Published by Hachette UK on June 6, 2022
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How did a kid whose dad lived in the poorhouse become the most successful storyteller in the world?
- On the morning he was born, he nearly died.
- His dad grew up in the Pogey– the Newburgh, New York, poorhouse.
- He worked at a mental hospital in Massachusetts, where he met the singer James Taylor and the poet Robert Lowell.
- While he toiled in advertising hell, James wrote the ad jingle line “I’m a Toys ‘R’ Us Kid.”
- He once watched James Baldwin and Norman Mailer square off to trade punches at a party.
- He’s only been in love twice. Both times are amazing.
- Dolly Parton once sang “Happy Birthday” to James over the phone. She calls him J.J., for Jimmy James.
How did a boy from small-town New York become the world’s most successful writer? How does he do it? He has always wanted to write the kind of novel that would be read and reread so many times that the binding breaks and the book literally falls apart. As he says, “I’m still working on that one.”
This is a strange one for me to review. I had mixed feelings about it and I’m not entirely sure they’re the fault of James Patterson. I had expected this to be an autobiography, and in a way it is – just not in the traditional sense. This is a group of stories of various events that have happened in James Pattersons life but there is no logical groupings and they’re non linear, which is confusing. For example, we have a couple of chapters about working with Bill Clinton and the books they wrote together and then shortly after that we have them meeting for the first time on a golf course.
For the first quarter of the book I was getting very annoyed at the constant name dropping, I had it in my head that this was showing an arrogance on Pattersons part. However, as I read more of the book and got to understand Patterson more I came to realise that it wasn’t arrogance or showing off but that he is genuinely excited and surprised that he has the level of fame that he does and that he has met the people that he has.
I read an arc of this so it was unfinished and the formatting was terrible, this is something that i know will be fixed before it goes on general sale, Im also hoping that it will be more readable. it did feel like an editor still needed to do their job on it.
There is very little about writing in this, I had really hoped for more. Patterson does tell us about books and authors that he loves, and touches on his writing process but its nothing deeper than what he’s revealed in other interviews. One thing that Patterson does do very well in this book is too give credit to other people, be they people he’s worked with in advertising or people involved in the publishing process.
Ultimately, I was disappointed in this book, I much prefer Patterson’s fiction work.