Review of The Inconsequential Child by Anthony Martino
I don’t normally read this type of book. I seldom review self help books. But I was approached by someone representing the author (who used a pseudonym to write the book) to take a look. So after finishing the book I was faced with a dilemma. As an author myself, I know how important reviews can be. I also know how difficult it can be to get reviews. So I’d love to help this author (whoever he is). But part of the deal when requesting reviews is that the review be honest.
The author presents the book as a series of letters from himself to the reader. My impression is that it often read like the author was asked by his psychiatrist to put down on paper his thoughts about certain events and feelings, and this book is the end result of that assignment. I didn’t get a sense of flow. One section didn’t necessarily lead to the next. At times I felt that the author was expressing anxieties that we all feel or have felt, but he had blown them way out of proportion. The two memories, for example, that the author points to as the source of his feeling inconsequential, didn’t seem all that harmful. I’m sure all of us have experienced feeling inconsequential at one time or another. The author even acknowledges the insignificance of those early negative encounters.
There are glimpses of insight that can be found throughout the book. One such passage reflects on the purpose of the book itself. “Impactful events of the past are stored in our memories with life experiences and perspectives of our youth. As adults, those very same events will not impact us as deeply as they once did because our point of view has evolved.” My sentiments exactly.
The book contains many instances where the author will write something along the line of “This just popped into my head,” or, “I didn’t realize this until this very moment.” That comes across as though I was reading a first draft. I’m sure the author spent countless hours rewriting, but often the first thing that pops into your head isn’t necessarily something that should remain in later drafts. AT least you don’t want to announce it to the world.
There is no question that there are people who might benefit from this book. The author has insight that may benefit others with similar issues. It’s quite possible that I completely missed the point. I’ve done this before with another book along the same vein as this one. The book was A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. The first time I read it, I thought it was phycho-babble. But during one particular down point in my life someone suggested I give the book another try. That’s when I got it. I just had to be in the right frame of mind to understand the book’s impact. So the next time I’m feeling inconsequential, maybe I’ll give this book another try.