3 out of 4 stars
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Life of a Struggle Kid by Lucho Bensius Nande is an autobiography. The author has a very distinctive writing style; it is both engaging and funny. As a child, Lucho was very adventurous and got up to all sorts of shenanigans. He was also precocious in his dealings with members of the opposite sex, this leads to some very funny anecdotes.
The autobiography concentrates on the author's childhood, starting when he was only a baby. Lucho tells about his life growing up. How his father cheated on his mum and they separated. For several years after the separation, Lucho’s family had to live with relatives as they didn’t have enough money to get their own place.
Lucho noticed girls at a very young age, often asking them for a kiss. When these incidents were discovered and the girl in question happened to be a relative, a move to somewhere else was often precipitated. At other times, something else bad would happen that meant they had overstayed their welcome, and they had to move on. When they moved, they went to live with another relative. This usually meant having to change to a different city. Though they also moved state several times, and they even moved to another country on occasion.
At school, Lucho wasn’t a very good student, and then they discovered he had learning difficulties. This lead to him getting special treatment and classes, that he didn’t want. As he got older, he started hanging out with a bad crowd. This leads him naturally into taking up smoking and drugs.
As I have mentioned before, the author has his own unique style of writing. I believe that the author writes as he talks. Anyone totally pedantic about grammar would say that there are hundreds of errors in this book. However, if you read it with a foreign accent, you can easily imagine that you are sitting in a comfortable armchair, while Lucho paces about the room telling you his life story. That being said, there are some errors that don’t fall into this category. Such as using the word “do” instead of “due”.
In reading this book I found it hard to keep up with all the people mentioned. Some just get “I made friends with…”, and they never get mentioned again. Others are relevant only for a few pages. While there are some, most notably family members, that crop up again and again throughout the book. It was also hard to track events, as he talks about one thing, and then he switches to another quite abruptly.
The thing I loved most about this book is the way that the family sticks together, helping each other out as needed. The thing I hated the most is that some of the family members seem to have no idea how to act around children. There was one scene where Lucho had to share a bedroom with his uncle. He tells how his uncle used to watch porn in their room, which I found to be most distressing.
I can only rate this book as 3 out of 4 stars, this is due not only because of the errors that I found but also because of the way it jumps from scene to scene with almost no flow. I think this book would appeal to parents of troubled kids, perhaps it can show them how to avoid some of the things that Lucho went through.
A Man Child's Diary
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