Top critical review
Not quite the most amazing story, but still...
on 13 June 2013
Perhaps I'm becoming immune to the "misery memoir", but this book didn't affect me as much as it obviously has many other readers. Of course I was appalled at the treament meted out to the young Paul, but perhaps because he himself was relatively stoical, I didn't quite feel for him as I have for victims in similar stories. However, he did do extremely well to overcome the odds and go on to lead such a succesful life, so all power to him. Some reviewers have criticised the writing, and it's true that it isn't brilliant; but for someone who was illiterate until adulthood, it's pretty amazing that he managed to write a book at all.
I did find the unncessarily detailed descriptions of the activities of some of the prostitutes in the book gratuitous, and they added little to the story. Also, the author is not averse to a bit of name-dropping (or name-referring in cases where he couldn't reveal the identities of the people he was mentioning) but then again, it must have been quite an experience for someone from his background to mingle with the great and the good!
In conclusion, a readable book about someone who overcame terrible adversity, but not "the most amazing true life story" this reader has "ever read", and while it was interesting in parts, I didn't really enjoy it.