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Review: Confessions of a Former Child

April 2, 2009

confessions-of-a-former-child

As a child, Daniel J. Tomasulo had a very active imagination.   He was convinced his father was a spy, not just an ordinary spy either, but a double agent.  He was so proud of his father and would beg to  join him on some of his “missions.”  Daniel also believed that he controlled all of the street lights and traffic lights in Union City, New Jersey and New York City, so he was pretty upset when his family moved to the country.  His father solved all of his problems by secretly wiring a local streetlight to all of those in Union City and New York City.  When Daniel’s mother told him that she became pregnant when a seed grew inside her, he swore off all foods that could possibly contain a seed and subsisted on cream cheese and butter sandwiches, as long as the bread wasn’t rye, of course.  Daniel grew up, got married and became a psychologist and psychodrama trainer.  He tells the story of the first person he did a psychological test on for the state.  It was the first time he’d tested someone with an intellectual disability and his patient was quite a character.  He shares the story of accidentally decapitating his daughter’s Ken doll.  He tells of training for and running in the New York City Marathon.

These and other stories are included in Daniel J. Tomasulo’s Confressions of a Former Child: A Therapist’s Memoir.  Tomasulo’s writing engaged me right from the beginning.    His memories are written in a non-linear fashion, but he writes in such a way that it works.  When he writes about his childhood, it’s obvious he remembers how it feels to be a child.  Some parts of this book are very funny and had me laughing out loud.  I even read parts to Carl and he was laughing at it, too.  Carl said he could see why I was enjoying the book.  I have to say that  I really didn’t enjoy the part when he wrote of the psychodrama he performed to resolve some issues with his late mother.  While this may have been something important for him to go through, I felt like it was too personal for me to read about.  Overall, I felt like this was a good, but not great book.

Review copy provided by Phenix & Phenix.

28 Comments leave one →
  1. April 2, 2009 7:54 am

    Great review! I would like to read this one. The plot sounds so interesting and unique.

  2. April 2, 2009 8:06 am

    You intrigued me — I have added it to my list of books I would like to read (but will probably not get to this one for quite a while)

  3. April 2, 2009 8:12 am

    Very interesting book! Don’t you love when you’re reading really personal stuff — you’re like TMI!

  4. April 2, 2009 8:19 am

    You had me until the psycho-drama!

    It sounds like you really enjoyed a lot of the book (his childhood antics sound fantastic!), but that snippets from his adult life were too much.

    I may pick this up, but I’m prepared for the less entertaining parts.

  5. April 2, 2009 8:42 am

    what a great review. sounds like a very interesting book.

  6. April 2, 2009 9:07 am

    Nice review. It doesn’t sound like my kind of book though.

  7. April 2, 2009 9:59 am

    I read this not too long ago and have to admit that I was laughing so hard when he wrote about the seed thing… OMG, if anyone saw me just sitting there cracking up – they’d think I was a crack-up myself.

    I agree about his issues with his mother, it did feel too personal to share. Great review.

  8. stacybuckeye permalink
    April 2, 2009 10:01 am

    Great review 🙂

  9. April 2, 2009 10:41 am

    Sounds like an odd little book. Quirky comes to mind.

  10. April 2, 2009 10:55 am

    Ooh, this sounds like an entertaining read.

  11. April 2, 2009 12:31 pm

    This sounds interesting. I like to read authors thoughts and experiences but it can be uncomfortable when it seems to personal.

  12. April 2, 2009 12:35 pm

    It sounds like a good book. Thanks.

  13. April 2, 2009 1:50 pm

    Nice review. It sounds like an interesting read except for the parts that may be too personal. Not sure I’d pick it up but you never know. I like the cover though-almost like a person is lost in a fishbowl to me.

  14. April 2, 2009 4:58 pm

    Good review. Now I’m interested to know more and see what I think about parts of it myself. First time I’m in the mood for some non fiction, I’ll check the public library. I’m participating in a new meme for the first time today. I’d so appreciate your opinion on it K. I’m the first one to do it besides the host. It’s called Thursday Tea and it’s here:

    http://freshinkbooks.blogspot.com/2009/04/thursday-tea.html

    Thank you.

  15. April 2, 2009 5:04 pm

    Another laugh out loud book. You are a happy reader these days, aren’t you. I like people who can remember what it feels like to be a child. I think I might like this one.

  16. April 2, 2009 7:32 pm

    Hmm sounds interesting and soul baring for the author.

  17. April 2, 2009 9:51 pm

    Sounds kind of interesting. I was right there and ready to get it but then your last couple sentences stopped me short….was it just the mother thing that got you or was it something else?

  18. April 2, 2009 9:59 pm

    Certainly a really interesting cover!

  19. April 2, 2009 10:16 pm

    I read and reviewed this as well, and pretty much agree with your assessment. http://rannthisthat.blogspot.com/2009/02/confessions-of-former-child-my-review.html

  20. April 2, 2009 10:17 pm

    That sounds great. I think I’d like to read it just for the bits about training for a marathon. Maybe that means I need to seek out a marathon training book. Hmm. Great review!

  21. Bobbie Crawford-McCoy permalink
    April 2, 2009 10:22 pm

    I think I would really like to read this book. Your review makes it sound super-interesting, thanks Kathy.

    Hello fellow book blogger,

    It’s Bobbie from ‘Book Reviews By Bobbie.
    I am passing on the Sisterhood Award, to you! 🙂
    Please drop my blog to find out all the details. Here is the link: http://bookreviewsbybobbie.wordpress.com/2009/04/02/two-more-awards/

    Have a fantastic day!

    -Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

  22. alirambles permalink
    April 3, 2009 3:47 am

    Therapists aren’t traditionally great with the whole written-humor thing, so for that alone I’m inclined to read this one!

  23. April 3, 2009 10:11 am

    sounds like it had its ups and downs. great review though.

  24. April 3, 2009 1:29 pm

    Great review, Kathy. I hadn’t heard of this one before, but I’ll have to keep an eye out for it. It sounds interesting.

  25. fleurfisher permalink
    April 3, 2009 5:28 pm

    Looks interesting. You’ve been reading some great books recently!

  26. April 4, 2009 11:27 am

    Just the title of this book made me laugh. I’ll have to check it out! Thanks for the review, and the warning about the mother issues – I might skip that part.

  27. April 4, 2009 4:43 pm

    Some memoirs really shouldn’t be published sometimes but I’m glad you enjoyed some of it!

  28. April 23, 2009 2:43 pm

    I don’t think this one is for me, but it sounds as though some parts were entertaining.

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