In a small town on the west coast of Scotland, five-year-old Peter Gibb trades his soul to the devil in a futile attempt to win the approval of classmates, teachers, and parents. Follow the story of Peter's humorous but desperate struggle to find a way out of the dungeons of doubt.
Peter Gibb is an author, writing teacher, editor, coach, and speaker, committed to spreading the joys of memoir and mindfulness. Please visit him at www.petgergibb.org.
This memoir is a brutally honest depiction of the effects that lifelong depression had on the writer. The manner in which the plot alternates between the author’s childhood and his adult self kept the plot fresh and compelling. That, I think, was the most remarkable aspect of the book. Depression is not a subject that easily engenders sympathy, and yet Mr. Gibb kept me engaged throughout — not an easy task considering the symptoms. The generational switching also reinforced the reality that depression is not a feeling, not a sadness, not “the blues,” but a disease, a mental imbalance that is neither age nor situationally dependent.
Certainly, the account will be interesting to other depression sufferers who will nod along with the challenges of living with this ailment, and perhaps learn some coping techniques. But, the quality of Mr. Gibb’s writing will extend the audience to those lucky souls who do not suffer from Peter’s internal demons. I think a non-sufferer will come away with a deeper understanding of the challenge of simply getting out of bed when the depressive is mired in the dark depths of a black period.
No significant issues.
Rating: **** Four Stars
Reviewed by: Pete Barber
Approximate word count: 70-75,000 words