Suicide is the bastard stepchild hiding in the basement.
It is the 13th leading cause of death worldwide, and the
6th leading cause of death in America. Twice as many people die from suicide as from homicide every year.
And nobody talks about it.
This is the chronicle of a ten-day countdown to committing suicide. Along the way it's also a book about common sense and about red neckties and about
Dan the Beautiful Snowflake and about strippers and bikers and about killing Grampy and about how to cook the perfect turkey and about Russian spies and about flying dinosaurs and about lady cops with big guns,
and about the author's tiny confidant, Boo.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
As the first line on the back cover suggests, this book promises us a personal journey toward the author taking his own life, albeit with a humorous slant on an otherwise bleak subject. You won't be disappointed there, but that's only the pretense to a much deeper and earnest piece of writing that makes this a must-read. Cleverly intertwined - perhaps even unintentionally hidden - in a surprisingly entertaining while alternatingly comical and touching story (I couldn't put it down), is a rather frank reflection of life at the midpoint, and the dilemma of whether or not to stick around for the second act. In part, this is a book about the mid-life crisis and the impossibility of growing up: that unreasonable intersection of your personal desires and fears with the reality of having a family and the role your life has obligated you to play. In taking such a blunt and honest look at himself, Waitt challenges that longstanding idea Brett Easton Ellis once described as "the myth that men will outgrow the adolescent pursuit of pleasure, the dream of a life without rules or responsibilities." That's not to say this is a book for only affluent white American men of middle-age - though that is certainly the characterization Waitt provides. It is a parable of sorts, and in the writing of himself is some deeper reflection of the irrational nature of being human. As outrageous as his own story might appear at times, it's hard to imagine any reader not finding themselves somewhere in the pages. This author has clearly led a full life, and a large portion of the book is spent in recollection of past stories both too incredible to be fiction and unmistakably authentic in their personal detail. The full picture of who D.F. Waitt is comes into focus slowly, but once there it's both larger than life while heartwarmingly close to home. Against the backdrop of his own colorful past, a fascinating picture emerges of a man coming to terms with the fact that he won't maintain the pose he believed life required of him any longer, and the realities of that conclusion. This is a book that is as fun as it is sincere, and above all else, remarkably charming. It's about life as a child, teenager, and a parent, complete with the lack of clear delineation between those parts of oneself as the years pass. About losing a father at an early age, about exhaustion with life while finding it too sinisterly amusing for taking seriously. And yes, about Dan the Beautiful Snowflake, a .357 Magnum, strippers, and a talking dog, who, much like his owner, is both too wise and far too much of a cocky smart-ass for the absurdity of his own existence.