Reviewed by Timea Barabas
Please Feel Bad I’m Dead by M. Price is not your typical pleasant and easy read, but it is a memorable one. This satirical take on the absurdity of life and modern society aptly mirrors a shattered mind. The substance of the book can easily seep between the reader’s fingers as they are distracted by the author’s entrancing stylistic dance. Click Here to Purchase
It all begins with Jhaegar Holdburn, a teenager living on the border, but where does it end? Jhaegar is a social outcast exploring the border regions of society, drifting through the incoherent flow of life. Even when he’s caught amid the action, he is enveloped by a sense of dissociation, drifting away on a self-reflexive cloud.
The book is a whirlwind experience of an imploding mind. Readers experience the nearly 300 pages of the book, from the mindset of Jhaegar, as an often incoherent, cinematic, and disruptive ride. Thus, the author aptly embodies mental illness in the form of Please Feel Bad I’m Dead. This chaotic narrative kidnaps readers and takes them on a surprise journey of self-destruction.
As characters, scenes, and settings keep changing at an increasing speed, Jhaegar seeks escape in death. Yet, the grand plan is met with a series of mishaps. When eventually he seems to find the coveted ending, he only finds a new beginning. The scenes and characters are mere shifting shadows of the others, acting out satirical chunks of life.
The narrative flow is often disrupted by sherds of screenplay and movie reviews that appear loosely connected to current events. But is there more to these deviations than meets the eye? Such breaks from the narrative invite the reader to reflect on meanings as a construct that subdue realities. Or the lack thereof.
What may initially seem like an egotistic narrative unravels into a critique of society. Whether or not the reader aligns with the character’s views seems of little relevance, as the book offers multiple planes of reading and interpretation. After peering into a feverish mind, readers are left grasping at a disjointed bundle of meaning.
Please Feel Bad I’m Dead by M. Price invites the reader to explore in-between spaces. The often blurred lines of sanity and illness, the void of daily dialogues, the societal gaps which engulf misfits, and whatever lies between life and death.