Novels are written and read as a means of escape. At least they are for me. Memoirs, biographies, and autobiographies are typically read because we want to know more about someone with some level of renown. We want to see if our heroes really do have feet of clay.
These books are, by nature, not written to change us but sometimes they do. Those are the best ones.
An Accidental Cowboy by Jameson Parker is, for me, just such a book. In this book, Jameson recounts the story of the attempt by a madman to snuff out his life and his subsequent dance with the depths of depression. A place many have been, a dance many have danced.
In this book he offers hope of a way out. His life is a testament to us that we don’t have to stay in this most painful of painful places.
In this book you will giggle, you will laugh big loud guffaws that cause you to throw your head back while the laughter rushes out of your open mouth in loud gales. In this book you will also cry as you realize heroes really do have feet of clay. You will weep because no one should have to cry that way, and no one should feel that alone. You will feel anger. You will feel fear.
But most of all you will feel grace. The grace that held Jameson through this and brought him out on the other side to show us the endless possibilities, is the same grace that holds you in the midst of your greatest pain. It might not be the same pain, but it’s pain all the same.
Jameson writes in a very personal, very conversational way. He draws you in and through his words the story lives in your mind’s eye. It’s not because he gets bogged down in endless amounts of description, in fact the opposite. He gives no real description outside of what is needed for the story but he allows your imagination to picture it all and you place yourself in each situation he writes about. It lives in bright, vibrant color.
If you’re looking for spoilers, you won’t find any here. This is a most remarkable book written by a most remarkable man in a most remarkable way. I can’t recommend it high enough. It is added to the very short list of books I will return to again and again.
I give this book all the turning pages, because like Dancing with The Dead to give just a few would be ludicrous.