Memoirs of a 20th Century Gentleman: Innoncence

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Memoirs of a 20th Century Gentleman: Part One ~ Innocence

Last Free Dates: 20th Jun 20 to 24th Jun 20
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...A fictional autobiography with pearls of wisdom....

James Hansom is the younger son of Maggie and Colin who both left their previous partners and ran away with each other. Colin wanted little more than a peaceful life, while Maggie wanted to be the life of the local parties. The new baby throws their lives into turmoil leaving him an unwanted child more in the care of his sister, than his parents. We then follow his childhood for the next few years from the UK to his time in the Middle East.

This is a difficult book to review, because it swaps between the author addressing the reader and his description of his early life. It chops and changes throughout, and while the chapters are fairly straightforward, they have postscripts after each of them with more thoughts and questions. The book is a fictional autobiography, so while several of the details are true, several have been changed, more it seems to anonymise the work and protect the family. The general tone of story is that the childhood was not a happy one and yet in some of the after chapter pieces it starts to mention some of the better things that occurred. It made me wonder why not include all these stories as part of the same chapter instead of being added as asides.

The writing is fluid and engaging trying to draw the reader into the story and also engage with them directly. The spelling and editing of the book is interesting due to the addition of the post chapter pieces and there are several pictures also included of the author as a young child. In some ways this is not an autobiography, but someone trying to set forth the wisdom learned through out their life. There are a couple of extra chapters at the start and end which add more detail to the thoughts and feelings of the author. This is the first of several books and several hints and pieces from later on in his life are mentioned as teasers for later stories.

Overall, this is a bit of a mix, where I think you will either really enjoy the style and nature of the story or find it as difficult as I did to get through trying to understand what story is was trying to tell me.

Rating: 3
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