Author: Adam Chester
Title: S’Mother: The Story of a Man, His Mom, and the Thousands of Altogether Insane Letters She's Mailed Him
Description (source): Adam Chester is the son of a very loving mom, who for almost 30 years has peppered his life with unsolicited advice, news updates, and opinions in the form of thousands of inappropriate, embarrassing, and utterly crazy letters. S'Mother is a hilarious memoir based on this correspondence showing the pathological extremes maternal instincts can take. Why is a grown woman so frantic that her adult son screw on his windows to keep out killer bees? And are adult trick-or-treaters really that much of a threat? Adam saved his mom's letters as proof this all happened and reproduces many of them in the book. And now, with time, perspective, and plenty of therapy, he acknowledges and accepts the comedy of it all and is proud to share his story with you, if for no other reason than to make you feel better about your own mother. (netgalley)
ARC source: netgalley
Writing style: The format of this book is basically a letter, transcribed word-for-word (and perhaps a scan of the same letter) and then some witty comments from the letter’s recipient, Adam Chester. The letters are pretty funny; they aren’t written to be funny, but the mother really is a character. Adam’s comments can’t quite live up and often consist of him wondering how he grew up to be such a normal person with this kind of mother. Since the reader doesn’t know Adam, we only have his word for it. (his job is playing piano and pretending to be Elton John--check out the video...)
Audience: people who like lighthearted memoir
Major ideas: none, really—it’s a book of humor. Perhaps that people can grow up to be “normal” even with really weird relatives.
Wrap-up: I almost never comment about format in my reviews. I review from ARC’s a lot of the time and I understand that they aren’t finished. I also review from both print and kindle, and I rarely comment on that. With this book, though, I have to comment. I had a kindle proof supplied by netgalley, and it was literally unreadable on my kindle. I could read the text, but every time there was an illustration (including the many scanned letters), it would show up as a small corner of picture and a large blank space—for dozens of page-advances. I counted over twenty page flips at least twice before I would get to more text that I could read. When I hit about 90%, the kindle locked and refused to open the book again. I re-imported it and paged back from the end. I could only get to 92% before it locked up, so I must confess that whatever is in the book from 90-92% was not read by me. I recommend strongly against buying this on for kindle! Normally I don’t let format govern my reaction to books, but this one was painful. It would probably have received 3.5* had I had a print copy, but my review is 2/5*.
p.s. I'll bet his blog works a lot better!