Confessions of a Clueless Rebel
by Tom Corbett
Hancock Press

"I don’t recall spending much time in the house, certainly before getting a TV and later discovering books. We kids were always outside."

Reflecting on more than 70 years of life, this re-telling of the author’s previous memoir, Ouch, Now I Remember, again focuses on his personal stories instead of his professional accomplishments. From family life at home as a child to adventures abroad as a young adult, this memoir ties these anecdotes with a common thread: a subconscious aversion of expectations of self and others that led the author to the unique life he continues to enjoy. The stories are organized by a general theme (learning, developing, maturing) and offer plenty of asides and diversions rather than adhering strictly to chronological sequence. Full of humor, positive reminisces, regretful memories, and plenty of personal insights that lead to universal truths, this book makes for an intimate memoir that invites the reader in to see the life of the author through his own eyes.

Deftly wielding a style that is fluid, exploratory, and chock-full of self-deprecating humor, Corbett’s writing disarms the reader immediately and allows him to interject personal feelings on potentially sensitive topics without stepping on any toes. By transitioning effortlessly from story to story, the author is able to shine a light on how decisions and ways of thinking in his youth shaped his life’s direction decades later. This creates an almost stream-of-consciousness style narrative that gives freedom and a sense that the author is sitting across from the reader, recalling details as they feel relevant. As a storytelling approach, it works exceedingly well and immediately puts a smile on the reader’s face, creating a bond that carries through the length of the book. It allows its audience to vicariously see the silver lining of awkward moments and laugh with the author rather than at him.

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