3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
We’ve all had thoughts that have come to us while we’re lying in bed late at night: some profound, some humorous, or some that just seem to perfectly capture our feelings at that moment. Author J. Richman kept track of these musings over the years and eventually compiled them into a book called A Man’s Late Night Thoughts.
The book includes 356 short thoughts, one per page. On each page is space for readers to write their own comments. This gives readers the ability to carefully think about each statement and process what it means to them. They can agree or disagree, give an example from their own lives, or use the thought as a springboard for creating statements of their own. Some of his declarations are general philosophical musings, while others seem to have been written in reaction to a specific person or situation. The tone is sometimes lighthearted and humorous: “it’s easy to die for our children / the trick is to live with them.” Other thoughts are ones the author obviously arrived at during times of great pain, such as “much too late a love warns me / I will be the worst thing that ever happens to you /question / why did she have to prove it.”
The entire book is written without capitalization or punctuation, and the frequent line breaks give a poetic quality to the writing. I found this style made some statements confusing, as there was no separation between sentences. I do like that the style lends itself to the theme of one jotting down musings late at night while half asleep. Overall though, the book lacks professional editing. There were several poorly worded statements, and I noticed over ten typos, even discounting the stylistic capitalization and punctuation choices.
Themes vary over a wide spectrum, including love, growing up, hopes and dreams, fantasy vs. reality, how to be a good person, and social issues. Not every thought will connect with every reader, and that’s okay. There is something in this book for everyone that will encourage them to stop and think philosophically or reminisce about past events. I particularly loved the thoughts that caused me to evaluate the way I look at my own life, such as “what would you do / if you were forced / to give up boredom” and “memory is related / to truth / but not its twin.”
Everything considered, I rate A Man’s Late Night Thoughts 3 out of 4 stars. There is enough variety to have something that will make any reader stop and think, and I like that the book encourages the reader to participate and comment. However, it does need another round of professional editing, and I found a few of the statements to be a bit repetitive and similar to one another. I think this would be a great book for those who enjoy journaling or want to take a step back and look at their lives through a new lens.
a man's late night thoughts
View: on Bookshelves