Title: A Life Discarded
Author: Alexander Masters
Page Count/Review Word Count: 262
Disclaimer: While I aim to be unbiased, I received a copy of this for free to review.
It’s rare, these days, to find a truly original read. You know, the kind of book that leaves you cursing softly and wished that you’d had the idea – and the opportunity – yourself. The kind of book that’s hard to categorise or to describe, that has both literary merit and mainstream appeal.
In this book, Masters takes the reader on an adventure as he investigates 148 journals that his friend discovered inside a skip. The diaries were rescued, but they had no hint of who it was that actually wrote them. And so the author embarks on an epic quest – one that takes him five years – to find out more about the mysterious diarist.
It turns out that there could be some historical significance here. The author points out that if an alien civilisation were to discover humanity, they couldn’t do much better than this if they wanted to read a true account of a normal life. The unknown diarist is also one of history’s most prolific diarists – in the journals that Masters acquired, there are approximately five million words, and they don’t even make up the full collection.
Overall, I can’t fault this book, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone. It was refreshing, and exciting to read something completely different to everything else that I’ve seen before. Definitely give it a chance!