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Happy Ending by David Rat

Happy Ending (edition 2012)

by David Rat

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126768,668 (3.07)None
Title:Happy Ending
Authors:David Rat
Info:Open Books (2012), Paperback, 130 pages
Collections:Your library

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'Happy Ending' is a memoir in free verse, and there's a lot to like about it. It's painfully honest, very direct and - for the most part - genuinely poetic. In many ways it's a romantic book, with artful turns of phrase which pull whole worlds of meaning into otherwise simple observations. A lover's blue eyes are 'the color of Marilyn Monroe's car; the color of Picasso's guitar', images which suggest the exotic, the unobtainable, a life beyond reach.

As might be expected in a story of heroin addiction, the theme of the outsider figures prominently, and the idea of winners and losers is recurrent. Rat is clearly on the side of the losers, who 'aren't going away', and (albeit he is ostensibly talking about his dog) he offers a bitter insight into the losers' plight with the words 'too mean to love...thrown away and beaten - you can't blame us for hating you.' He is perhaps not quite so successful when he steps back and addresses politics with a big P, but such moments are few and far between, the majority of the book remaining in the realms of the intensely personal.

Which brings us to the motivation at the heart of 'Happy Ending' - Rat's son, James. The final poem is an extremely poignant open letter to him, the simple language only serving to enhance its power. '...not all little boys get the best daddies,' writes Rat. 'You got me; I'm sorry.' My favourite reference to James, though, is from halfway through the book, when the author is recalling a session at Narcotics Anonymous: '...someone said they heard a glimmer of hope in my voice... That's what you sound like.' ( )
  GregoryHeath | Feb 6, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
It was a dark read, reminding me how out of control we can get in our lives, if we are not careful. The road to self destruction has many paths and the author showed his.

As it continued on though, you started to feel a tinge of love, some faith coming through and a hopefulness that the author was trying to grasp to, in order to pull himself out of the abyss he had fallen into. I think it is a good read for anyone who thinks that life cannot come back onto the right path when all hope was lost. He struggled through to make his life better and to one that he deserves.
  amkerlin | Nov 25, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
My first thought when I finished this book was wow. I was blown away. This memoir not only packs a punch, but keeps you intrigued and reading more to see what will happen. I was captivated from page one and my attention was kept throughout the entire book. I couldn't put it down and had to read it in one sitting.

I found the words on the cover and the image to be very contradicting. How can needles have a happy ending? They almost always have a negative connotation and bring bad news. The cover art was creative and had a stark contast between the colors and the white background. It is an intriguing cover that captures your attention.

The prose was very well written and each verse broke my heart. The writing was so compelling and vivid, and stated everything bluntly. No sugar coating here. With every word that I read, I could feel the emotion that the author felt, I felt the heartbreak and the pain. The writing was done in a way that each word was not wasted, and the short verses had twice the impact of the long ones.

The author's story tells of heart breaks, loves won and lost, fame and fortune and the dark world of drugs. It seemed as though everytime David Rat got out, something else would bring him down back to the drugs. However, the one thing that finally got him out completely was his son. His love for him was no match for the drugs.

This was a dark book that I usually don't read and it was a change of pace from what I have been reading lately. It definitely brought a new perspective to the world around me. I know that drugs and rehab exist and the dangers of them. However, the way that this memoir was written made it seem so much closer to home than usual. For anyone who has ever known of a drug addict or has been affected, I would recommend this book. The pain and struggle that resonates with each word as it is read just grabs hold of you and won't let you go. Not until you finish it all. ( )
  bleu21 | Nov 14, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received this e-book through librarything and read it in one sitting. Sad, depressing, but ultimately hopeful. ( )
  iris3039 | Nov 4, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book was very dark and depressing. I think it would be good for his son to read it someday so that he knows that his father loved him. I feel bad for the author. Would I recommend this book to others? Not really. People that don't do drugs don't want to read about that agony people that go through when they take the drugs. People that do take drugs wouldn't want to read this because its depressing enough to make you want to take drugs if you already do.

It was well written though even if I don't care for the content. ( )
  reciperhon | Nov 3, 2012 |
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