Reading is one of my passions in life. I usually have half a dozen books going at the same time, each one getting a little space in various corners of my mind at the same time. Jesus, My Father, the CIA and Me was an exception. For one book to knock the rest to the side until it is finished is very unusual for me but that was exactly what happened with this book. The book is the story of Ian’s life and coming to grips with an emotionally distant and alcoholic father and the difficulties he faced not just as a child in that environment but as an adult trying to bury his feelings and past hurts. I just have to say this is one of the best written and most engaging books I have read in a long time. His use of anecdotes, allegory and alliteration are second to none…honestly, I can’t remember any alliteration in the book but it just rounded out the list so nicely. He has a way of telling a story with so much description and colorful language that it either leaves you laughing or crying (often experiencing both within a few minutes of each other).
There are several groups of people who would benefit greatly from this book:: 1) Guys…this book will help you understand emotional disconnects with your parents and unearth feelings that you never knew were there (covered 49% of the population in one swipe). If you are in the remaining 51% who would benefit from this book you are either 2) Wife of an alcoholic…there are moments in the book where Ian’s mother takes center stage in how she had to deal with the fallout of her husbands addiction. 3) Anyone struggling with alcoholism or struggling through family systems of co-dependency. 4) Therapists…this book has systems theory in spades and would make a great case study supplement to the book Codependent no more.
Maybe a flowchart of who would benefit from this book would have been better. I just finished this book yesterday and have already recommended it to half a dozen people…so now I am recommending it to you.