“We lose ourselves in books, we find ourselves there too."

The Diary of an Oxygen Thief.

“My logic went as follows: If someone hurts you then you automatically want revenge. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, you want revenge. I thought, if I hurt her enough she would want revenge. Therefore, I wouldn’t have to worry about never seeing her again. Because that is what I feared most. The fact that I was losing her.”

First impressions: morbid. Clearly this human doesn’t wish to be identified as the author is anonymous. I’ll be honest, I thought it was going to be one of those books that I started and got bored with or lost interest in but felt I needed to finish it anyway.

“They say the sea is actually black and that it merely reflects the blue sky above. So it was with me. I allowed you to admire yourself in my eyes. I provided a service. I listened and listened and listened. You stored yourself in me.”

Pleasantly, I was surprised. Although this was originally published in 2006, it seems to be more elegant to today’s age of relationships. It acts as an autobiography for an anonymous Irish male, living in America. He begins by describing the pleasure he got out of hurting women emotionally – by pretending to love them and care for them and ending it cruelly. Soon after attending Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings he sobers up and reflects on his past with remorse. He later moves to New York where, alongside a culture shock, he meets a young female photographer who he completely and utterly falls in live with only for this to backfire and he’s given a dose of his own medicine. Yeah Karma got him there!

“She was very attentive. That was it. She knew how to handle a guy. She made you feel like it was okay to be a guy. To be yourself. This, it seems to me, is the most devastating weapon of all in a woman’s arsenal. If you can encourage the man to be himself, to give you his character, his ways, then you know how to navigate him, and therefore, he will never be able to hide from you.”

I believe that the oxygen thief described in the title is a reference to his low self-esteem and self loathing and how he and most readers will feel he isn’t worthy of the air he breathes…

“Maybe there is a law after all. Of nature. Like gravity. An unwritten axiom that governs our emotional dealings. What you do comes back to you with twice the force, fuck it, three times the force. We are not punished for our sins we are punished by them.”

It’s a marvellous little book. Not very long and took me about 2-3 hours to read it stopping and starting. Would definitely recommend, although I would stress that it isn’t for all readers out there but if you’re looking for a new book or something different this is the one to go too.

Girls, if you ever want to know what goes on in certain guys minds…this may help!

Until next time,

Happy reading!

D x

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