Book Reviews

Review: Me, Myself & Eye: A Memoir by Dan Jeffries

me-myself-and-eye

I was kindly sent a free paperback copy of this memoir by the author Dan Jeffries.  It is an interesting and funny memoir, here is my review:

What is it like to grow up with a rare medical condition? Well, Dan Jeffries has and in this memoir he tells us what it’s like to grow up and live with Wyburn-Mason syndrome. And then he gets another one…

This is an interesting and very different memoir. In this book Dan Jeffries charts what it’s like to grow up with the rare medical condition Wyburn-Mason syndrome. I confess I’d never heard if before, but was fascinated to read after suffering my own problems with my eyes recently. The book is easy to read and get into right away.

The whole story of his life is told by Jeffries with a dose of humour which made this very easy and fun to read. I enjoyed learning all about what Wyburn-Mason syndrome is. The condition is certainly rare but easy to understand thanks to Jeffries fun and easy style of writing. Along with talking about his medical condition he also tells us his life story, growing up, going to university and his adult life. I found every portion of his memoir interesting to read, even mentions of failed DJ-ing events such as one featuring Lego were interesting to read about.

This book has an innovative new approach to memoirs which I both found interesting and annoying. Throughout the chapters there are footnotes. These footnotes can either be clicked on in the digital version, or you can go to Jeffries website and look up the numbers. Each number corresponds with a piece of media, either a picture, video or piece of music. Using this new idea of putting pictures and other media in a memoir was interesting and it certainly was fun to have a lot of images and things to watch/listen to, however there are no pictures in the book at all and I’m not sure this is such a good idea. One night a couple of weeks ago I tried to see the website only for it to be down. This meant I couldn’t see the images so while I like the new idea of technology with book, I would have preferred a few of the most important images still inside the paperback.

Overall this memoir flows well and Jeffries humour is a little blunt and crude at times but it’s still funny. However there is a portion of the book, a certain chapter, which might offend some readers. While Jeffries does talk about sex in his memoir there is one portion of the book which might be called ‘over-sharing’. You’ll either commend his bravery for mentioning some things or be a little offended to read it in a book. There is also infrequent use of the f and s swear words.

Reading this memoir and learning all about Wyburn-Mason syndrome was interesting. Learning about Jeffries other rare condition was even more interesting. I had no idea that such a condition could cause such effects on someone’s body when diagnosed in adulthood. This memoir definitely has a raw feel to it but comes across as an honest and open story. You connect with the author right away and feel for him as he goes through some difficult times. It is a good read but the book covers more than just his medical conditions and I do feel that the book’s description should hold some indication of the possible, raw and crude (or in Jeffries own words ‘sordid’) content. Overall an interesting read but probably not for everyone.

Rating: 4/5

Review published on Goodreads, click here

Book Description:

Wyburn-Mason syndrome. Ever heard of it? Dan Jeffries has, and his insightful and hilarious memoir explores what it’s like living with one of the world’s rarest medical conditions – and then finding out you have another one.

As well as exploring some universal themes of love, creativity and what it means to be a ‘man’, Me, Myself & Eye reflects on the challenges of growing up with such a rare condition, Dan’s frequent visits to Bristol Eye Hospital, his ambition to be an actor (or a professional snooker player) and then the journey of ‘big school’, University and eventually settling in Bristol to find his fame and fortune. And that’s when things really started to change.

Told through an innovative new approach that combines the traditional reading experience with modern technology, Me, Myself & Eye really lets the reader delve into Dan’s life story. Access the integrated footnotes to look at family photos, medical documents, scans and more and visit the web app to view videos and even listen to music Dan’s written over the years.

Me, Myself & Eye is a memoir that is both fascinating and insightful, packed full of drama and humour, and told with a fresh, honest and unique voice.

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