Tuesday 23 April 2013

Dark Review - Jeff, One Lonely Guy

Dark Review Image

Jeff, One Lonely Guy Book Review

By Casey Douglass

Book written by Jeff Ragsdale, David Shields and Michael Logan

I found this book at random while browsing Amazon one day and was intrigued by the premise. Jeff decides to put up a flyers around Manhattan asking for people to contact him if they would like to talk. The flyer and phone number soon goes viral, appearing on reddit.com and spreading by word of mouth.

Jeff ends up receiving thousands of calls and texts, much to his astonishment. The nature of the calls showed a large spectrum of human emotion and communication. From the "You're crazy" ones to people confiding in him about the most personal things. The calls/texts are in the main shown with Jeff's responses omitted but they are still understandable. This does let you make your own conclusions also.

I very much enjoyed reading the book. There was usually something unexpected or touching to be found on each page, and I went from thinking how lonely some people are, to thinking what arseholes some can be as well, often within the space of a few pages. Viewed as a social commentary, it is a little sad that he had so many responses and I am not sure what that says about the world we live in today, where people are connected to more people than ever, but only virtually, and not so much in the old ways. I also wonder how such a thing would fare if carried out electronically. I would be doubtful that such a message on Twitter would have the same effect as this flyer pinned to a wooden pole. Maybe we are getting to the stage that so many people are online and interacting via IM, emails and Skype, that if someone like Jeff goes the old-school route, maybe they stand out that little bit more.

One thing I would say is it is a very short read, maybe two hours or thereabouts. I picked up the Kindle version for £3.99 which felt about right. I don't like to judge something like this by price but it did come into my impulse buying decision, and £3.99 seemed about right for the amount of content, however revealing it might have been.

I haven't read a book like this before and I am glad I took the chance with this one.