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I recently finished reading The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen Year Old Boy with Autism by Naoki Higashida. This book is one of the most excellent works of non-fiction I have ever read. It is very short, definitely no more than two hundred pages, and incredibly compelling. I read the entire book in a little over an hour. It is written primarily in Q&A style, with Naoki answering questions about living with autism. This is augmented by several beautifully written, fictional stories by Naoki, with one longer story at the end. Naoki, the author, who was only thirteen at the time he wrote the book, is so articulate for his age it is mindblowing. I would definitely recommend!
MisterBus posted a topic in Non FictionHow Not To Be A Professional Footballer by Paul Merson Published by HarperSport (2011) IT'S hard to know how to react to this book. Paul Merson comes across as such a 'cheeky chappie', a 'loveable rogue' that you can't help but pick up his biography and start reading it with a huge smile across your face. But then you start to read about the drink, drugs and gambling. It's like watching a road crash in slow motion and being unable to do anything but watch it unfold in front of your eyes. This is an autobiography in the true state of the word: it's me, me, me all the way through. His family - who must have suffered terribly during his addictive and compulsive behaviour - barely get a mention. Paul appears too wrapped up in his own life to write about anyone else. It would, however, be fascinating to read his first wife's biography. He tells how he had it all as a professional footballer but squandered it all. His demise began on receiving his first pay packet at Arsenal - a fellow player took him to the Bookies and he blew the lot. Paul was so ashamed he told his parents that he had been mugged on the way home. And so began a life of gambling and lying. And drinking. Having decided that Paul is the most despicable person on the planet, I then found that I was starting to feel sympathy for him. After all, here was a man who obviously had a serious problem. It's clear this is not just a case of someone determined to enjoy life irrespective of who he hurts on the way. This is someone who has a mental problem - an addictive personality, that needs to keep getting a quick-fix buzz. Be that from scoring goals, gambling, drink, drugs or whatever. Trying to decipher the riddle wrapped in an enigma that is Paul Merson proves to be a pointless task. Paul pulls no punches but it's going to need a lot more than this book to understand what is really going on in this man's mind. This book is more banter than biography and there's no doubt more left out than included in. And the material included in the book is doubtless given plenty of entertaining spin. It is at once a brutally honest book and a very funny one. Probably just like the man himself.