4 out of 4 stars
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A house is a place where one calls home. But could an apartment in a stadium be called your home? This question is what Tom Garvey answered in his memoir The Secret Apartment. Tom shared how he encountered a vacant room in the stadium where he worked. The room didn’t seem to be in use, so he converted this room to his apartment.
The book started with Tom narrating how his uncles built a multimillion-dollar business from selling hotdogs. Tom’s uncles worked at the Veterans Stadium, where they sold foods, drinks and novelties. With the help of his uncles, Tom took over the parking operations at the stadium. While taking a stroll in the stadium, Tom stumbled upon a vacant room on the 200-level concourse of the Veterans Stadium. Although the room looked like a long-forgotten space in the stadium, it seemed befitting to serve as an apartment. With such an apartment hidden in plain sight, all he had to do was to keep the existence of his newly acquired apartment a secret from most people.
This memoir is written in the form of short stories. The stories were narrated from the point of view of the author. The author was quite adept with his words, thereby making the narrative more interesting to read. I relished the experiences Tom had during his stay at the stadium. He had access to most places in the stadium, and he did whatever suited him. There was a time Tom granted his friend access to a lounge specifically meant for the wives and girlfriends of the sports stars using the stadium. The author’s stories made me deliberate if I could live in a secret apartment at my favourite club’s stadium, Old Trafford. I don’t think anyone would pass up an opportunity to meet the stars that would frequent the stadium and other side attractions that would come with it. It would be an experience that I’d love to have.
There were some minor things that I wasn’t pleased with while reading this book. I found it difficult to keep track of all the people Tom introduced to the readers. Each of the short stories introduced a new person who was crucial only in that particular story. Keeping track of those characters made me backtrack a couple of times. Also, I found a few errors while reading, though the errors weren’t distracting.
I would rate The Secret Apartment 4 out of 4 stars because I enjoyed the stories shared in the book. The flaws that I highlighted aren’t grave enough to deny the book a perfect rating. Any reader with an interest in sports would enjoy the book. The sporting activities narrated here would be appealing to them the most. The Secret Apartment is suitable for all age groups.
The Secret Apartment
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