TED WILSON REVIEWS THE WORLD: DARRYL’S DIARY

Electric Lit relies on contributions from our readers to help make literature more exciting, relevant, and inclusive. Please support our work by becoming a member today, or making a one-time donation here.
.

★★★☆☆

Hello, and welcome to my week-by-week review of the world. Today I am reviewing Darryl’s Diary.

Reading someone else’s diary is not always wrong. Legally, a husband has the right to read his wife’s diary. A lawyer I met on the bus told me that. It’s also not wrong when the diary has been left in a library and you’ve mistaken it for a limited edition book with one of the least legible fonts imaginable.

Such is the case with Darryl’s Diary, which I recently came across under a copy of Sounder in the children’s section. Despite the poor handwriting, grammar, and punctuation, Darryl’s Diary proved an engaging read due to all the secrets and drama. Oh boy were there secrets! If you’re planning to read Darryl’s Diary, you’re going to want to skip the next paragraph because it’s full of spoilers.

Darryl doesn’t really care for the sweater his mother knitted him but still wears it out of guilt. Speaking of guilt, Darryl is guilty of taking some money off his parents nightstand to buy a “cool necklace.” Later, we learn that necklace was eaten by the family dog and Darryl denied any knowledge of it. Needless to say, this book is quite the read!

I had assumed Darryl was about fifteen, judging by his use of statements like “I wish everyone would stop asking me what I want to be when I grow up.” But then he revealed he had made out with someone at his internship for his 26th birthday celebration.

It was these kinds of twist and turns that made me not be able to put his diary down. Not even when he came up behind me and tried to pry it from my hands. I think that’s the ultimate compliment — to be so engrossed by a book that even the author can’t get you to stop reading it.

Fortunately I was able to photocopy some of the pages for others to read before Darryl told me to “eat shit.” If you’d like to read some for yourself, please call me at (617) 379–2576 and leave a message on my answering machine with your email address.

BEST FEATURE: It’s only 64 pages which means very light reading.
WORST FEATURE: Darryl yelling at you can be a real distraction when you’re trying to turn the page.

Please join me next week when I’ll be reviewing a turtle’s face.

More Like This

That Guy in Your MFA’s 10 Rules for Novelists

I have placed a short story in a very prominent literary journal that may or may not exist, so I know what I’m talking about

Nov 23 - Dana Schwartz

Patrick deWitt Wants to Write Books for People Who Don’t Read Books

The author, of ‘French Exit’, talks about his writing process

Aug 31 - Adam Vitcavage

How to Name Your Small Indie Press

We’ve developed a foolproof formula for aspiring publishers everywhere

Mar 23 - Electric Literature
Thank You!