I don’t read a lot of autobiographies but I have to confess that I was more than a bit curious about the life that has led to Patterson writing over 200 novels in his illustrious career. If you are familiar with his bitesize chapter writing style you’ll be pleased to hear that this is still the case with his life story. Short succinct stories that illustrate key moments in his life that shaped the man that he has become. They do jump around a bit in the timeline but it makes it a bit more of a stream of consciousness than a fixed linear anthology.
His early writing career began when he became a prolific reader while working at McLean Hospital, the psychiatric affiliate of Harvard Medical School. The biggest surprise for me is that Patterson was a real life Don Draper in the 1970s working in New York for J Walter Thompson, the world’s largest advertising agency. His daytimes were spent mixing with the larger than life characters of the time and his nights spent writing the first of his books. And Alex Cross was originally Alexis!
Patterson is the master of name dropping in this memoir. To be honest if I’d led the kind of life he has I probably would do the same thing. How many people have played golf with three American Presidents and worked as an usher at Fillmore East in the days of Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison!
My only real complaint about this book is that because of its easy, short story sized, conversational style, the book just flies by and before you know it you have reached the end. For me there wasn’t really enough in there about his writing process. His unusual writing style and history of working with collaborators (from Bill Clinton through to Dolly Parton) would make for quite an interesting section but he doesn’t go into this with very much depth. Perhaps saving that for a book of its own in the future?
Supplied by Net Galley and Random House UK in exchange for an honest review.
UK Publication Date: Jun 6 2022. 357 pages.
Prolific reader, enthusiastic theatre and movie-goer and ex-Olivier Awards judge who spent twenty years working in the music industry in London. Sharing my house with a gorgeous cockapoo called Harry who has taken over completely.
I love sharing my favourite books with friends - nearly always spoiler-free as I hate reading a synopsis of the whole book in other reviews.