Book Review: An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England by Brock Clarke

I’m not sure why so many people gave this very low star rankings. I suppose it is a bit unique in terms of how it’s written; you do have to pay attention and stick with where the narrator goes to really enjoy the fullness of the nuances. But I found a lot of the lower ratings kind of harsh.
So, this was a very enjoyable read! Funny…not laugh out loud but amusing because the narrator’s observations about certain types of social norms and lifestyles is so spot on. Which makes his own inability to see what’s going on in his own life all the more ironic.
And, too, there is the complication that his parents lied to him about so much during his youth. He really had no choice but to become the loser he was as an adult. The story shows him peeling back those layers and taking responsibility for his own life…and even for that of his parents.
So, layered on much deeper levels than you’d think. The layers don’t all come clear until really the last handful of pages, so well worth sticking with it if you’re unsure whether to continue reading to the end.
4 stars!


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