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The "Poor Me" Manual: Perfecting Self Pity - My Own Story by Hunter Lewis

This book begins with the following author's note:"One crisp sunny morning I was surprised to find a package left at my front door containing this book in manuscript form. Its author included a note saying that his last name was Lewis, that he had seen a book of mine, and that he had decided to adopt my name as his own. In addition, he expected me to publish his (our) book and that the cover should be "nice." I have tried to do as requested."

What follows this note is a rollicking fictional memoir that takes us through the ups and downs of the mysterious author's life. And what a life it is, full to the brim with every imaginable kind of neurotic behavior.

There is method to this madness. In earlier books, including the best-selling A Question of Values and its sequel The Beguiling Serpent, Lewis developed a unique theory of the emotions. The " Poor Me" Manual further develops the theory and brings it to vivid life.

This is fun reading. You will often laugh out loud. But you will also learn a great deal about the emotions and about which emotional strategies work and which don't.

This book would be a great gift for anybody, but especially the teenager in your life.

Not that you should judge a book by its cover, but I had certain expectations of what I thought it would be like. I’m not saying that I didn't like the book but it wasn't what I expected. The impression that I got going into the book was that it was going to be this satirical, tongue and type of a listed themed book. Instead, it was something different.

The book had a great start. Before you dive into the book, the author lets the reader know that a manuscript came as a package one day. Enclosed was a note from a mysterious author explaining that he saw a book of his and adopted his name with the expectation to be published. I thought that was a fascinating idea that sort of grabs the interest of the reader wandering who and what this mysterious author was about.

The book is themed by color years and broken down by phases. He briefly explains during each themed year what was going on and how he was feeling. Each phase seemed to represent a type of personality role.  For whatever phase it was, that defined the role of the type of person he was with a scenario and their consequences. It seems like this person experienced just about every behavior and personality type. I will say within those scenarios it was funny here or there because you cannot believe how or why someone will be that way. 

Overall, it was interesting in the context of what the author was intending on doing but I think for many readers it may leave them uncertain of the direction of the book. Whether you decide this is a book that interests you, I will leave that decision up to you.

Reviewed by Michelle Bowles 

Book Information
Publisher: Axios Press
Publication date: 3/7/2014
Pages: 65


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