2 Words that describe the book: Unusual experiences
3 Settings where it took place or characters you met:
This book is a collection of 50 different stories intended to impart the basics of what it feels like to experience different unusual things. The experiences range from what it feels like to be hit by lightning to what it feels like to stutter and almost everything in between. Here were three that stood out for me and some excerpts.
- Lester Morlang, Buried In An Avalanche—”The whole experience has made me a better person. Trivial things don’t bother me anymore. I can smash my finger or something, and sometimes I’ll just giggle thinking how great it is to smash my finger. I guess I see a few things now that a regular person doesn’t.”
- Gary Grah, Have Anorexia—“When my parents were taking me to the hospital, I was arguing that I couldn’t go because I had too many things to do—it was going to screw up my [four-hour exercise] routine. Anorexia is maybe the only disease where you die of stubbornness.”
- Dee McManamy, Give Birth (Note: Having had a c-section myself, I was most curious about this one.)—”…and the pushing sensation is exactly the same as taking a poop. It’s like you are having the biggest crap of your life. You’re doing this in front of total strangers. And when you’re doing this, you’re peeing, you’re pooping for real—and it’s somebody’s job to clean that up.”
4 Things you liked and/or disliked about it:
- I liked reading about such a wide variety of experiences that I will probably never experience myself. The diversity was amazing—from learning what it is like to walk on the moon to what it feels like to be a mob hitman.
- I liked how the stories were told in the person’s own words—thereby creating a sense of realism and immediacy to each story.
- I disliked that each story was only about two pages long. Some of the stories cried out for a longer space to get a fuller sense of the experience. It was like getting a quick taste of something fascinating and then having it yanked away too quickly.
- I disliked when the book was done way too soon. I would love to see an expanded version of this book someday! Are you listening, Esquire editors?
5 Stars or less for your rating?
I’m giving the book 3.5 stars. It was a fast and interesting read but way too short to do justice to many of the stories. I actually felt a bit cheated. Quite a few years ago, I read a book that described in detail what it would feel like to die in a wide variety of ways (e.g., drowning, freezing, heat stroke). (Note: For the life of me I can’t remember the name of this book and I couldn’t find it easily via Google. If you know the title, please tell me!) The book talked about what you would feel physically and mentally during each type of death. Each “death” was a full chapter, and it was fascinating and horrible at the same time. I would love to see this book repackaged in a longer format. (Though, admittedly, not every story deserves to be expanded; I’m thinking specifically of the one about “what it feels like to touch fake boobs.”) But if you find this kind of thing fascinating like I do, I would recommend checking this book out.
Why and Where I Got The Book
I got the book from Paperback Swap because I’m a sucker for these types of books.
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