The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving by Jonathan Evison

By: Alyssa Wynans Email
By: Alyssa Wynans Email

So I suppose I did something bad here. I judged a book by the cover. Don’t judge me like that; it was a really, really pretty cover. A couple of weeks ago, I picked up The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving by Jonathan Evison in a Barnes & Noble mainly because the front cover was super colorful. They tricked me, y’all… they tricked me.

So basically this mid-30 year old guy with a super tragic back story (which I will not reveal here) takes a job as a caretaker to a teenage boy with a degenerative disease that confines him to a wheelchair. That is about all I can tell you without giving away major plot points…

So I think you’ve gathered by now that I wasn’t a bi fan of this book.

There were multiple reasons:

1. It started out really slow. I’m kind of surprised I read more than the first 50 pages. They spend multiple weeks in a horribly boring routine. Here’s the thing: I understand that the author needed to establish the characters before launching in to the real story, but there is a way to do it that doesn’t leave your reader bored and considering not even finishing the book. The introductions to the characters were just too long.

2. The main character really held no appeal for me. You’re supposed to be identifying with him and feeling sorry for him, but I just never did. It’s a while into the book before you find out about his tragic past life, and so I was getting pretty sick of the pity party he was throwing for himself. I guess it made it a little bit better when I learned the whole story… but only a little… a very little.

3. It seems like Evison is under the impression that a 30-something-year-old and a teenage boy can only bond over being super horny all the time. That annoyed me. During the “getting-to-know-each-other” stage of the book, it seemed to be 90% of what they talked about was the chances of either of them getting laid. Maybe that is the only thing they could bond over, I don’t know, I’m not a boy. It just felt very shallow and boring to me. There were simply too many pages of them drooling over slutty girls.

Overall though, I did enjoy Evison’s style of writing. It was fluid and easy to read. It is possible that I would enjoy a different book written by this author… with different characters. It just didn’t turn out to be the masterpiece I was expecting it to be. These things happen.

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