Why Can’t I Be Normal?

Justin Zaza’s latest is a neat little book with a glossy white cover and huge text announcing the title Why Can’t I be Normal? However, it is missing an indication that this is a work of fiction, so it kind of looks like a self-help book. I’m not opposed to self-help books but I would be uncomfortable to read one in public. I know you shouldn’t judge a book by the cover but I’m afraid of people judging me based on this book’s cover. It is too bad because this would be a really good book to read in transit! It is only 120 pages long therefore, a completely satisfying read if you could read an entire book in the commute to and from work. I suggest making a convenient 4×7 book cozy for the book to avoid being an obnoxious person announcing their self-help problems to the world. Or just avoid reading this book in public. I read it in the bath. I also realized you can read this book in the same time it takes for the bath water to become cold. Once I got past the cover, I realized I enjoyed the book. It is the type of book where the reader is more aware of what is going on than the protagonist. Those who liked The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime would most likely enjoy this. Zaza sums up the book perfectly on the backcover, “Why Can’t I be Normal? tells the story of a man who wants so badly to be normal, that he becomes increasingly weird. Perfect one sentence description.” Good job, Zaza! Also this book has its own web-site: whycantibenormal.com I bet it gets a lot of hits from lonely people who have decided to go to askjeeves.com to solve their socialization issues. On the website you can read the prologue and first two pages of the book. There is also a phone number posted so perhaps you can call Zaza himself to ask questions about character motives or if you just need to talk. (Alison S.M. Kobayashi)

Fiction, 120 pgs, by Justin Zaza, $15.00, Human Warnings Publishing, 250 Wellington St. W., #642, , Toronto, ON, M5V 3P6, whycantibenormal.com

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