Happy: A Memoir

Happy: A Memoir

By: Alex Lemon
Publisher: Scribner
Publication Date: December 2009
ISBN: 978-1416550235
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: February 2010

In retrospect, Alex felt that something was missing in his life. It was not a person, nor something tangible, but rather something that was missing or scattered in his brain. Addlebrained wasn't quite the word for it, but close. He felt funny at times, but his college lifestyle could have easily accounted for some of it. Drinking, drugs, pot, shrooms. Those things sometimes make a person feel like they are out in left field. It was something more insidious that just a drug cocktail, it was "something" very wrong. Alex, "Happy" as he was sometimes known, was athletic, outgoing and a definite ladies man, but when his vision started to get quirky and his body began to betray him on the baseball field he needed to get some medical help. The test results came back. His brain was hemorrhaging and he needed a ride to the hospital.

The greatest nightmare for a parent is to hear their child call from a hospital bed saying, "I'm being prepped for a cerebral angiography." Alex would make it though, but he was going to end up being a "turf monkey" and would have to dump sports for a while. He was listening to the medical establishment, but wasn't sure he wanted an operation in a "highly eloquent area." Alex would have to make a choice because later he started to bleed again. He was twenty-one years old and if he did make it he'd be "kicking all day with [his] Ma." If he didn't, he could be pushing up daisies. The choice was his. "I want to do the surgery . . . Ma, I've made up my mind." He began to take a close look at his short life. Drugs, his childhood molestation, sports and women. Was he going to make it and if so what would he be like?

This was a very candid memoir that will make the reader really examine their own life and think about what is important and what can be tossed. The language was very colorful, but I had to remind myself that college dorms and young men are not in nursery school, nor do they speak as if they are. What I especially liked was Alex's powerful connection with the universe and his will to overcome whatever obstacles came his way. If there was ever a testament to a mother's love you'll find it in here. For a while I was thinking I didn't care for this book, nor for Alex because his college lifestyle was a turn off. Somehow I kept turning those pages and in the end I had to admit, I grew quite fond of him and loved his memoir!

Quill says: This candid memoir will make the reader examine their own lifestyle...just what is important in life? What isn't?

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