you jump into this book, be ready to go with the flow. I promise it will take you somewhere new and wonderful, but you have to give it the time to get there. Like any journey worth taking, it’s less about the destination and more about the process. It just so happens that with Non Friction, you’re lucky enough to get both.