2017 Reading Challenge

2017 Reading Challenge

Tina has read 2 books toward her goal of 40 books.
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Saturday, June 21, 2008

REVIEW for The Matt Zander Journals by Gary Denne



  • TITLE: The Matt Zander Journals
  • AUTHOR: Gary Denne
  • DATE: 2007
  • GENRE: Fiction
  • RATING: 3 stars

I was asked by the author to review this book.

The Matt Zander Journals is a different type of book and it is difficult to categorize it. I am a big fan of books that talk about redemption and paying it forward, but this book gives a new twist to this concept.

Written entirely in diary (or journal) form, which is a concept that I really like, this book details the life of Matt who is not particularly likeable or someone you will find yourself cheering for. Matt works at a job he hates in a grocery store in Toronto - and as a sideline, he likes to enter people's homes when they are not there and steal their stuff. Matt is an adreline freak and manages to get himself caught in a gunfight one night while breaking into his bosses home.

Although he does wake up in the hospital, Matt does detail for us his ''near death experience" where the old saying "my life flashed before me" really does seem to be true. We get to meet and witness the destruction that he has caused in his short life - and Matt gets to come face to face with the "souls" of some of the people he has harmed while alive.

While at the hospital and now fully awake, Matt meets his bunkmate Michael, who has been hospitalized for a suicide attempt. Michael is odd and the only thing he really shares with Matt is that he has always wanted to visit LA.

Matt, who confesses that he really has nobody in his own life gravitates somewhat to Michael and together they leave for LA, first by plane, where bad luck continues to find them and then by car. Finally, Matt and Michael will part ways - but one of the most interesting parts of this bookfor me was the interaction between the silent, inwardly destructive Michael and the vocal, outwardly destructive Matt. It is obvious that while these two people are desperately searching for something - they kind of needed to find each other - in order to find a direction, at least a starting point for a new life.

Unfortunately, while I would love to say that the near death experience, the roadtrip and the health scare were all factors in helping Matt turn his life around, this is not the case. As Matt continues on his travels to LA and find the glamourous life of Hollywood (another great way to escape!) he keeps making the wrong choices - its like he has a conscience but chooses to always do the opposite of what he should be doing.

This book was a good read. I found many double entendres and hidden message within the storytelling. The writing is down to earth and flowing. I found the book was a bit long and as I mentioned, I would have liked a "we will overcome" type of storyline - but this book was defintely entertaining and I would recommend.

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