Saturday Sundries – “Welcome to the Shit Show” Book Review

A while back (ie: October) Dana gave me a copy of her book, Welcome to the Shit Show, because she was giving away books to people who interacted on her blog (I didn’t even know it at the time I commented, but I never turn down free books!).  I can’t say this is a book I would have normally bought for myself, partly because I don’t really read memoir unless it’s been rec’d to me by a LOT of people, and partially because of content.

In terms of writing style and technique, I found Welcome to the Shit Show very easy to read.  I wasn’t stumbling over sentences, and everything flowed from one story to the next so seamlessly.  If more memoirs were written like this, I would definitely read more of them.

Content-wise . . . Dana has lived a lifestyle that I have never had a desire to live.  Partly, she states that the story is in chaos, not in order.  I agree.  If everything is going fine and dandy, no one wants to read that story.  Her solution was to create chaos herself.  Due to family situations, health problems, etc, I will never have the desire to create chaos.  I treasure the few moments of peace I can find.  Even though Dana and her family are at odds at times, I wish my family had the closeness that they do.

There are sexual situations, drug use, and liberal alcohol use in this story.  The series title of “This Artists’ Life” really explains it all – this is the story of an artist embracing the life of the ‘artist’ as the secular world sees it.  I was raised very conservative Christian, though my decision to continue in that way of life was fully my own when I understood what my choices were (and believe me, I went through a time of doubt – I will at some point go into that in one of my devotionals).

The only person I’ve ever kissed or slept with is my husband.  I don’t have any desire for that to ever change.  Yes, I’ve tasted alcohol, but I have no desire to ever be drunk.  The thought of using something to zone out and separate myself from my problems has been very tempting at times, but I have my own reasons for choosing not to do those things.

So that said, based on the content, this is not a book I would have picked up on my own.  I do want to read the sequel that’s coming out, The Hart Compound, because it sounds like it’s going to be a very interesting read (comedians are running a mayoral campaign – who DOESN’T want to read that?).  I gave Welcome to the Shit Show two stars (“It was ok”) on Goodreads, because three stars was “I liked it”, and I can’t honestly say that liked most of the book.  It was not a problem with it being poorly written, it’s just my own personal preference.

But, I do have a quote from it that I absolutely love:

As for the Shit Show, we’ll get by.  We’ll live through the chaos and love the beauty.  Nothing can keep the Writer from chasing a story, the Painter from capturing a scene, the Musician from baring his soul.  Nothing in the Shit Show is painful enough to blind us from all the beauty we can create.