3 out of 4 stars
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Written in the first and third-person narratives, Neil Cooper, author of How I Survived Life, humors readers with his personal stories and life experiences, growing up in the United Kingdom and living in different countries on some continents of the world. Cooper, who was born in the forties, goes through major life events in the sixties. He calls himself 'Our Hero' as he claims to have survived life through childhood, school, work, sport, family, countries, and other numerous events, ranging from subtle or trivial to more serious. Cooper's book is a relaxing, and insightful pathway readers would love to tread upon.
This book has notable positive aspects. A very obvious one is the writer's use of humor, which he uses to make serious situations look less serious. This helps to pass across lessons that the writer wishes his readers to learn in a subtle yet effective way. I found myself chuckling at some of the writer's expressions used to describe certain situations.
Another positive aspect is the informative and educative nature of the book. One of the writer's primary intentions is to educate his generation on his history. This makes him go into detail about his whole life experiences, which bothers around topics ranging from his job in foreign countries such as Zambia, South Africa, and Australia; growing up in a predominantly mining community, their way of life and religion, the media, as well as relationships with other neighbouring communities.
A positive aspect of this book that I also find intriguing is how Neil Cooper categorized his experiences, making it easy for me to follow through and relate one event to the other. He skillfully narrates his experiences switching from the first-person narrative to the third-person narrative at certain points in the book. For me, this is commendable as the writer was able to achieve clarity of events.
Another thing I like about the book is how realistic the author is in describing and portraying what writers face in scribbling out their thoughts to form a story. Writers are being looked up to as individuals who should behave in a certain way and might not be associated with certain vices, especially when telling about their personal encounters. However, the writer sees himself only as an individual who is being realistic about who he is. This can help writers who would like to fit into society's standard of what to expect of them rebel against that thought and be their true selves, writing only from a place where there is no shame but pure truth and realness. By doing so, there's someone somewhere who will relate to your story and learn from all your rises, falls, and lessons.
The negative aspect of this book is that it contains a lot of errors - punctuation, spelling, double texting, omission, and addition errors. For this reason, I will give Cooper's book a rating of 3 out of 4 stars. It did not get a lower rating due to all the positive aspects mentioned above. I recommend How I Survived Life for all lovers of literature works, writers, migrants, and people who love to travel.
How I survived life
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