June 7, 2011

Teaser Tuesday June 7: Half a Life by Darin Strauss

Posted in Book Talk tagged , , , , at 9:50 am by The Word Jar

Teaser Tuesdays asks you to:

* Grab your current read.
* Let the book fall open to a random page.
* Share with us two “teaser” sentences from that page.

You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your teaser from…that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!

As always, please avoid spoilers!

*   *   *   *   *

Hundreds turned, a mass, bovine shift: this was the school’s first sanctioned, public mention of Celine in front of me. How would I react? Warm-faced, I focused hard on my thighs.

A change of pace from the books I’ve been reading recently, Half a Life by Darin Strauss is a memoir. When he was eighteen, Strauss accidentally hit a bicycling classmate with his car and killed her. He describes what he went through in the aftermath of the accident, and how this event–especially how he is declared “blameless”–affected his life and still affects it today.

I’m waffling on this book. At times I find it heartbreaking, what everyone–Strauss, his parents, Celine’s parents–are going through. At the same time, it all has a sort of self-indulgent (and I hate to use that word, but I can’t think of anything more appropriate right now) feel, like all of this should be journaled or part of a private therapy session. I kind of feel like a creepy voyeur.

But I know that many memoirs like this can help others who have gone through similar situations. Strauss mentions that he never had anyone to talk with about the accident, as he didn’t know anyone who had gone through this as well. So he kept the accident a secret and tried to deal with it himself after he left his hometown to go to college.

Half a Life is a slim volume, probably a few hours’ read, tops. I should finish it soon, and I do hope that Strauss is able to find some peace for himself by the end.

What are you reading this week?

(Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Check it out for more teasers!)



  1. Jules said,

    I haven’t heard of this one before – I think. But it does sound interesting.

  2. Dana Burgess said,

    Love the teaser. What a tragic story.

  3. Good teaser. The writer shows the person’s unease – “focused hard on my thighs.” I like it!
    Here’s mine: Sandy’s Teaser

  4. I’ve been drawn to memoirs lately…this may be a good one to check out.

    Here’s MY TT POST

  5. Interesting teaser. Memoirs can be fascinating, and this one sounds very intense – maybe a little too intense.

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