“The difference between a story and an essay is that the storyteller just wants to entertain the reader, while the essayist has been to graduate school.”
Of the above quote, both statements ring true when Mister Essay Writer Guy is involved. Mr. Essay Writer Guy himself, Dinty W. Moore, has penned the ultimate not-so-helpful self-help book for writers. The advice guide is both an entertaining story and scholarly essay.
Dear Mister Essay Writer Guy: Advice and Confessions on Writing, Love, and Cannibals is a statement novel that every would-be writer should at least pick up. Even if one doesn’t get past the dedication of “To the Polar Bears. Be gentle with me.” one has already benefited from the little bit of laughter and from the exercise of putting the book back down.
Written in the style of an advice column, Mr. Essay Writer Guy has a knack for skirting around the asked question, only to actually answer it in his own flamboyant, turned-around style. In short, the advice-seekers start with the inquiry of “What?” and end with the inquiry of “What?” with just a bit more sarcasm and eloquence.
Not to say that Mr. Essay doesn’t answer his questions. He does.
But, when not answering questions, the author supplies his own self narrative to fill in the blanks of both question and answer. The humorous anecdotes add to the advice in their own creative and quirky ways. There is no blatant “do this, not that,” but there is fodder for thought, leaving the writing-reader a chance to make their own creative choices and mistakes.
What this book does is what every writer needs to know. There is no one right way to do something, but there are many ways to make it a challenge and to make it stand out from the crowd– which is exactly what a book about writing, love, and cannibals is supposed to do.
I received a free copy of Dear Mister Essay Writer Guy: Advice and Confessions on Writing, Love, and Cannibals from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.