Review by Julie

I like weird stuff. If something can be described as strange or bizarre, there’s a good chance that I’ll like it at least a little bit. So, when I read the description of Weirder Than Marshmallows- “Stories that are, like marshmallows, strange, mind boggling… hard to explain, impossible to ignore”- it appealed to me.

Weirder Than Marshmallows contains true stories and essays by the author, Dan Fogg. Most of the essays are humorous, but some are more serious and personal. Much of the humor is based on human stupidity. Fogg addresses topics such as seemingly unnecessary warning labels (i.e. “highly flammable!” on lighter fluid), technological malfunctions, and people who don’t know the difference between “lose” and “loose”- that’s a pet peeve of mine, so I can relate! The more serious essays deal with issues such as the aftermath of Columbine and the 2000 Presidential elections.

This book isn’t perfect. For one thing, it’s quite short- many of the chapters are only a page or two long. Also,the writing didn’t seem very polished. I feel that the book could have benefited from some grammatical changes. Many sentences started with conjunctions (such as “and” or “but”), and while that isn’t always a bad thing, I feel that it was done a bit too often and made the writing seem choppy or fragmented at times.

Fogg writes in sort of an informal, conversational style- I often felt more like I was reading a blog post or an email from a friend rather than a book. That type of style could be a good thing or not, depending on your personal preference.

As I read, I found myself becoming more interested in the story behind the book. From a few personal details in the essays and from the editors notes, I gathered that the author was a young man with a disability who felt driven to become a writer. Tragically, Dan Fogg died in his early 20’s. His mother, knowing how badly Dan wanted to become a successful writer, gathered his essays, edited them, and had them published. This book serves as a tribute to an ambitious young writer who died much too soon.

Although Weirder Than Marshmallows has its flaws, it did touch me. Dan Fogg clearly loved writing, and he was striving to improve his style. He had potential, and his death was a tragedy. After reading about Dan, I feel inspired to work on my own writing skills, maybe type up a few stories. So, I’m glad that I read this book. After all, it’s easy to find a few cheap laughs, but it’s not every day that I read something that actually motivates me.

Click here to see original review. ~ Disclaimer: Reviewer was provided with a review copy of this book.

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