- Book Reviews
- Hall of Fame
- Books Read 2010-
- Baileys Prize
- Bellwether Prize
- Booker Prize
- Carnegie Medal
- Dayton Peace Prize
- Dylan Thomas Prize
- First Novel Prize
- Folio Prize
- IFF Prize
- National Book Award
- NBCC Award
- NYT Notables
- Walter Scott
- 20 Under 40
- 1001 Books
- The "Darling, but..." Book Club
- Read Harder
- Review Policy
Monday, November 16, 2009
book review: Behind the Bell by Dustin Diamond
Given my history of enjoyment with this show, I was excited to read Dustin Diamond's memoir about the show, Behind the Bell. I didn't even have high expectations, as celebrity memoirs are rarely well written, but I had to read it.
It's the worst book I've ever read. Ever.
I contemplated not blogging about because people already will either want to read it despite it's lack of literary virtue or want to read it because of the subject. This review will not change anyone's mind.
Despite the book itself being horrible, there clearly was no editor. The grammar was appallingly bad. The former copy editor in me wanted to take a red pen to it even though it was a library book. Words were misspelled. He used idiotic words such as douchenozzle to make a point. He also writes moronic, vague sentences, then follows them with the sentence "What I mean to say is this." (Say what you mean! Use your words!) The literary violations extend beyond letting the author have artistic control. The most egregious error: when the word horseshit needed a hypen to split it onto two lines, the hyphen appeared between the s and the h. Yes, horses-hit. How does that even happen in the post-typewriter world?
When I could get past the cringing from his complete misuse of me, myself and I, as well as that, which, who and whom, the memoir was unnecessarily mean and condescending to every other human being in the world, past, present and future. Diamond showed no perspective, decency or rationality. He writes off people he met as a child. Yes, I understand you thought Fred Savage was spoiled when he was eight. Does it mean he still is? Perhaps, but none of us can stand the scrutiny of the actions of our eight-year-old selves. He boasted about his own sexual exploits while deriding others for it. Although he is ridiculously misogynistic, he seems to hold sexual adventure against everyone but himself. Yes, this derision includes the women he slept with; he's incredibly hateful to them.
I finished the book, but it was uncomfortable to read. I'm not a prudish person, but it was hard to read the words of someone so clearly unable to let go of his hatred for so many people, places, situations and things. Diamond needs therapy. He needs an editor. He needs a fact checker. Mostly, he needs to find something to enjoy. He needs to find some sense of meaning in his life. It was uncomfortable to read because he's a human being.
Rating: 0 stars (Hated it. Seriously, don't waste your time. It's completely lacking any redeeming qualities.)
Publication date: September 2009
Source: my local public library
at 7:38 PM