A couple of posts ago I mentioned a memoir by Tom Harvey, who had read Holding Breath. We ended up exchanging print copies of our books, and I got to read Tom’s book–The Eighties: A Bitchen Time To Be a Teenager! Now, I was only a teenager for one year of the ’80’s (and spent most of the decade kind of “underground” at college and later in NYC when I was busy meeting and loving David), but I had a wonderful time reading The Eighties. It will resonate even more for those who actually did come of age in the ’80’s. This was my review of the book on Amazon.com and Goodreads:
The advent of and boom in “indie” publishing has made me realize something–that EVERYONE has a story to tell and, when the stories are written well, readers can learn something AND be entertained while reading those of even the most seemingly “ordinary” people. The fact is that there really are no “ordinary” people, or ordinary lives.
Unfortunately, not everyone who has a story to tell has the talent to tell it in writing (I’m not putting anyone down; it’s simply that different people have different talents). Tom Harvey DOES have the talent, and his memoir is entertaining and thought-provoking and funny and occasionally sad. He also has an absolutely amazing memory for details from what is now a fairly long time ago.
What impressed me the most about the book, however, is that it portrays the author’s life as a teen in the ’80’s with such joy and enthusiasm (there are a lot of really tragic memoirs out there, too–a happy one that’s fun to read is a rare thing!). If everyone had such a lust for life as Tom had then (and, I would guess, now), and were able to express it as wonderfully and infectiously as Tom does in his book, the world would no doubt be a more joyful place. I read The Eighties during kind of a rough week, and it did me the huge favor of cheering me up enormously. (And yet, small, melancholy details like the down-and-out man the author observed in a restaurant, dribbling his food, provide balance and moments of good reflection. The author seemed to swallow that part of his life–the good and not-so-good parts of it–whole, and he sends it back to his readers as a gift.)
I can’t agree with ALL of Tom’s tastes in music :), but I loved his book!
Here’s the link to the book’s Amazon page again: