The Burn Journals by Brent Runyon. First Vintage Books Edition, 2005.
Genre: Non-Fiction/ Memoir
The Burn Journals is a true story of Brent Runyon’s devastating strategy. At age fourteen Brent put on a gasoline soaked bathrobe and lit it with a pack of matches. By the time he stopped the fire, 85 percent of his body had third-degree burns. The next year is spent in hospitals and rehab. During his road of recovery, he wondered why he even thought of taking his life many times. However, when healing he had said he was the happiest he had ever been, ever.
“’Runyon is funny, observant, restrained, and smart; he simply reflects, never editorializes. And on the strength of this, the pages flip by.” –The Boston Globe “Captures the reader with its originality and spirit.”
Runyon expresses his every feeling, so it is as real to you, as it was for him. In the hospital he complains constantly, usually, for pain, or he couldn’t sleep, or some other issue. I do not believe Brent has written any other books, so I wouldn’t be able to compare this book to others. This book was well written on its own. The description was very vivid and bold. For anyone who doesn’t mind a ‘bit’ of disturbing, you will enjoy this book. You would think Runyon would leave those parts out, but they are all incorporated, in my opinion I would say those parts were the cherry on top.
“I feel dizzy and I can’t talk and my chest hurts and my lung feels like someone is standing on it. I can’t talk. Someone needs to help me. Get help. My chest, I can’t breathe.” (37)
I would have to say; although this was a very alarming book, I still couldn’t put it down. It was the state of shock I had been put into once Runyon described how dreadfully awful his life was, and how he actually abused himself in attempt to try and be happy. This made me realize, that you don’t have to hurt yourself to get realized, and to be loved. Truth is your family and friends love you anyway, it may not seem that way at times, but it really is true. If you aren’t happy, get help. Talk to someone, anyone, a teacher, a friend, an acquaintance, as long as you are comfortable talking with whomever it is. And Get Help. No one should feel the way they feel. Everyone deserves to be happy.