‘Diary of a Somebody’ by Brian Bilston

Last week I got something magical with my mail: a sweet, warm and comfortable afternoon in a box.

As I told about it before, last month I finally decided to join a book subscription box, and it’s been a delight so far!

The first book I got was ‘Diary of a Somebody’, written by the popular “Twitter’-poet, Brian Bilston.


44306606. sy475 (Goodreads/Amazon/Book Depository)

Discovery:

My first reaction when I saw the book in the box was: wow, what a lovely cover! It immediately made me want to curl up and read. It felt like a real special treat for hardcore readers and procrastinating writers. It also seemed to be the perfect book to read at a time when we’re all sentenced to stay at home – we might as well start to sit on the couch and read, right? It’s the PERFECT book for that!

(It’s all a humbug, guys. I was sold the moment I saw the cat.)

I had a lingering feeling that I’d already heard about this book, or I maybe saw the cover somewhere, but I couldn’t remember the when and where, and I couldn’t remember any details… so in general we can state that I went in blind – knowing only what is written on the cover.

Brainstorm:

My expectations might have been a bit too high after seeing the cover, and getting sucked in its atmosphere. (What? It HAS one! Yes, the cover. And the box with chocolate. And the whole idea.)

Now, it is a great book, and I enjoyed it very much. It simply hadn’t got that sweet and comforting atmosphere that I imagined. I wasn’t laughing out loud, either. But maybe all this would’ve been utopia. I did find it funny, it was quite entertaining, and I love the idea of a poet writing a diary. I loved the little, half-hearted, not-important, lightly mentioned details that told me about how the inspiration for a certain poem came. That is something unique for sure.

The characters were likable, though a bit less detailed and worked-out than my taste would’ve required. That’s only a me-thing, though, and not the book. This is simply not a novel where there’s place for deep-analyzing characters. It’s a fast, humor-based construction of random thoughts and poems that as a whole tells a story of a man. It’s a pretty impressionist type of description, and I would lie if I said I haven’t grown at least a bit fond of it. It’s great.

The story was mostly predictable, but the purpose of this book is obviously not to shock the reader with crazy plot-twists. There’s a little mystery line, a little love-arc, a little family drama, a little professional rivaling, but at the end of the day what’s essential to the story is how this hopelessly underachieving, socially awkward, frustratingly useless pun-manufacturer of a man would balance his life at the edge of middle-age. The diary notes are also relatively repetitive, though I think that might probably be on purpose: it shows the dullness and also the little things that define our (at least his) everyday life. Brian is something of an anti-hero, and that makes him, with all his little and not so little flaws, all our hero a bit. We all have a couple of his flaws, even if most of the time we don’t care to admit.

(P.S: I’m not sure the name of the cat was ever revealed, and I think I’m not okay with that. Like, I wanted her to be a person, and she ended up not even having a name. She was always talked about as “the cat”. That’s not how you properly talk about your pet, folks! She’s a family member. That’s not lack of quality writing, though, that’s my personal problem, I guess.)

Let’s Give It A Grade!

  1. Story: 4/5
  2. Characters: 4/5
  3. Style: 4/5
  4. The Subjective Factor: 4/5
  • GPA: 4

Uniqueness:

The connection between the everyday happenings, the little things, and the poems – the ability to read about what might inspire a silly poem that seems like it came from nowhere.

Recommend to:

Readers who understand the bittersweet, helpless humor and cynicism in always having ideas of what to read and/or write next, plan everything, and then staying sat on the couch, because it’s more comfortable to say the cat wouldn’t stand up from my lap and I had to drink another cup of coffee or tea anyway. There’s a couple of us here in the book blogging world, I guess.

Drink tip:

English tea and brown ale. Not mixed!

Music room:

Something from The Smiths. Because it’s the author’s choice, and I don’t have a fantasy.

Future:

I’d be up for reading the author’s poetry collection, and I followed him on Twitter. (He shares his poems there.)


Have you read this book? I’d love to see what all you guys thought about it!

Have a great day!

Hugs 🙂


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