Top positive review
24 people found this helpful
You'll laugh. You'll cringe. You'll smirk. You'll be touched. You might even be inspired to change.
on January 10, 2014
I should probably mention upfront that my husband and I are both 39, so we're probably older than the majority who would gravitate to this book. Twentysomethings and fortysomethings will experience this book very differently. As ones who are about to turn forty, we chuckled a little at points in his book. Does Ken seem self-absorbed? Obsessive? Preoccupied with what he feels entitled to? A little commitment phobic? Does he seem to have all the answers in such a way as only a youngling in the world does? Absolutely. Because we were reading this aloud to one another, we both couldn't resist the urge to laugh at points by his largely self inflicted angst. Maybe we were laughing at ourselves, because we married at nineteen, and after college we bought an Airstream and lived in it for two years, seeing the country, so we saw something of ourselves in his journey. But unlike Ken, we came from very poor families, and those who grew up truly poor will always smirk or laugh at those with money who find life so…hard. Despite his very age-appropriate outrage, angst and inclination to preach, we surprised ourselves by how much we both enjoyed the book.
Overlook his shortcomings - they're largely predictable and age-appropriate. What Ken has to say is worth hearing, no matter your age. Life is lived poorly when lived in pursuit of things. He's right: you can be happy with less than you think you must have, are entitled to, cannot do without. For all your outrage in your youth at how dysfunctional the world is, as you get older, time and experiences will color your view of people differently. You soften. Outrage turns to an understanding and if you're lucky, compassion. If you're fortunate, you'll find happiness in an imperfect world you won't effectively change, but you'll spend your life doing your part. Maybe you'll recycle, bike rather than drive when you can, drive a tiny car, be part of the tiny houses group, farm your food, watch less TV, and never give a moment of your time worrying about what the Joneses have.
Ken was us at nineteen. Ken is many people in their youth. This book is an engaging read. Some of us will be reminded whom we were at his age. You'll laugh. You'll cringe. You'll smirk. You'll be touched. As I write this from our 710 square foot home, I'm smiling because the world keeps producing people like us - Kens - people like many of you. I hope his book touches those who are nothing like us, as that'd be the best result of his book.
Thank you, Ken.