“Diary of an Oxygen Thief” is unexpectedly startling


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Cover of Diary of an Oxygen Thief.

Christina Benavides, Copy Editor

When I first picked up “Diary of an Oxygen Thief”, I thought it would be a book of poetry. I was surprised when I read the first page and found out that it wasn’t. It was far from what I thought it would be about.

It’s written anonymously about an Irish man who bluntly writes about how he used to like hurting women. He explains on the first page of the book that he got off on emotionally hurting them, and he compares himself to a serial killer who feels no remorse.

This book is a Dutch memoir that was published in 2006. The dark themes do hit close to home if you have ever experienced someone hurting you the way that this anonymous author explains he did. Although, he sounds like a jerk, I admire his honesty. Not everyone would admit to getting women to fall in love with them, and quickly discarding them just to enjoy the pain they have put them through.

I may admire his honesty; however, he did sound whiny throughout the book. He complained about his job and his house when he moved to America. He also whined about how a beautiful Irish girl he fell in love with treated him poorly. He mentioned that she was playing games with him, but if I recall correctly, he used to play games with women himself.

When you read the first few pages, you expect to hear about this heartless sociopathic man. I did not think he was as “dark” the more I read his words.

I do like the way he approached his writing. It was very personal. The way he writes is directly to the audience, and he makes it feel like he is sitting with you having a conversation about his life. Often, he brings up how he hopes the book will be published. I loved this because it made it sound raw. As if I was reading his diary or something.

Another thing I did enjoy about the book was his humor. I did think he sounded rather witty, although again, he sounded like a jerk who deserves what he got. He explains that he was an alcoholic and believes it might be a connection to why he acted so horribly to women. In my opinion, I would disagree. I think him bringing up he was an alcoholic and was going to Alcoholic Anonymous meetings was his way of getting readers to feel sympathy.

After hearing him graphically talk about the way he would get women to fall for him, then discard them; I immediately could not sympathize with him. I personally don’t think a person like that just magically changes their ways. No amount of AA meetings or years without interacting with women can make me feel like a person of this nature “changed.”

Despite my opinions of the author, I felt like the story just dragged on. There were some parts of the story I felt was not necessary, and he seemed to go off track a lot. The story did not seem organized, but I liked his honesty. It sounded truthful when he spoke about the darker themes, and I saw more of the author’s character when he spoke vividly about his actions. It seemed like it was the only time he sounded like himself, sadly.

Overall, I have a hate and love relationship with this book. It is unique, which I can appreciate. I just wish the book did not drag on in some parts the way it did. Read with caution, there are some sexual themes, including darker themes.

3.5 out of 5