My rating: 5 of 5 stars
When Scott Oglesby graced me with a review copy of his Lost in Spain: A Collection of Humorous Essays, I was honored and thrilled being a fan of his writing from back when he kept a hilarious blog.
This book of essays are the memoirs of a man able to observe the comedy in his life and surroundings no matter how high or low the situation. We see snapshots of a socially awkward, yet charming man making his way through through strange family members and even stranger strangers.
When we first meet Scott, we are in Ibiza, Spain with his wife and her wealthy, eccentric brother. One begins to feel as though Scott is the narrator of The Great Gatsby: Espana Ediccion. He is the outsider looking into an opulant world, the ultimate non-stop party…until we see the actual home he and his wife are to spend the next three years. The apartment the uncle has given them is in the rural village of Javaron, a place unlike Ibiza or anywhere else he could imagine.
While in Javaron, the Oglesbies live among a unique cast of villagers, Gypsies, and European ex-pats of varying moral fortitude. The fact that Scott has a severe case of OCD, struggles with alcohol and drug abuse, and doesn’t quite fit in anywhere is explored with great candor and humor.
If you have OCD, and I do, you may find yourself relating to the the book in that you will be saying to yourself, “There’s someone else that does that. Wow!” The fear of mimicking someone’s accent, to going to insane lengths not to offend someone, to being on the extreme side of socially awkward are all things I have dealt with too. Scott also has the abillity to not sweat the big stuff and fall apart at little things, something I find happens to me too.
In short, this is a rauciously funny book, a different travel memoir, and a portrait of someone struggling to survive mental illness and addiction. It has something that will resound with most readers.