Think about what events, experiences, thoughts and conflicts you might
capture if you chronicled a year of your life. Be sure to consider what you would most like to remember about your day to day living during this time period.
What if you started the project, you were committed to it, and then something traumatic happens? The epic preface demands to be written into history, but creates an air of foreboding that may be transferred into your future in form of a spiral of extremely emotionally draining events. Likely, you will be allowed certain instances of reprieve from the barrage, but perhaps not; or maybe not quite in the doses that you require to allow yourself to move through life as a properly functioning human being.
As you approach the completion of the year of diarizing your life, will you begin to see through the haze that has you ensnared in your perpetual tragic life? Or will you be so ensconced in the distorted world that you have come to recognize as reality that you will never be able to emerge?
Mark Lamprell’s The Full Ridiculous reads as a second person narrative such as the above paragraphs: as if a person were writing themselves a journal to be kept private from any prying eyes. I am sure I have read books in this format when I was young, but only in the “choose your own adventure” type scenario. So this was an interesting, though at times distracting, take on building a complete and compelling story.
We follow along with Michael O’Dell and his family as he moves through a year of very stressful and at times exciting life. As mentioned above, he does start the year off with a bang, and from that point forward, his perspective on every single day of his life is skewed to center around the unfortunate legacy of that one day, that one event that seems to make everything that follows possible.
As I read, I found myself cheering for the O’Dell family. I desperately wanted the madness to stop for them. When there would come a reprieve to the onslaught, I rejoiced along with them. The relationships between spouses, amongst children, and from parent to child and back again felt very genuine and startlingly real. So complex that I am sure the mechanics were borne out of real life experiences.
I was a little bit confused as to the rules of a second person narrative, in that I surmise that the sourcing of the story should be restricted to the thoughts and experiences of the storyteller. However, there were several recounted incidents in the book that may have been related to the narrator in the invisible background, but came across to me as a downfall of working within the functional restrictions of the second person perspective.
There were also a few unfortunate spelling or word use mistakes that were a little bit distracting and drew me out of the story that was otherwise quite compelling.
As a whole package, I very much enjoyed The Full Ridiculous. I had no idea what to expect from the book and I was very pleasantly surprised as to the quality of storytelling found in its pages.