Friday, October 6, 2017

Book Review: Hillbillly Elegy by J.D. Vance

This book kept showing up, so I finally broke down and borrowed it from my library.

At first I couldn't put it down. His descriptions of his family, the stories he had to share were so entertaining. I really grew to love his Mamaw. She, more than anyone else, was a stabilizing force in J.D.'s life.

His entire family struggled with addiction and abuse, including his Mamaw. And while he looked at what was going on in the Ohio manufacturing town he lived in, I felt like he leaned on his own ideas of cause and effect.

As he grew up in the story, he became more conservative and our views differed. I didn't always agree, but I felt like he met it somewhat in the middle, acknowledging the brain drain that happens and how low-income people can be stuck due to lack of funds necessary for a move. Some key points that many conservatives refuse to see.

But then he joined the Navy, which was a great experience for him. And he started college, again a great experience. But I soon grew tired of all the patting himself on the back, look at how hard he worked and on how little sleep. When he said he looked at a calendar to count how many nights he'd slept more than 4 hours, I pronounced the book DOA.

It turned into something more about his ego and I just couldn't anymore. Very interesting points made, and definitely some fun stories. I don't hold his bias against him, everything is biased. But I felt like he moved from the objective he was trying to reach in the beginning and it became all about him.