from Missi, of Messy Missi
The Contortionist's Handbookby Craig Clevenger
When asked to do this I got very excited. Then I got to doing it and it was harder than I thought! First, as an avid reader, I had to pick a favorite book which is like asking me to pick a favorite child. Second, I am about the most awkward person ever in front of the camera. Trying to take a picture of myself where I did not look like a wooden nutcracker soldier was a challenge. And finally, since I have purchased my kindle and had a baby, many of the hard copies of my books have been donated. I wanted to do a book that I actually had.
I ended up picking The Contortionist's Handbook.There are many things that make a book fantastic for me and this book has many of them. It is set in Los Angeles, includes a medical aspect, and is a bit dirty. The Contortionist's Handbook has a deceiving title but is still a great read. Johnny or Paul or Daniel or whatever identity the protagonist has decided to take on to avoid being placed into a mental health facility after accidental overdoses, is a closet genius with a talent for forgery. Much of the story is set during an interview with an evaluator in a hospital after another one of his overdoses. As he carefully feeds his evaluator the correct answers to keep him from being held for additional time, you are invited into his lonely world of drugs and lies. While keeping who he truly is a secret from the world, Johnny only chooses a select few to open up to about his past life. This book caught me from the first page and I read it quickly. It is not an emotional or dramatic novel. It is just a good book. It sucks you in, spits you out and you feel better for doing so. I hope you enjoy it!
see previous Literate & Stylish posts here.