Thursday, February 12, 2015

My Best Friend's Funeral by Roger W Thompson

Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this book for the purpose of review. My integrity is not for sale. Those who know me well are aware I would relish the chance to give a bad review in exchange for a free book. If I've failed to do so, it has nothing to do with the source of the material and only with the material itself.

My Best Friend's Funeral is a memoir. The real subject, though, is tough to pin down. It's about two friends, Roger and Tim, who found each other and the beginning of adolescence, and shared an unbreakable bond, through thick and thin, until one, Tim, was taken away, in a car accident at the age of thirty-three.

The funeral in the title is Tim's - and it's set up as a framing device for Roger to process his life and figure out how to find purpose and meaning. There's more to the memoir, though. It's a story of a kid who loves his dad, then loses him to drugs and death. It's about being a teenager and figuring out your place in the world. It's about surfing and skating. Then it's about being an adult and finding your place in the world all over again.

It's a Christian memoir, but only barely - in a good way. There's no insider language, no evangelism. Faith is central to life for these characters, but church is tangential. The purpose sought and found is more universal. This is a memoir about life. It's exceedingly accessible and it's very, very real. There are no cliches or easy answers. It's a story, very well written, about one guy and what he figured out about life.

It's mostly a narrative and although you know throughout where it's going to end up, you don't know how and you're waiting in anticipation for why the narrative is so important to begin with. I'm sure I missed out on a good chunk of the value not having shared the same experience of loss, but it's a darn good story nonetheless.

I'm not sure the end pays of as well as the reader would like (but again, I'm likely missing something important in fully appreciating the journey). It's a good book. Well worth checking out.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the® book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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