Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Natanya Reviews Life...With No Breaks

Title/Author: Life…With No Breaks by Nick Spalding
Publisher/Year: Racket Publishing, 2010
Where I got it: Amazon, for my Kindle
Why I read it: I for some reason downloaded a sample of it at some point, and I liked the sample enough to shell out the $3 for the full book

From Goodreads:
"I'm Nick Spalding and I had an idea. What if I tried to write a book about life...with no breaks? An entire book, in one go. Could I do it? And how would it turn out?"

Join author Nick Spalding as he wends his merry way through an odyssey of non-stop writing, covering a variety of subjects in a selection of riotous anecdotes, comedy asides and humorous stories...dredged up from a brain functioning on caffeine, nicotine and the occasional chocolate biscuit.

The book is written as a conversation with YOU, the reader...and with Nick you'll venture into the thorny topics of love, life, death, sex, money, horribly timed bowel movements and a deathly fear of sponges (amongst other things).

After finally actually buying a book from the Kindle store (up until now I’d refused to actually pay money for e-books), I was hoping to be in for a fun adventure. Spalding’s book starts out funny and witty, with a crazy story from a time he was drunk, and continues for the rest of the book as a series of random stories and musings. He suddenly goes off on tangents, which I often enjoyed, and these topical shifts are not too sudden, so it does work. His storytelling manner is humorous and not too drawn out, making his stories easy to read, and I liked how he addressed the reader directly, pretending like the reader is sitting there next to them. For the first third or so of the book, I was thoroughly amused.

But by the time I got halfway through, I wasn’t entirely sure why I was still reading it. While the beginning was funny, the book got kind of boring after that. I guess it’s because I’m not accustomed to reading books with no plot. This book really is a series of tangents, rambles, and musings, which Spalding wrote down as he thought of them over the course of the 30 solid hours in which he wrote this book. Because of this, the reader has absolutely no idea what he will talk about next, which meant that I didn’t have any real motivation to continue reading—I didn’t have any reason to care what happened later.

Furthermore, Spalding occasionally veers off from his storytelling into ramblings on things like religion or advertisements, and his thoughts on those are pretty typical—he doesn’t provide many new or interesting insights, but instead just restates some of the usual complaints in a slightly funnier manner. His stories are definitely better than these parts, and the funniest stories are generally the ones having to do with sex or alcohol, like his depiction of the awkwardness of losing his virginity. However, even the stories didn’t all hold my attention for long, which I think may in part be due to my inability to relate to some of them. As a whole, the book is pretty easy to relate to, but his discussions of certain aspects of life, like becoming a father, were things that aren’t relevant to me, yet he presented them as if I was supposed to be going through the exact same thing.

On the whole, I can best relate this book to an extremely long blog post, in which Spalding rambles on about many different aspects of his life. While a number of instances in the book are legitimately funny, others seem forced or just not interesting enough topics to be worth discussing. I do understand why some people may like this book, but for me, it wasn’t worth it. It wasn’t funny enough to hold my attention for long and, for a short book, it just went on and on (especially at the end). It wasn’t horrible, but was just…blah.

2.5 stars


  1. Hmm, I'm not sure what to think of this one. I kind of want to give it a shot because it is so unlike anything else I have read but at the same time it sounds like I would be disappointed by it.

    Thank you for sharing it!

  2. Sounds like a good read for the summer season! I try to step out of the norm for summer.


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