1 Jul 2017

Review: Poor No More: An American Dream


Now retired, author Dr Steven Bentley was a successful emergency physician. But his path in life wasn't always an easy one. In Poor No More: An American Dream, he shares his story of how he survived a rare birth defect, abject poverty, an alcoholic mother, a KKK father, an abusive children's home, and a cruel step-mother.

That is the first of three paragraphs on the back cover of Poor No More: An American Dream. And that paragraph was what originally made me accept the book into reading and reviewing. So, thank you for sending me the copy!

Unfortunately, the description didn't match the story inside. Yes, there was the cruel step-mother and the alcoholic mother, but everything else was almost shrugged off with just a mention in a sentence or two. 

There was also a problem with the flow of the story. It didn't flow. At all. And the reason for this: Exclamation point! I would've liked the memoir so much more if every other or at least every third sentence didn't end with an exclamation point. I've never read a book with such over-usage of the exclamation point and now I have, and it has been eye-opening. I understand that sentences like ''It's magical!'' or ''It was wonderful!'' can end with an exclamation point or some other sentence but when a sentence describing your bad luck in life because you don't have a working TV you don't need to yell it. The over-usage affected the flow of the story so strongly that it became like a 178 page long hurdles. You know, the sport where you run and jump over the fences? Except, you don't jump over them smoothly, rather bumping into each of them a little. And that's what the reading felt like.

There were good things in the memoir also. The author's life teaches the reader never to give up. He has gone through hard times, which might be almost impossible to understand being born just before the turn of the millennium. So, I wouldn't recommend this memoir to anyone under twenty, since Bentley has lived a lot longer than just twenty years. And while reading, try to dig between the lines, there is a lot of drug abuse in the book, just so you are warned.

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