I said I would read 52 books this year. I never said anything about finishing 52 books this year. I thought I might end up rage quitting a book at some point, but I didn’t expect it to be in week three. However, Barry Yourgrau’s Mess: One Man’s Struggle to Clean Up His House and His Act was too much of a struggle for me to read without throwing it at my wall.
The book is a supposedly humorous take on a hoarder in denial—he would prefer the term extreme clutterer—trying to clean his apartment to save his relationship. Considering that I’m going on my own purge as I prepare to move in with my boyfriend, I thought it would be a good fit for me.
Instead, I got through about ninety pages of Yourgrau making oh so clever excuses for himself, not admitting that he has a problem, and worst of all, judging the hell out of people who share his problem. His apartment might be filled with junk from exotic locales (that he’s only able to visit because he mooches off his food writer girlfriend), but it’s still junk and his apartment is still as unlivable as the next hoarder.
Does Yourgrau eventually clean up his apartment and his act? I don’t know and I don’t care. His combination of pretention and denial severed what little connection I had with him and his tendency to attribute too much emotional value to stuff.
Looks like I have one fewer book to pack before my big move.
Previously in this series: