Monday, April 16, 2012

Scratch Beginnings

Scratch Beginnings: Me, $25 and the search for the American Dream
By Adam Shepard

After reading Barbara Ehrenreich’s “Nickel and Dimed”, Adam Shepard was not ready to believe that the American Dream was unattainable to those who start at the bottom. So with his glass half full mentality he set out to a new city with $25.00 in his pocket determined to prove that the American Dream can be a reality.

I liked Adam Shepard’s attitude much more than Barbara’s and was pleased with his determination to stick with it until he proved Barbara or himself wrong. This book was different from Nickel & Dimed because he wasn’t trying to flex his intellectual muscles and superior social skills through his writing.  He assumed his role as a homeless man as well as he could.

I got bored in this book too. This wasn’t a book about how to become a professional mover however I felt he spent a lot of time talking about all that and it wasn’t necessary. This and “Nickel and Dimed” could have been easily reduced to a few essays and made their points just as poignantly.

Although Adam had a better hope in his outcome his Suzy Sunshine attitude and need to be ‘accepted’ or ‘liked’ by the ‘in-crowd’ at a homeless shelter or at his work was very high school and I disliked that very much. Who cares if the popular kids like you?  I guess it makes life a bit more charmed but if you are trampling on others while you trot on your high horse, your elevated status is of no help to others. I give this book 1 ½ stars. I am a little bothered that books are selling that mimic the working poor. There are plenty of working poor, why don’t we just research their story and publish that instead of playing pretend?

No comments: