Quick Book Review: “Mess: One Man’s Struggle to Clean Up His House and His Act” by Barry Yourgrau

I stumbled upon a used copy of this paperback at The Strand.  It looked amusing and intriguing, so I grabbed it.  Turned out to be only mildly intriguing, and even less amusing, and, in many instances, was kinda annoying.  The author, a New York writer/artist/bohemian, admits he has a problem with “clutter”, and at his girlfriend’s urging (i.e., ultimatums), he goes about addressing his borderline hoarding problem.  Unfortunately, the book meanders all over the place, as the author zips from describing famous cases of hoarding, to tedious tales of his childhood, to family and personal issues that only detract from the story, rather than enhance it. Basically, the author spends nearly the entirety of the book telling us what he’s planning to do, rather than actually doing it, and frankly, it drove me crazy.  The author comes off as whiny, spoiled, immature, and self-absorbed, and although the book is supposed to be a humorous take on getting one’s life in order, it got no laughs out of me. Not even a smile. 

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