Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Real-life Forrest Gump

Review of the book One In A Hundred Million by Marion Urichich

Marion Urichich has a story to tell. In fact he has a lot of them. No wonder, as he suffers from ADHD — which makes it even more impressive that he has actually taken on the task (and finished it!) to write his memoirs and publish them.

And that's pretty much what this book is. A mix of stories and thoughts, without any structure or obvious order whatsoever. Sometimes entertaining, and always with wit. You can somehow sense that eternal grin on his face lurking behind every story, every sentence. Marion Urichich just loves to share.

The question is with whom. Urichich does not care, as long as somebody reads it. Somebody. In the very (very!) best case, this kind of book finds an audience with those who love to read about the U.S.American Dream (including the political points of view, which unfortunately confirm some of the prejudice that Europeans may have on untravelled U.S.Americans). Fair enough. That was the very best case.

More likely though, the book's audience is a limited private circle (often too private, as it is doubtful whether anybody really wants to hear about Mr Urichich's body functions and malfunctions). A circle that includes family members, and people who have come across him maybe. These seem to be quite a few, fortunately mainly for good and only a handful for worse — 'cause he has experienced quite a bit in his lively life.

This makes him a bit of a real-life Forrest Gump, a label that is emphasized by his writing which is by all means not very professional. The 'style' and 'structure', or rather lack of both, add to the authenticity and the charm of Urichich's book though. And, like Forrest Gump, there is one thing one cannot take away from him: He had the courage to tell his story, or rather stories, not giving a rat's ass (those would be his words) about what others may think.

review by Bjørn Clasen, on the author’s own request

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