The Poor Man’s Guide to Suicide by Andrew Armacost

Wesley Weimer, a twice-divorced prison guard and failed father of two, realizes that his life has grown lifeless. Child support payments suck him dry and so he’ll never finish that degree. Most of his free time is spent tending to his crippled mother or else writhing through painful visits with his children.

So with Christmas right around the corner, Wesley persuades a prisoner to strangle him for ten thousand dollars—this way, at least his kids can cash in on the life insurance. The only problem is, he doesn’t have ten thousand dollars…

“My initial suicidal ideations were pretty straightforward but have recently grown more elaborate, more ambitious, more demanding on the imagination.”

This was an amazing look into the psyche of a man who has lost all hope and optimism for life. The author does a wonderful job at conveying the voice of Wesley. The writing is smooth and jumps from past and present to really allow the reader to feel his despair. It’s very dark and gritty. The reader will really find themselves on a journey of self discovery. This is the type of story that will hit home for a lot of people. I really liked how the author showed that no matter what a person is going through or may have things can change at any moment. As was shown in the sudden change of circumstances with Wesley’s friend Cooper. The sudden downward spiral of Coopers life is the catalyst for Wesley to make changes in his own life. As a woman I found it interesting to read a book from the point of view of man who is also a noncustodial parent. It provided a lot of insight into how they may view their circumstances with their children as well the way it must feel to have children closer to their step parent than themselves. It was a brilliant portrayal of a truly decent man who through a series of events is at a dead end in life. This book has something for every reader to be able to connect with. Overall I would give it a 4/5 and I would recommend this for a read.


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