3 out of 5 stars
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My Imaginary Friend: An Autobiography is a unique and thought-provoking book by Thomas Wermuth. The book tells the story of Wermuth's life, from his childhood in Louisville and his struggles with several aspects of his life, including his sexuality and growing up in an environment filled with hate, to his present-day life of gratitude, healing, and achievements as a successful violinist and a teacher. Despite the challenges he faced, Wermuth discovered a love for music at a young age and began learning how to play the violin. He quickly showed a natural talent for the instrument and eventually earned a place to study at the prestigious Juilliard School in New York City, commencing a journey that would take him to different parts of the world.
What makes this book stand out is the fact that Wermuth's imaginary friend or spirit guide, who he calls "Rankso," is a central character throughout the narrative. Throughout his challenges growing up and wondering if he was good enough, Rankso was always there, making appearances while the author narrated his story. Even though the author and his guide would part for a while, it was clear to see the strength and clarity that Rankso imparted to the young Thomas Wermuth, which would follow him up to adulthood on his self-discovery journey. There were a lot of positive coincidences on his journey, however, but I admired his ability to recognize opportunities and apply himself.
The book is written in a conversational style, with Wermuth's unique voice and personality shining through on every page. You can tell that he is lighthearted and doesn't take himself too seriously or allow negatives to hold him back, and he is honest and open about his struggles with bullying, which started from his mother and adopted sister/cousin, and not knowing how to navigate his feelings for men, as well as the role that these challenges played in his life.
While the book has its high points, I found it difficult to follow the progression of events, as the story seemed to be all over the place at times. The author commences by focusing on several characters in his life in the first three chapters, but that format was not followed in the rest of the book, and the story was not told in chronological order, making things a bit confusing for me. One moment he lost his father, and the next moment we were abruptly taken back to a period when he was still alive.
Even though the author states that there are intentional errors in the book's description, I must say that the number and type of errors are highly distracting, and I cannot say that this book was professionally edited. On that note, I rate this book three out of five. The book is both heartwarming and heartbreaking at times, as Wermuth recounts the highs and lows of his life and the impact that his imaginary friend has had on him, but it has its flaws that make for a difficult read at some points. If you enjoy autobiographies and inspiring journeys, you will enjoy several aspects of this read.
my Imaginary Friend
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